This I Know

July 31, 1984. 

This was the day I went forward at a vacation Bible school in East Tennessee, repented of my sins  and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.

Like most new believers, I was filled with zeal and wanted to learn all I could about the Lord.  I began reading my Bible fervently, attending every service and trying to be a good Christian.

I now know I was not properly discipled. 

I began reading my Bible from the beginning.  (That's where you start a book right?)  I breezed through Genesis and Exodus, bogged down in Leviticus and gave up in Numbers.  It took me awhile to get back on track.  I finally had a fellow believer point me to the NT where I spent a season before eventually reading the whole Bible. 

I had a huge fascination with end times theology and read everything I could get my hand on.  I loved to debate (argue) the Bible and felt I had to defend God to the death!  I even made sure to hand a Bible tract to a kid who was holding a switchblade to my throat...so that I could at least die a martyr!

Ah, youth....

Nearly 31 years since my life changing decision, I have come to learn that less is more.  I have seen the highs and lows of faith.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  The older I get, the more comfortable I am with my faith.  I no longer feel the need to debate every line of Scripture.  In fact, I don't debate at all. 

As I reflect over my relationship with the Lord, I find comfort and peace in who He is and who I am in Him.

After 31 years, this I know:

Prov. 3:5-6 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."  The first Scripture that really challenged me.  I tried for too long to lean on my own understanding.  Now, I know that I know nothing.  I have found that as I lean on Him, look to Him, trust in Him...He truly does direct my path.  From TN to TX, Russia to Croatia, the US to Canada, God has directed my path, my days, my life.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Jesus, Only Jesus - I remember hearing this quoted often by a man God used to impact my life.  He often said it boiled down to just that.  I used to think he was being so cliche.  Now I know, I truly want Jesus, only Jesus!

Jesus Christ and Him Crucified - "For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." This passage in 1 Cor. 2:2 has become more and more important to me. I don't care to debate how long it took God to create the Heavens and Earth.  My opinion on when Jesus is coming back is just that, my opinion. What I am determined to know is Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Galatians 2:20"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." The verse that changed my life.  In my darkest days, God reached out to a man contemplating his own mortality, He broke through the darkness when suicide seemed like the only way out, and He taught me who I am in Him. 

I'm not God - I am not called to judge.  I no longer see the need to point out the stick in your eye while ignoring the log in mine.  I now endeavor to speak truth in love and show the same grace and mercy that Jesus Christ has shown me.

The Two Greatest Commandments - Jesus is quoted in Matthew 22:36-40 as saying that the two greatest commandments in which are contained the whole law of God is to love the Lord with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as we do our self!  It really is that simple.  We over complicate Christianity and Jesus boiled it down to this!

Jesus Loves Me - This I know.  I can rest in that. 

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