In my upcoming book, I tell the story of how I met Jesus Christ, Savior of the World. It was the best day of my life. I’ll never forget it. It was as real as real can get.
Back and forth to church, it was for me, starting in my mother’s womb, they told me. At age 7 or 8, I recall those walks to church. Not only did I travel to church each week, but my home was a place where the Bible was always taught. My mother held community Bible clubs there with children in the neighborhood, which my siblings continued. So, from a baby–at home, in church, Sunday School, or VBS, I heard many stories about God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
As I grew into my teens, I followed my brother Ron a lot, one place being a small Pentecostal church near our home. The pastor and his wife were very kind and loving people, and the church was filled with lots of younger people. We sang, played instruments, taught the Bible, served, and freely worshipped God without inhibition. We also had fun together at church outings—picnics, roller skating, swimming, sporting activities, etc.
Each year, there were two well-known (to us) brothers from New York who would come speak at our church. They were awesome teachers and preachers who always seemed to easily bring in God’s spirit as they spoke. It’s like God was backing them up. We enjoyed hearing them and always felt uplifted and encouraged by their sermons. The brother who was coming this particular Sunday taught and preached on a high level. He expounded on the scripture academically and with emphatic diction. His voice was strong and fiery as he preached. Excitement and anticipation were in the air, as preparations were made. The church would be packed, with no available seats. I was looking forward to hearing His message. “What verse of scripture would he come from? What life occurrence would he relate it to? I hope it’s something I need to hear. Would he preach so powerfully that God’s Spirit would fall on us like a mighty rushing wind, as He did on the day of Pentecost, where we all would dance together in praise to God?” I liked this Pentecostal fervor; it’s what I was anticipating. Unbeknownst to me, however, it wouldn’t be the preacher who would astound me that day.
Sitting in my pew, the minister did not disappoint me as he preached fervently. But, there was something different this time. As he was concluding the sermon, he began to talk about Jesus Christ. He explained who He was and all He had done for us by dying on the cross for our sins. He told us how we needed a personal relationship with Jesus. I was no longer enamored by his teaching charisma, but by his message. It was the same message I had heard many times in the Bible clubs. The difference this time, however, was what was going on inside my heart. The message had grasped my attention and intrigued me so much so, I leaned forward in my seat. It’s as if the congregation was no longer there; he was talking directly and only to me. I became serious. My heart began churning inside. I clearly understood what he was saying. Suddenly, clearly, softly, and gently, I heard, “This is for you.” It was clear; Jesus Christ wanted to come into my heart. Christ’s quiet words were so compelling that when the minister asked the congregation to come to the altar to receive Christ, I had no hesitation. I jumped to my feet, walked to the front, and accepted Jesus Christ into my heart as my Lord and Savior. After what I shared with you about my upbringing, one would think that I already knew Christ. Right? Nope. Obviously, I didn’t, because that day at church, as I heard the message of Jesus Christ, He personally tugged at my heart to let me know I needed Him. Surely, I could have argued with the Spirit of God about how my family had already told me about You. I didn’t. I knew this was my call. I had to believe that I needed Jesus. I did recognize my need, and I asked Him to come into my heart. And, I felt a difference too.
I’m 60 years old now, and that day is still vivid in my mind and brings me joy. In fact, as I’m writing about it, I had to stop, get up, and dance around my house while listening to Cece Winans’ song No Greater from the Believe It Album. 😊 That’s the impact Jesus Christ has on you–year after year, through all your ups and downs and good and bad days.
So, no matter…
Who you are,
What you’ve done,
When you did it,
Where you’ve been, or
Why others have rejected or mistreated you…
GOD loves and wants you, my friend! John 3:16-17 declares, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, [Jesus Christ] so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” What is eternal life, you may ask? John 17:3 tells us, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Wow! The God of the Universe wants us to know who He is, and His Son He sent to save us.
Do you feel a tap on your heart right now? Don’t be afraid. Yep, it’s God; He wants you. Allow me to pray with you to receive Christ, just as that minister did with me over 45 years ago. Email me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll never regret receiving Jesus because you’ll discover how deep His love goes, and there’s none greater.
Copyright © 2023 by Eleanor Parks
All Rights reserved.
HAPPY LOVE MONTH!!!