Twenty Years of Following Jesus:
“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24).
“But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love.” (Acts 20:24, NLT).
It was over twenty years ago, on a warm summer‘s night in August of 1989 – an evening I’ll NEVER forget. I was on holidays with my family in Alberta, staying with my aunt and uncle in Red Deer. On our last night there, before heading home for Saskatchewan, I decided to go out to Lacombe to visit my friend Jerrold, and spend the night at his house. I had met him the summer before while working my very first job at a McDonald’s in Red Deer. I had no idea when I drove out to their farmhouse that night that my life was about to be changed forever.
That night, Jerrold and his cousin Lane started talking to me about Jesus. They taught me these simple truths from the Bible. First of all, they told me that the Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Now, that wasn’t very encouraging news to me. I knew that I was a sinner – they didn’t need to tell me that! And not just your average, run-of-the-mill sinner, but a professional sinner. I won’t tell you all the gory details, but let’s just say that I was very much into the party scene, getting drunk, dating girls, and the rebellious, sinful lifestyle associated with that. In my heart I was saying, “There’s got ot be more to life than this!” Thank God, Jerrold gave me an answer. He went on to tell me that, “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23b), and “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). He told me that the Bible says, “that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
On that night, God rescued me from kingdom of darkness, and he brought me into the Kingdom of his dear Son. God had purchased my freedom with his blood and forgave all my sins! I was lost, but now I had been found! I was spiritually dead, but God had given me new life! I was a child of the devil, but God had adopted me into His family, and now I was a child of God! I was on the way to hell, but now, because Jesus saved me, I was on the way to Heaven!! God put a new song in my heart on that day that I’ve been singing ever since: Amazing Grace, how SWEET the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see! O Happy Day, when Jesus washed my sins away! Listen to the song in my heart:Jesus, Lover of my soul, Jesus, I will never let you go You’ve taken me, from the miry clay, And set my feet upon the rock, and now I know I love you, I need you, Though my world may fall, I’ll never let you go You’re my Saviour, my closest friend, And I will worship you until the very end
Reader, if you don’t know Jesus, call upon His name today. He will save you – He will forgive your sins, wash you clean, and adopt you into God’s family. And if you are one of God’s children, then don’t let your song be silent. Rejoice that your name is written in Heaven – and tell someone else the Good News today!