Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Greatest Day

Eighteen years ago I went to a concert with my sister Joni and her husband Bill. It was a Christian concert – the 2nd Chapter of Acts farewell tour. I sat in the back row and talked to my sister and brother-in-law about Christianity, pretty much ignoring the music. I had some complaints about Christian music – isn’t it just a low quality version of truly good music, etc. For me, this was actually just a disguise for my fear of Christian discipleship. I didn’t want to surrender my life, including my musical tastes (dear to me at the time) to Jesus Christ. Afterward, we went to a Denny’s restaurant and talked some more.

Sometime late into the night, in the wee hours of May 20, 1988, sitting in a nearly deserted Denny's restaurant, Bill asked me if I would like to pray. He didn’t fully realize it, but I had been prepared for this moment. God had been hounding me through various means – those who have been hounded know what I’m talking about. My understanding of the gospel, let alone my understanding of my own sin, was far from mature. All I knew was, “God is after me. I haven’t yet surrendered to him. I have to do this sometime – why not now?” So I prayed a prayer of repentance with Bill, surrendering myself to God and entrusting myself to the Lord Jesus Christ.

I don’t remember the exact words of the prayer, but I afterward felt that something significant had transpired. Not everyone feels something like this immediately, but I did. I walked out of that Denny’s restaurant with a sense of God’s powerful presence. Joni and Bill weren’t quite sure anything had happened at all, though. It wasn’t until I turned up at their apartment some months later with a page of handwritten questions about the Bible that they realized, indeed, God was at work inside me. In fact, from that moment my interests, desires, and direction were forever changed.

That was the greatest day.

“Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 18:7)

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)


Joseph Adrian said...

I know exactly what you mean by being hounded.No two believers experience (as far as seeking God,or God seeking them is what is really happening)is exactly the same,but there can be some similarities.Some people respond to the gospel(when then initially hear it)with relatively little resistance,others at least for a while are violently resisting(I definitely fall in the latter category)Christ's call to follow Him.Some others are gently drawn over a period of time(this is often the case with children that grow up surrounded by gospel truth,both in sitting under sound preaching and teaching and having godly examples living before them).

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