How I came to know Jesus

benotashamed
By: Ron M. of Aurora, CO, USA

I was not married at the time my oldest daughter was born.

My girlfriend and I broke up, and I missed my daughter very much.

I would go into the bathroom and pray that God would return them back to me, and He would remind me of how I would cry and pray. Then He allowed me to remember the pain I suffered when I lost them.

He then asked me, “Do you want to go through that again?”

And, I said “No.”

“Then you need me!”

I ignored that conversation and went on with my life.

One day, a friend of my wife’s came over to update her life insurance policy, because she wanted to put me on it.

I offered him a beer and he said, “I can face reality!”

My thought was ‘what are you trying to say, that I can’t?’

The more I talked to him, the more I didn’t want him in our house.

He told me, “Without the Love of Jesus, you won’t go very far.”

I told him that I had work to do and then he invited me to go to his Church to see a play. I told Him I would go.

I went outside to do the work I had to do.

Just then, the Holy Spirit reminded me of how I used to cry to him and ask him to return my family to me.

I will never forget the last time that I asked God to return my family to me and He didn’t, so I asked Him to either return them to me or send somebody that will love me just for who I am.

To top it off, that day I met my wife! We have now been married 38 years now.

The day came for the play, and I went. They gave an altar call to come and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and I didn’t go. I told the Pastor after the service that I wanted to go down there, but he didn’t ask me If I wanted to accept Jesus as my personal Savior.

We left the church and went home.

A few months had gone by, and my wife invited me to go to her Church. I told her that I would go on Easter Sunday morning.

I was impressed by the church; it was very nice inside. I didn’t see any saints along the walls. I was a Catholic, so it was definitely different than the inside of their churches.

When the Pastor of the Church started preaching, he said, “What if Jesus would ask, ‘What are you here for? To show off your new clothes? If you are, get out of here, and don’t come back until you are ready to serve me for the rest of your life!’”

After the service was over, my wife asked, “What did you think?”

I said, “I won’t go back there again.”

The following year was one of the most difficult times I had gone through in my whole life. I quit my job and tried working for myself, but God saw to it that I couldn’t get any work. I could not even get a job, and I had very good working skills.

My wife told me to go apply for food stamps, and I said, “No!”

She said that I needed to swallow my pride and go apply the next day. We went, and we were rejected for any public aid.

What a shame that was to me!

As time went on, I was driving down the road and I got a very sharp pain in my blind eye, so I pulled over, got out of the car and laid on the grass.

I went to an eye doctor shortly after that and he said that I would have to have my eye taken out because it would cause more problems down the road for my other eye.

I left there in tears just thinking of losing my eye.

I called my wife and tried to tell her what was going on, but I couldn’t speak, because I just started to cry.

She said, “Don’t worry, God will take care of you.”

That night I went to bed and I fell apart inside and started to remind God of all of the things I had gone through. I said, “Why did you even create me? First, I lit myself on fire, then I had a dart stuck in my eye and went blind in that eye. I couldn’t look at anybody without being put down. I couldn’t even take off my shirt without somebody saying how gross I was, because of my burns.”

I told God to just take my life, because, “I don’t want to live anymore, but,” I said, ”I am sorry for everything I said, I am sorry and that I tried to live life my own way and I need a new life. I want Jesus to take over my life, now.”

Praise God, He gave me a new life!

The next day, my wife called told me to call this other doctor so I did. I explained to him what had happened and he said to come in to his office.

He examined me and said, “Let me relieve you of your heartache. I can save your eye but it will require surgery.”

I had the surgery done and had to spend the night in the hospital. The doctor came to visit me that night to tell me that it appeared to be okay. The next day I was taken down to get the bandages removed.

He said, “Let’s see if you can see.”

After he removed the bandages, I told him that I could see, and it was like the Lord was hugging me, and He and I were watching the doctor working on me. The doctor removed the bandages and I was able to see for the very first time in 25 years!

I am reminded now about how the blind man, in Mark 8:22-26, came to Bethsaida, and the disciples brought a blind man to Jesus and asked Him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Can you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes, and his eyes were opened! His sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.

That is what I am looking forward to, the day I can see Jesus with both eyes!

Praise THE LORD for the blessings he has given me.

©2018 Mark Davis

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What Can I Expect Now That I Am A Christian?

