I’m going to tell you a story.
It’s a beautiful story that typifies the beauty and wonder of what can transpire when you enter into a relationship with our Creator, Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
A number of years ago, during my morning prayers, I felt an urge to tell God that I needed a hug. It may sound silly but that is how I felt. I even explained to Him how I knew He was a spirit etc but I still felt like I needed a hug from Him. I finished my prayers, went off to work, came home, ate supper with my family etc. In the early evening I became aware of an almost overwhelming urge that I needed to go to a Christian Summer camp meeting. Overwhelming urges to do something are not normal for me, they are rare, very rare, extremely rare. I literally had to go. I had seen a sign on the road about the Christian Summer Camp meeting as I drove home from work. I told my wife about the overwhelming feeling I had and asked her if it was alright if I went and she said go ahead. We had three children at that time and this was about the time that we put them to bed.
I drove to the meeting, it was a Pentecostal church camp building and I went inside. I sat at the back. The Pastor was speaking and at the end of the evening service he invited anyone who needed a blessing or prayer to come up to the front of the room. Normally when an invitation like this is given people come forward right away but no one moved. Not one. I heard a voice in my mind saying that I needed to go to the front. I’d heard that voice before. I stood up and walked forward from the back of the assembly. As I walked forward, others followed behind me. I knelt and the others behind me formed a horizontal line and did likewise. The Pastor went from person to person, laid his hands on each person’s head and said a prayer. He came to me and did likewise. Nothing exceptional happened. I got up and was walking away when an off duty Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer came up to me and said, “I don’t know who you are but God told me to give you a hug”.
What a beautiful and loving God we have. How beautiful He orchestrated this. I will never forget His loving kindness as long as I live. I would have missed this if I hadn’t responded to the leading of His Holy Spirit and gone to the meeting. I would have missed this if my wife hadn’t been open to her putting the children to bed alone. I would have missed this if I had stayed at the back of the room and then gone home.
The thing is I have lots of stories but my stories aren’t really all that important because they all happened to me.
The stories that will be important to you are your stories.
I’m 73 years old, I wish I could tell you that when I became a Christian in my mid twenties that from that day on it was all Jesus and me but that would be lying. There have been many hills and dips in the road that I have traveled. Most people that I know who have been on that road that we all walk also have hills and dips and they also have stories. Those extra ordinary times when Jesus did something special for you, against all odds, when it was least expected.
The Apostle Peter had a story. Peter, do you love me? Yes Lord. Feed my sheep.
The Apostle James had a story, likewise the Apostle Paul and many many others. We can actually read some of them in our Bible.
My faith is based upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These are facts that I believe. But Jesus promises to respond to us when we invite Him into our hearts and lives.
Revelation 3:20 NIV “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
That’s personal, we’re talking one on one, Jesus and you, Jesus and me.
In a recent post of mine, a statement that I made, stood out from the others as I typed it.
It reads as follows:
“Now that the real High Priest has entered the real Tabernacle having offered the real Sacrifice, there are no longer any requirements for ritual sacrifices/services. Christianity is about a personal loving relationship with God where we can experience His presence, here now, it is no longer about ritualistic worship.”
Sadly, there are still instances of where within the physical Church (as opposed to the spiritual Church), many who follow ritualistic worship without having experienced the one on one relationship of God, our Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in our lives, here, today, now.
I think we need those one on one experiences, in truth, I think that’s one of the main reasons why Jesus died on the cross, so that we could have those one on one experiences, where Jesus meets us at our need and Shepherds us as only He can.
And how does one do that? By accepting the facts of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the truth, by reading and studying His Word, by praying and allowing his leading to change our hearts and minds so that we follow His commandments, daily. It’s a relationship that fosters love, where we love Him because He first loved us.
And then you will have your own stories.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!