January 17, 2019

Pastoral Nuggets: The Stories of My Life 3 — Meeting Jesus

As I stated in an earlier column, “God tends to work in my life through cataclysmic, over the top means and blessings.

He leaves very little room for me to misunderstand what He is doing!” The same is true regarding my salvation experience.

For the first sixteen years of my life I was raised in a traditional, quiet, Southern Baptist Church. Everything was done decently and in order.

As far back as I can remember, momma was the pianist/organist/Sunday School teacher, and daddy was a deacon. When it came to church attendance, I had two choices: whupped or non-whupped. But make no mistake about it; I was going to church! In fact, the day I was born I could have received a nine-month perfect attendance award. I didn’t know Jesus, but I knew church!

Somewhere around sixteen years of age I began to rebel against everything momma and daddy had instilled in me. I began to experiment with alcohol, drugs, and anything else you can imagine. Let’s just say that I went down a dark road and leave it at that.

During that time in my life, I became a member of the house band for a local nightclub. We planned to practice on a Sunday afternoon. However, my bass guitar amplifier was torn up. So, I called and asked a buddy about borrowing his. He said, “Sure; on one condition – you attend church with me tonight.” I agreed. (But had no intention of attending.)

Later that afternoon when he and his brothers came to pick me up for church, I began to fuss and say that I wasn’t going. My daddy heard me and asked, “Didn’t you promise them you would go with them?” I said, “Yes sir.” He then asked a question that stung me badly. He asked, “Don’t you think it’s time you learn to be a man of your word?” I got up and made my way to their car – hurt, mad, and pouting!

When we arrived at the church, the sign outside said it was a “Baptist” church. I soon discovered that was a lie. It was, for all intent and purposes, a Holiness church.

Shortly after they started singing, an elderly lady stood and began to shout. Then another joined her, and another, and then another. I thought to myself, “Oh God, I’m in one of those churches!” I watched as they cut-up for a while! I told God if He’d just get me out of there safely one time that He would never have to do it again!

About halfway through that service God began to deal with my heart.  He asked, “Aaron, you think these people are crazy, don’t you?” I said, “I sure do!” He replied, “Aaron, they aren’t crazy. They just have something you know absolutely nothing about.  They have a personal relationship with Me.”

The pastor, whom I had never met, stood and gave an altar call. He stated, “I don’t do this except God prompts me. But on the authority of God, there are three people here tonight that if you died right now – hell would be your eternal home.

In fact, God has made you so plain to me, that if He would allow me, I could place my hand on your shoulder.” I didn’t know who the other two were, but I knew who one of them was. And it was me!

That night, I made my way to an old-fashioned altar and made my peace with God. I didn’t turn over a new leaf, rededicate my life, or decide to become a better person.  I gave all of me to all of Him! I got radically saved. My life has never been the same – nor do I want it to be!

I wonder – do you have a similar story where you made your peace with God?

Brother Aaron

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