I see many people that finally make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as their savior and they seem to think that since they are saved, now, everything is going to change in their life. All of their problems are gone. They are now going to become debt free. Their job is going to be better and they can finally get along with their bosses. All of their family squabbles will go away and now their family is going to love them for who they are.

Well, I’m sorry to tell you that there is nothing further from the truth than that.  I am proof.

Since I have been saved I’ve had really good things happen to me and I have had some really bad things happen to me. I have been addicted to drugs, smoking and alcohol. Yes, I lived a party life. There were times during that time when I thought things were going really great (at least for me) and then the fun was gone. The problem with that kind of lifestyle is that every thing that you do ends up having a negative effect on you – both mentally and physically. Some of my indiscretions, I feel, I still pay for today both mentally and physically.

The wild times seemed really great at the time (in the back of my mind, I knew that what I was doing was wrong and God was not happy with me and sometimes I even dared Him to strike me dead if I was such a bad person and He didn’t like me anymore – notice He never did) but the fun was only for a while – it could have been a few hours or even a few years, and anything in between.

Some might think that it might be fun for me to go into detail about all of the things I’ve done that was bad, but the only thing that that would do is possibly titillate your senses and bring things back up in my memories that I would rather not think about because those things are “under the blood” of Jesus Christ – He has forgiven me of those things and I am done with them now. I’m sorry to tell you that I am not going into detail regarding my sins. I will suffice it to say that I kind of feel like the Apostle Paul when he said that he was the “Chief of sinners”. If there was anyone that really didn’t deserve to go to Heaven, it would be me!

When we get saved, we are supposed to be changed into a new creation, old things are supposed to be passed away and the best thing is that He replaces those old dead things with new interests (2 Corinthians 5:17). I may be making this sound like it is a walk in the park right here – but it isn’t. Some of those old dead things like to hang on for a while and make our lives miserable for a while longer.

The great thing about it all is that Jesus is right there with us to hold our hands to make the transition easier and so that you can experience the true love of God (1 Corinthians 10:13), from Him and also from others that share your new-found faith that may have gone through something similar. It pays to check with your local church to see if there might be someone in particular that you could get together with that might be able to give you some help. “The help” may be someone, doing anything from just hanging out and having a strong shoulder for you to cry on or it could be someone that feels that the best comfort would be in the pages of God’s Word – in His promises and the things that Jesus did while He was walking on the earth.

The bottom line is that once you become a Christian, life is not going to be a walk in the park – if it is, you are doing something wrong. The thing is that if things are just “peaches and cream”, then you probably aren’t working for God! You see, when we are doing the right thing, the devil is going to do anything and everything to try to keep you from getting your job done for God. If you are NOT working for Christ, the devil is cheering you along on the sidelines because you are doing NOTHING for Christ and therefore you aren’t any threat to him.

Christians, I’m trying to tell you, without pulling punches, that the best thing that you could be doing right now is serving God in everything that you do. How do you do that? Well, you have to examine your life and get rid of those things in your life that don’t have any value in serving the Lord and get them out of your life. In place of those things you MUST replace them with good things that God would approve of in your life, that would make you a better Christian. It will seem at times that the whole situation isn’t worth it for you to do these things.

I’ll tell you this right now, we are made for God’s use not for our own pleasure. If what you are doing is for yourself, you need to rethink it and probably change it. If it serves the flesh, and especially in a sexual manner, that would be unpleasing to the Lord, you need to get rid of it. Break off that relationship that you shouldn’t be in. Yes, it will be hard at first. Anything worth having is worth working for and worth sacrificing for. Sacrifice means that you have to give something up or change something.

Listen to what the Bible says about it all:

Jesus said this:
Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Matthew 5:12 “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
Your reward is going to be in heaven. I know it is hard to equate what you are doing when you don’t see immediate reward for it, but please do it anyway.

Paul said this, starting out talking about some of the Jews that were out in the wilderness after leaving Egypt:
1 Corinthians 10:5 “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
1 Corinthians 10:6 “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
1 Corinthians 10:7 “Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. [Exodus 32:6]
1 Corinthians 10:8 “Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
1 Corinthians 10:9 “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
1 Corinthians 10:10 “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
1 Corinthians 10:11 “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1 Corinthians 10:12 “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:14 “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
1 Corinthians 10:15 “I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.”
Paul is assuming that he is talking to wise people. To people that are intelligent and will take what he is talking about and apply it to their lives to make themselves better in the sight of God.

