As I get older, I think a lot about my memories of my childhood...especially since I've been writing this blog. For many years, my Mom and Dad didn't go to church. My Dad and my uncle "Bud" would take turns each Sunday taking my cousins and me to church and dropping us off before Sunday school (just us girls...the boys didn't go...don't ask me why!!!) They would pick us back up after the church service. I can still remember exactly where they would park....not in the church parking lot, but across the little road in the gravel. We never went to church on Sunday nights. When I got saved at the age of 11....as all good Baptists do....well, used to do....the entire congregation would come around and give you "the right hand of Christian fellowship"!!! I got saved on a Sunday morning and the members came around and shook my hand and asked us to come back on Sunday evening so they could do it again. I went home so happy for what had happened and told Mom and Dad that they wanted us to come back that night. They didn't go on Sunday nights, but I thought they would for this special occasion...I can remember all day being so excited...that was 42 years ago, but I can still remember standing in a certain place in our living room thinking about going back to church that night...but...it didn't happen. :(
I was so disappointed...what eleven year old wouldn't have been?!?! But, I am so grateful that Mom and Dad thought it was important that I be in church and made sure that I got there every Sunday!! I truly appreciate that!! But...in my young mind....I thought that going back that night and shaking hands again was a part of me being saved. Of course, that had nothing to do with my salvation...that was....and still is....between me and the Lord, not me and the Lord and the rest of the world. I have remained saved...saved from "what" you might ask, if you don't understand salvation....saved from the death that I deserve...saved from going to hell!!! My precious Savior's death on the cross saved me from the awful death that I really deserve. Because I did those simple ABC's....Admitted my sin....Believed that Jesus died for me on the cross...and Confessed my sins to God....I became one of those who could go around and give others who accepted Him the right hand of Christian fellowship!!! Have I always remained faithful to God and lived like I should...no I haven't...but God has always been the faithful one...to take me back into His loving arms when I admit that I have done wrong!!! Does this mean that you can get "saved", then just go out and live in sin because God will take you back?!?!? This is my belief...if you are truly saved, you will not have the desire to live in sin any longer...you will be so overjoyed for what Christ did for you that you will want to do everything you can to have a closer, deeper relationship with Him.
One more thing...I went thru a period in my life that I just knew that the sermons I heard were for anybody but me...I would sit there thinking "I sure hope he/she is listening to his because he/she REALLY needs it"!!! I guess that's a bit funny now...but...I've come to realize that sometimes we do know of somebody who is going thru a certain situation and if they are in church with us, then the message is probably something they can take and apply to their life. But........I have also come to realize.......I need to listen closely to every message...there is something said that is just for me...or why would I be there at that certain time and place and God speaking thru the pastor, teacher, etc...if I didn't need to hear it?????
So...enough said...gotta go get ready myself....have a wonderful Lord's Day!!!
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Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.