I love Jesus of Nazareth with all of my heart; and without reservation, I entrust my life to Him. I struggle daily to yield my life to the Holy Spirit. I want to draw closer and closer to God, becoming a vessel of honor for my Father in Heaven.
I had claimed Jesus’ name, but not followed Him. I believed He would care for my soul in eternity; but I did not have the kind of mountain moving faith that Jesus promised could change the world for Him. With important exceptions, I was “good enough”; and from time to time, I worked at church. But the Holy Spirit was not present in my life. No one could see Jesus as a major factor in my life. If they saw me as a moral, ethical and compassionate person, there was no reason for them to suppose that Christ had anything to do with it.
After fifty years as a Christian and thirty-six as a deacon, prayer became important to me. A church member invited me to Monday morning prayer meetings. Soon, I had made a commitment to prayer, and before long, I was serving as prayer ministry coordinator. I came to be on speaking terms with God. He listens to me; and I work hard at understanding Him. I plead with the Holy Spirit to take control of my life. I pray daily that my actions will be blessings for Jesus.
My life is more complete than ever, and I know that the Holy Spirit is working. Two necessities have become apparent to me. First, I must begin to actively and consistently witness to the lost, most especially in my own community. Second, I need to help churches understand that their primary responsibility is to teach and lead their people to worship their Father in Heaven with all of their heart, and to bring their community to Jesus.
Prayer, discipleship, evangelism and self-sacrifice must become the sum and substance of church. Regular references to these matters and routine activities will simply not suffice if churches are to become a part of the solution. There needs to be a growing number of deliberate acts of deemphasizing sermons, music, recreation, facilities, and professional clergy. Continued focus on sustaining and growing particular churches is surely a distraction.
As for becoming an active witness to the lost, I start from the beginning. With God’s help, I will begin to speak with all sorts of people about their physical and spiritual needs, inclinations and commitments. I will tell them what Jesus has done for me, and for others. I will urge them to consider His works and His words, and then make a commitment to Him. I will look for people to go with, and I will look for people to go with me.