There was a murderer. A man of power and status. He killed in the name of God, but he missed the mark. He didn’t understand (if understanding is the right term.) He was killing the children of God and God met him on a road to Damascus. His name was Saul. We know him by the name God gave him, Paul. God met him where he was at and gave him into the hands of those he persecuted. And everything changed. For he was blind but God opened his eyes.
There was a slave trader. A man just trying to get by. He sold thousands in the name of money, but when his own life was at stake, he plead for mercy. He was forced to call out to God in the midst of the storm. His name was John Newton. He is known for his poem, “Amazing Grace.” He met God in his need. He didn’t change over night, but he helped bring about the end of the slave trade in England. And He changed. For God saved a wretch like him.
There was a fisherman. A man of nothing special. He was a younger brother and a son of a fisherman. He was hungry for something, and followed John the Baptist. ThenGod came and said follow me. He said let me get my brother, and followed him. His name was John. The youngest of the Apostles. The only one who stood watching Jesus on the cross, and the only disciple to not die by persecution. We know him as the author of the books of John, 1st John, 2nd John, 3rd John, and Revelation. For God called him and he was called The Disciple Jesus loved.
There was a slave. A man taken from his home as a child. He lived among his captors. God reached out and healed his heart. After going back to England for a time, he went back to his enslavers with mercy. We know him as Saint Patrick. The man who brought Christianity to Ireland. Ireland became a nation of prayer and intersession for hundreds of years during Europe’s later “Dark Ages.” For God so loved Ireland, he sent his son back to them.
There was a professor. He was angry at God for not existing. He had been an atheist since the age of 15 and had fought in The Great War. Then God stated to reach in to his life through his friends. His name was C. S. Lewis. He is known as one of the greatest authors of the Twentieth Century. He wrote the Chronicles of Narnia as well as numerous Christian writings. Many of which are from radio broadcasts he did during World War II. He was a man transformed by a relationship with God.
There was a person who was afraid, named Gideon. There was a foreigner and widow, named Ruth. There was a fool, named Samson. There was a child king, named Josiah. There was a cup bearer, named Nehemiah. A twelfth son, named David. So on and so forth.
So, what is the point? The point is this Christianity is not a belief system. God doesn’t just sit and watch from a distant place, he is intimately involved in our lives. He is not waiting to smite us and doesn’t just let bad things happen. He doesn’t allow evil to punish us. God take us as we are, when we let him, and kills the fake us we are and releases the real us that he made us to be. Christianity is a death sentence to the you that you were and a total transformation into the REAL you through an intimate relationship with the creator and author of you. Learning to love God, because you learn to feel his love. A complete release of the heart you so desperately tried to hide. This is not about works or rules. The bible says that the law, brought death because we couldn’t follow it, but life came through Christ caring the punishment you earned on the cross.
I once asked a good friend if she wanted to change. ME, a coward and a failure in my own eyes. She said yes. Over about a year, she went to church and did a youth camp. However, the change happened when she decided to read the bible I gave her. Her life changed because God touched her. It is the best ten dollars I have ever spent. She is already traveled to world as a missionary and is currently in bible school. I am not bragging, I am boasting in God’s greatness. He is big enough to be able to use you and me, and He is good enough that he will. These stories I have told are all true, and the illustrate why I can say with confidence that I am going to Japan again. Because God isn’t done with Japan. God isn’t done with me. And God always fulfills his promises. What has he told you?
Where are you going?
How will you get there?
Why are you going?