Remember that, in verse 13 of 1 Corinthians 10, Paul tells us that when we are tempted of the devil (and all temptation is of the devil) that God is faithful and will provide, at the same time of temptation, a way to escape the temptation. As Jesus said above, in Matthew 5:12, our reward may not be evident and obvious here on earth but we will definitely be rewarded in heaven.

You are not the only one that goes through these situations and feelings. You aren’t the first to go through any situation. You CAN get through it! You NEED the help of Jesus to get you through. Just call on Him to help you. He wants you to ask Him for help. Don’t take this lightly. This is a very serious matter. This is a matter that will affect your eternal future and, as a result, it is not something that you should be messing around with. Face this head on with Jesus and kick this temptation to the curb and let the devil know that, with God’s help, you are nothing for him to mess with. He will fail every time if you truly trust in God to help you get through the situation.

As I said before, you are not alone, not only do you have God’s help, but you can contact a pastor at your local church and he will be more than willing to help you get through it as well. We all need to have mentor friends around us to keep us accountable as a support net.

Brother or Sister, I pray with you right now that you will look to Jesus for His help. Call your church or your mentor friend for support. Do NOT let this slip away without facing and defeating your problem.

©2013 Mark Davis

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WHY Do I NOT See The Blessings of God In My Life?

“I thought that things were going O.K. lately and didn’t realize that I was doing something wrong but apparently I guess I have been.”

Have you thought that recently but then in your daily life you don’t seem to see God’s hand working in your life?  You haven’t really seen God’s blessings apparent in your life or surrounding you?  If you are a “child” (under 18 or still living with mom and dad), has it seemed that you aren’t getting things like you would like them?

I could take this any number of different directions and none of them would be off course.  But, I will only try to stick to a couple of different avenues here.

I constantly hear people wanting to know how to find the will of God for their lives.  I also hear some of the same people ask why they don’t seem to see God’s blessings in their lives.

What do I mean by God’s blessings?  Some of us might think that God’s blessings would be just waking up in the morning and they would be correct, but people seem to take things like that for granted.  Most people consider God’s blessings to be something like finding a $10 bill on the sidewalk or something out of the blue like that.  Maybe it could be that your car broke down and a friend of yours fixed it for you without you having to incur major labor bills to get it fixed.

You see, when you are doing God’s will you will start to see some of these blessings pop up.  You also must realize that when you are doing God’s will, you are also accumulating rewards and riches in heaven rather than on earth, so, you may not see some of your “blessings” here on earth, but eventually you will see them and going the extra mile to do God’s will will actually be worth it for you.

Philippians 4:8  “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

We find may places in scripture telling us what to do and what not to do.  It spells things out pretty clearly what God wants us to do to receive the blessings for our actions.  The above verse tells us that we are to think on, and eventually do, all of these things: True, Honest, Just, Pure, Lovely, Of Good Report, Virtuous and Worthy Of Praise — we are to “think on these things”.

How many times do we go through our days, one after the other, in our ruts, and we do the same things day after day… and everything we are doing (or at least most everything) is for us.  It’s all about “ME”.  We are all worried about ourselves and what affects us and our well being.  If something goes against US then we will most likely not do it.

When was the last time you held a door open for someone behind you going into a fast food restaurant and let them go into the line in front of you?  When was the last time you, when driving, let someone in in front of you when you didn’t really have to, instead of squeezing them out and not letting them in?  After all, they were the ones that were merging, not you.

That is just a couple of examples of selfishness – and I could go on and on with many more examples, but I think you might have the idea that I am getting at here.

Many times in the Bible, we see that God is telling us that we should always put others first before ourselves.

Proverbs 18:24  “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly…” — Here we see that we are to act first before we get the reward.  Here the action is to be friendly and the reward is to have friends.

Rarely is it that we get something before we do something to get it.  We aren’t going to get paid for doing a job before we do the  job.

The Bible lays it out for us: if we are to receive a blessing, we are first to act in a manner that is bless-able (I’m sure that isn’t a word, but it works).  I have prepared a post that lists a whole bunch of Bible verses that spell out what IS the will of God, how to FIND the will of God and what to DO to be in the will of God. You can read it here.

I will give you a few references here that will give you an idea what I was talking about before – just so you know that this isn’t just me trying to get you to do something for ME but rather for your own well-being and for you to receive the blessings of God.  Keep following me here:

1 Peter 3:17  “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” — We are told here that we should do the right thing (“well doing”) even if it means that we suffer for it.

