Friday, July 2, 2010
My Birthday, The Past 42 Years, The Next 365 Days
Today I celebrate my 42nd year of life. Actually I didn’t have much to do with it, my mom should be the one to be congratulated as she gave birth to my 8.9 lb of babyness.
The Lord has richly blessed me over the years. Even through my childhood years, young adult life and up until my conversion at 38 years old, He has been good to me. I was a false convert for 30 year of my life. Beginning at the age of 8 I put my hopes of salvation in a prayer of a child and in the words of a man’s assurance that I had taken care of it. But, praise be to God that He showed me the errors of what had been instilled in me.
I was brought up to believe that just saying a prayer was all that was needed to be saved. Actually, it is a lot more simpler than a prayer, it just takes trust in the Word of God to be truth. In that trust is found the repentance of ones sins, not just a momentary feeling of sorrow, but a real feeling of hatred for your sins against a Holy God. I never felt that, I never had that from the age of 8 up until the age of 38. I based my salvation on a fleeting moment of time as a child that didn’t even really know what sin was. But for the next 30 years I really delved into it and learned sin very well. All the time professing to know Jesus as my savior because I took care of it when I was younger. Never did I have someone tell me I needed to examine myself to see if I was in the faith. Never did I have someone tell me my sinful lifestyle was in direct opposition to what the bible describes a believer’s life to be.
Thank God that He saw ft to remove the scales from my eyes. After 30 years of asking God to forgive me of my sins when I went to bed, He finally did forgive me. He finally showed me my sins as they appear to Him. He showed me why His Son was put on the cross. He showed me that I was deceived by some very convincing lies, twisting of scriptures and vain words of men. He saved me. Something that I tried to do for 30 years by being “good” to others, not saying too harsh of curse words, not killing anyone, not lying (too much anyway). He convicted me of my sins and broke me and through His grace saved me.
Now my heart bleeds for those that are in the condition I was in. I had returned to my childhood church for a year or so and saw the same things playing out with the children there as they did with me. False assurances spewed from the preachers mouth, pats on the back as associate pastors gave comfort to those that were feeling conviction only to be pulled away from that conviction with, “Bubby, you know you’re all right. You just gotta get yourself right again, give your heart back to God and stop sinning’.”
Oh, how do we open the eyes of these poor, deceived souls? Short answer, we can’t. All we can do is sow the seeds of the True Gospel of Christ. We pour our hearts out to the Father to be merciful to these people that are living in deceptions, sitting in the pews Sunday after Sunday after being in the bars Saturday after Saturday. The one’s that are living in sin with their girlfriend or boyfriend, seeing nothing wrong with their choice to go against God’s Word. We must cry out to God to pull the scales from these peoples eyes as well. He did it for me, so why wouldn’t He do it for someone else? Someone was praying for my salvation and I may never know whom until I meet them in heaven one day. But someone did pray for me, someone did see my deceived mentality and they loved me and prayed for God to save me….. and He did.
Beginning today I am also going to start a series that I hope to update on a daily basis. I am going to call it “A Year In My Life Through Pictures”. I hope to post one photo per day of something that has touched me during the day. It may be something small and seemingly meaningless or something large like the birth of a child. The guidelines I want to use are: 1. The photo must be taken the day of its entry 2. The photo must contain a description of why I took it and what the photo means to me 3. I won’t try to get all “artsy” in taking pictures, just simple snapshots maybe even taken from my cell phone most days 4. Tell of how God used the subject in the photo to speak to me.
Fairly simple rules to go by. I am sure that it will be quite boring to some along the next 365 days, but I pray that it might be used to show that sometimes what we perceive as small or simple can and is used by God to accomplish something we may never realize without stopping to see the forest beyond the trees. I will post my first photo this evening, after the day has mostly passed because I want to take this day a little slower and reflect on God’s mercies and see what He places in my path this day.