Jesus appeared to me at the age of 17 and manifested himself to me through my high school friends.
What do I mean by "manifested himself"? I mean that he made His presence real to my conscious thought patterns in a series of events in my life as a teenager.
I was raised in a non christian home with a mother that was a non practicing Catholic and a father that never walked through a church door since I can remember.
My parents told me that they believed in the freedom of religion and that as long as I was GOOD I would be allowed to go into Heaven. To make a long story short I had a very strict upbringing. My father was in the Army for several years as a drill instructor. My mother was from European descent and a very strict disciplinarian.
In short I rebelled and stayed in constant turmoil with my parents. The Lord used several friends of mine as instruments to draw me into His kingdom. Ida Colombrito and Tracy and Donald Dewitt are the three people in my life at that time that drew me to Jesus Christ. They were always there to listen to me when I had a problem.
I began spending time at Ida's house and began to talk to her father who happened to be the chaplain for the voluteer fire dept back home. He led me in the sinners prayer by a chopping block in the woods one day. I came to a point in my life where I realized that I was a sinner lost and going to hell and that the only way I would be allowed into the Kingdom of God was by doing several things.
1.Confess my sins to Jesus Christ 2.Repent of my wicked ways. That means to turn away from them 3.Accept the gift of Grace at Calvary where Christ gave his life for the sins of the world. At that point in my life I did not understand all the theological ramifications or the type of commitment that I had just made but I knew that He resided in my heart and that the awful burden that was on my shoulders was instantly removed. I ran all the way home full of joy!
I was 17 at that time of my life and when I told my parents that I was saved they said , "Saved from what? Drowning?". My parents had no clue what had happened in my life at that point and were very angry that I had continued to talk with those religious fanatics against their wishes.
I visited some churches sporadically from time to time for the next year and through a series of events moved from Quinlan Texas to Houston Texas trying to find a new beginning. This is where I learned about the commitment that I had made to Christ. This is where I learned about the difference between a "salvation" relationship and a "Lordship" relationship.
After being in Houston Texas for about 8 months I lost my job, place to live and my car. I wound up on the streets of Houston and then eventually in a street rescue mission called the Star of Hope Mission. At this time of my life God impressed on my heart in a very real way that I was no different and no more worthy of His grace than any other human being on this planet. At this point in my life I was a very materialistic , loud mouthed and not very heavenly minded young man.
While at the street rescue mission I had the opportunity of listening to the Gospel being preached three times a day before I was allowed to eat. I remember asking this question. " Why ME Lord, what have I done to deserve this?" After 45 days of being at the Star of Hope Mission, listening to the Gospel, praying, crying and counseling sessions I was in a position where the Lord could speak to me.
Through the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit in my heart I was told, "It is not what you have done James, it is what you have not done". I was devestated! Who me Lord? I yanked out my wallet and showed him my fire insurance card and said "I have accepted you as my Saviour according to what the scripture has said". The Lord impressed on my heart that being a Christian has some very solemn responsibilities attached to it. The Lord impressed on my heart that my life was purchased with an awesome price. The blood of Jesus at Calvary was that price and I was not to take it very lightly.
I went from being a "fire insurance card" christian to a person that to this very day is learning what it means to be in a relationship with Jesus Christ my Lord. Having a Lordship relationship is a one day at a time and sometimes one minute at a time ordeal. It is one thing to confess with our mouths that Jesus Christ is Lord. The devil and his fallen angels confess that and tremble. Having faith in the Lord and being obedient to His word is where faith comes in.
Do I think that I am perfect because of my relationship with Christ? No, far from it I would say. The only difference in me and a person that has not accepted Christ as their saviour is when I fall face down in sin I have a Lord and Saviour that will forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.
My testimony may not be as dramatic as some. I have not been delivered from any type of addiction or abusive situation. I am not a pimp or prostitute or murderer. What did happen one day at the age of 17 is that the Holy Spirit spoke to me and manifested the Love of God and the mercy and grace of God to my life. I thank Him that I was able to receive the invitation of God and accepted it.
Life is not easy folks. It is full of its ups and downs. IT is full of disappointments. I can say with all my heart that without Jesus Christ in your heart you do not stand a chance. Through the hard times in my life I have been able to turn to Christ when no one else has been there for me. I have been on the streets with three bags of belongings, in a street mission, in jail. I have been homeless and have gone through a very bloody , emotionally tragic divorce. I am no stranger to pain. Through it all, when I turned to the Lord He was faithful and just to be there.
I challenge you today to find a place of quitness. A place where you are not interrupted by life in general. Jesus Christ is preparing a place for his children, the bride of Christ. He died on that cruel Roman cross for you just as for me and the rest of the world. I want to encourage you to seek out the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is a gentelman and will not force himself upon you. You have to seek Him out and when you do, He will come into your heart and take up residency. He will fill your heart with a joy that you will not be able to fathom. He will give you strength to overcome any trial or pain that this world can throw at you.
He is waiting for your commitment to Him. He has done it all for you. You do not have to do anything to prepare. The table has been prepared. All you have to do is be quiet and be honest with Him in your heart and ask Him to reveal himself to you in a way that only you will understand. He will and when He does you will not be sorry.
What will you do with Jesus Christ today?
In His Name James Moffitt aka Friend