Mark 3:35  For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. — If we do the will of God as it is spelled out, we act as the family of Jesus.  What better blessing can there be than that?

2 Corinthians 8:5  “And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.” — Putting themselves last, they first gave themselves to the Lord as is the will of God.  If we do this, we will be more willing to put others before ourselves and therefore receive the blessing.

Ephesians 6:6  “Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;” — If we do the will of God from the heart, with the right spirit, we are the servants of Christ.  Because we are doing it in the right spirit, we are doing it for God rather than so that others can see us and we can receive the glory of men for it.

1 Thessalonians 4:3  “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:” — Staying away from fornication is just another way to do the will of God.

1 Thessalonians 5:18  “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” — It is the will of God that we give thanks – even if things don’t go the way that we want them to go.  Remember that God has a master plan for our lives that we don’t know about.  Every time that something goes “wrong”, it might be an inconvenience to us, but in reality, it prepares us to be able to serve Him in another area, another time. Give thanks, always!

Hebrews 10:36  “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” — Patience is required.  God’s timing is perfect regardless what we think it should be or not, He knows what is best for us.  He promises to take care of us.  Give it to Him and let Him live out His promise.

1 Peter 2:15  “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:” — Remember that when you are doing the will of God, the other “men” are the ignorant and foolish ones – not you!  Don’t worry about what they might say about you or do to you.

1 Peter 4:2  “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” — The “flesh” is the lusts of men — the desires to live in sin and the sin nature that we, as Christians, have sworn off — we should live out the rest of our lives doing the will of God.

1 Peter 4:19  “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” — We are God’s, as Christians.  Therefore, as we suffer for doing the will of God we are to allow God to take care of us.

1 John 2:17  “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” — This goes with the previous verse:  the things of the world are only temporary and also the pleasure that is derived from doing the things of the world and those things will pass away – they are only pleasurable in this life – but, if we do the will of God, we will live forever with God in heaven.

Matthew 20:16  “So the last shall be first, and the first last:” — As we go through our lives and live for ourselves, putting ourselves first, the Bible here indicates that the first (or those who live for themselves as being first) will be the last, but those who live for others (putting themselves after others – last) will end up being first.  This can almost be a selfish thing to do.  If you live for others for yourself, you will not receive a reward, but rather, if you live for others in the right spirit, then you will receive the reward and thus become first.

1 Corinthians 10:31  “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” — As we are living for others and in the right spirit, we deflect the glory from ourselves and onto God.  He alone should receive the glory.

Philippians 4:8  “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” — I mentioned this verse earlier, but it comes into play here again, if we do all of these things and receive any “virtue” lavished onto ourselves, we are to give that virtue and any praise that might be given you, to Christ. This is similar to the wide receiver in a football game that receives a touchdown pass and kneels in the end zone and says a small prayer to show the fans that he is not taking the praise for the achievement but rather giving it to God.  This is not a show-off thing for him to do to make him look  better but rather he wants God to look better for allowing him and giving him the strength and ability to get that touchdown…

John 15:5  “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” We can do NOTHING without the power of God — even if a person isn’t a Christian, God has created them and has given them the ability to do whatever we/they do.  Without God, we are powerless!

I hope that with this list of verses, you can see that it is the will of God that we DO NOT live for ourselves, but rather for others.  We need to put this acronym into action:

J — Jesus
O — Others
Y — You

If you do things in this order you will experience true JOY.  It takes a lot of effort to do this and it really isn’t easy to start with, but once you start doing it, and in the right spirit, you will start seeing God’s blessings in your life and you will have more happiness than you have ever experienced before.

Teens reading this:
If you start living like this, your parents will think that an alien has taken their child.  If you do things when they ask you to do them — “Delayed obedience is disobedience”; “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1, Colossians 3:20) — you will be doing the will of God in this regard and will notice that the air in your house will be much easier to breathe.  Your parents will not believe it is you.

If you are a new Christian and start living like this, you will be living as God wants you to live and you will make your parents wonder what it is that makes the difference in your life and that will give you the opportunity to share the gospel with them as well.  If they see no difference in you, you may never see them in heaven with you.

©2013 Mark Davis

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Doors

Until God opens the next door for you,
praise Him in the hallways!

— Unknown

©2013 Mark Davis

How has God blessed you in the hallways?  I’d love to hear about it.  It’s just us Christians here… we all know that it happens.  Let us in on it.  Waiting to hear from you.

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