It is fitting that my first post on this new edition of Creation Song should honor Jesus.
Yes, I am a follower of Jesus. I’m not always faithful or true; nor is He easy to follow. But my heart is to follow Him. I want to want to love Him and be true to Him.
I was raised by wonderful Christian parents. They nurtured me to believe in God. They taught me right from wrong. When I was nine years old, I began to feel a strong conviction to commit my life to Jesus, but pride held me back. I did not want to publicly admit my need for Jesus. Finally, when I was 11, I attended Christian Assembly Camp on Lake James near Angola, Indiana. During a midweek altar call, I publicly gave my heart to Jesus, and was baptized in the lake on Saturday July 9, 1960. I felt so clean!
(see picture above of man in white shirt baptizing me into Jesus)
Over the next several years I read the Bible, attended a local church and youth group, and attempted to be serious during Communion, altar calls, and prayers. I prayed for forgiveness of sins. A few times in my earlier years I offered myself for special anointing for God’s calling, whatever that might be. In college I prayed earnestly for God to use my life for Him. Yet I also slipped into sins over the next several years. My wife and I were rescued, as it were, when we attended a local church nearby where we had freshly moved.
I could spend hours giving stories of how God has showed up, revealed Himself to me. Just to say, even when I have strayed into presumptuousness and spiritual pride, God has loved me so much as to jerk me to get my attention.
I won’t go into details about theology here, other than to say a few points.
- Jesus is significantly different than other major religious figures such as Moses, David, Abraham, Mohammed. These others married (most of them multiple times) and begat children. These others resorted to violence and coercion against enemies while Jesus prayed for enemies (including us)
- Jesus did not indulge Himself. He did accept loving attention from others, such as the woman who anointed His feet with expensive oil.
- Jesus did not attempt to exert political power. He did not pander to the rich or well-connected.
- Jesus did not make efforts to make Himself famous, indeed the opposite, He sometimes told those He healed to not say anything.
- Jesus as incarnate God in human flesh stayed within the limitations of human flesh during His ministry, including being hungry, tired, tempted, fearful of pain (the looming cross), and feelings of rejection.
- Jesus’s harshest words were to religious leaders who exploited their position over others, or who were smug in their presumed self-righteousness.
I am so blessed that Jesus has embraced me!!! He forgives me of my sin of all sordid and prideful sorts. He sends The Holy Spirit to heal me, anoint me for service, and be my advocate. He hears me when I pray, and lovingly responds, often in surprising ways.
Jesus for me is not a religion, a head trip, or something to
believe in. Jesus is real in my heart, and over the universe. Believing in Him
is not a step of logic, but a continuing step and steps of faith, trust,
repentance, and communion with Him in live and prayer. As one steps out in
faith, assured belief begins to birth.
Call out to Jesus, and He will present Himself to you.