Monday, January 15, 2007

Some Thoughts on How the Lord Saved Me

I grew up in a home where we went to church every week and where I always believed in God. The memory that most stands out to me from our first church was the time my Sunday School teacher taught us that the flood was not real... it was just a story that had some vague purpose. I thought she was whacked.

When I began High School, my parents had changed churches. I went with them for a while until I brought my friend Robbie to the church youth dance and some of the older kids offered us pot on the back stairs. (Sorry Mom – not sure I ever told you about that one!) Anyway, they also kept passing me notes in church when it was time to pray and that bugged me – so I asked my folks if I could go to this little Church of Christ some other family members used to attend.

Throughout my early teen years, my dear brother-in-law had been sitting down with me and explaining some basics of the Gospel. He might need to comment and correct this, but all I can recall from those conversations was that I was on the throne of my life and I needed Jesus to be “the Boss.” We had that conversation many times, and it seemed to make sense to me.

Then I went to visit my sister and brother-in-law in California – I was 15 years old. One night I was babysitting the kids while they went out - and it was if time stood still. I was sitting in their living room looking for something to do, when the thought came into my head, “Why aren’t you giving your life to God?”

I sat there and thought. And thought. I had no good reasons. And by God’s grace I went into my room, knelt by my bed and asked the Lord Jesus to “forgive me and be my Boss.” I believe the Lord saved me that night.

A few months later I was reading my Bible and saw Peter’s command to be baptized. Swallowing hard I went to my mom and told her I thought this was exactly what I ought to do. And several weeks later I “went forward” at a service of the Church of Christ and was immersed.

Now. You need to understand that this same church taught baptismal regeneration (you must be immersed in water in order to be saved). They also taught that if you sinned badly enough you could lose your salvation. Not only that, some flirtatious girl used to offer me “uppers” or “downers” if ever I wanted them! My point: there was not much Gospel and not much genuine salvation and not much sanctification.

While in High School, I thought I lost my salvation and got it back – oh, about 27 times. I had rarely, if ever, heard the Word of God preached. I spent my first semester of college trying to convince my mentor he could lose his salvation. I fought the campus-Calvinists like they carried the plague.

But God worked through feeble means to draw me to Himself when I was 15 years old.

Ask my seminary students. I demand precision and clarity in everything they do! But I am not so far removed from my past to forget that God is able to speak through... a donkey (no offense intended to any of the aforementioned!!!).