“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Ro. 5:8).
Today, I thought I should share how the LORD opened my eyes to His glorious grace in Christ. I was nine years old. I remember vividly what happened. I picked up a small gospel tract in my Dad’s study. My father is a Gospel Minister as well. He has been since before I was born. So being born in a pastor’s home, the seed of the Gospel was planted in my heart from a very young age. I loved going to church with my parents every Sunday and at any other time there was something going on at the church. I loved the daily family times of prayer which we used to have as a family throughout all the years, I was growing up at home. I loved to pray! I loved the Word of God! I loved the church! For the most part, I was a good kid (not perfect by any stretch of imagination). I was doing well in school and was well-behaved at home most of the time.
But one afternoon at age nine, I picked up this simple Gospel tract that talked about God’s love for the world; man’s sinfulness and the consequences of his sin; the uniqueness of Christ as the only One who is able to save sinners through His substitutionary death on the cross, and explained the necessity of faith in Christ for salvation. I understand as much as a nine-year old would about the Gospel. But however much or little, it was enough to convince me of my sin and misery and show me that I needed Christ to save me from eternal condemnation because of my sins.
At the end of this Gospel tract, there was written a sample prayer of confession to help anyone who had received conviction of their sins and wanted to place their faith in Jesus Christ and receive Him as the Lord and Savior of their lives. I memorized that prayer, closed my eyes and asked the Lord to save me. That was the beginning of my journey with the Lord (as far as I am concerned of course). I now understand many things that I did not understand then. The Lord had chosen to be one of His own in Christ before I was even born. The biggest change that took place in my life at that time was that I was given a deeper love for the Word of God. I would often come home from school and throw my books down and basically “lock” myself up in my room to read God’s Word. I still remember some of the passages that I read and wrestled with then. God’s Word took a hold of me in a way that nothing else had done until that time and since! Praise be to His Name!
Reflecting on this, a few things come to mind:
1. God is good! He saved me in spite of my sins. He saved me graciously through the sacrificial death of His Perfect/Sinless Son, Jesus Christ;
2. God is good! He gave me godly parents who consistently (though not perfectly) modeled the life of faith before me and my siblings and taught the Word of God from a very young age. They prayed (and still do) with us and for us to this very day.
3. God is good! I thank Him for those who cared enough about God’s glory and the salvation of sinners like me to write that simple Gospel tract which proved to be the means that the LORD used to open my eyes to the glorious of His grace in Christ. I will never meet these people in this life, but through their humble and perhaps thankless efforts, I found life in Christ! How can I not say “Thank you!” to the LORD for them? [A side note here is in order: I came to discover years later while in seminary that the Gospel tract that the LORD had used to bring me to faith was the famous Four Spiritual Laws. Now, that’s another story for another time. But without going into too much detail here, let me just say this: I am truly humbled by that and give hearty praise to God, the LORD of my salvation]!
4. God is good! I praise the LORD for the fact that my Dad always kept good literature floating around at home (he still does by the way). He loves to read good Christian books of various types. He taught me to love reading too (even though my reading habits are nowhere near his – he puts me to shame). But I am thankful that I picked up from him among other things, a love for books which have helped me get to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!
5. God is good! Last but not least, I thank Him for the many prayers that I know my parents have prayed for me and with me over the years! The LORD has been faithful and has answered those prayers. I am a living testimony of that! Praise the LORD! All this encourages me to pray for and with my own children now so that by the grace of God, I may pass on the legacy of faith (the rich heritage) which has been passed on to me.
May the Name of the LORD be praised forever and ever!