Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I wanna be In the Light and a Sold Out Believer
Lyrics | DC Talk Lyrics | In The Light Lyrics
Today is a very special day in my life. Well, not this day in particular, but this date in history in 1994. On this day, April 7, 1994, I gave my life to Christ. While some say this date is not important because it’s what you do with it afterwards, it culminated a long journey to it and began the journey of a new direction after that. I thought about sharing that story again today, but if you really want to read it, I’ll refer you to the page with this link:
However, I do agree that the salvation story means more if you do something with it after you get saved. Salvation isn’t the end. It isn’t enough just to have fire insurance. Honestly, I’m thankful for every one of you that have accepted Christ and will be with me in heaven. But Jesus gave us a Great Commisson in the final chapter of Matthew to go unto all the world and make disciples. That means that we’re supposed to pass on the message that means so much to us.
The video choice is a live performance of a band that helped me on the journey to salvation, DC Talk. I’m glad that after 15 years, I might get a chance to thank Toby Mac in person when I go to Agapefest on May 1-2. The song is In The Light and it’s what we’re called to be once we are saved and changed. We are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. That means the change in us is supposed to have an effect that everyone else can see.
If I could’ve found a version of another song, I might have chosen it though. Clay Crosse does a song on his Stained Glass CD called Sold Out Believer. That’s the kind of Christian I so want to be. I want to be sold out for Christ all the time.
In 15 years of living the life, I have been criticized in so many ways because of my walk, it almost makes me laugh now. There are times it’s very serious and people are right to call me out. Other times, it’s someone getting their panties in a bunch because they’re view of Christianity and my view of Christianity aren’t exactly the same. I take it seriously because of one other verse in the Bible that tells me that my actions, even if correct and right, should not cause a brother (or sister, for that matter) to stumble.
I admit, rather matter of fact, that in the first six years of my walk, I had no idea (really!) what to walk with Christ meant. I heard what the pastors and those that were mentors in my life were saying and I tried more to not do what they were telling me was sin than I ever was trying to get in relationship with Christ. Truthfully, I was living old school, Old Testament in fact. As long as I wasn’t breaking church and/or godly laws, I felt I was doing a good job.
Then I came to Florida and it all changed. I met people who helped shape the person I am today. Not that those who were in my sphere of influence weren’t trying in those first six years, it’s just I didn’t get it. My friend Kevin Hess gets upset with me when I learn something that he and my friends from West Virginia were trying to teach me. He says something like, “Do you know how many times I’ve tried to tell you that (or someone else, too)? Do you listen to me? Noooooo! You move a thousand miles away and then you listen to total strangers tell you what we’ve been saying.” The sad truth is he is exactly right. But don’t all of us have people have friends like this in our lives. They try to lead us along right and we don’t listen. I call myself remedial at times. I’m a smart guy of better than average intelligence, but I was slow to listen as I got older because I thought I knew better.
I lived a spiritual high helping everyone I could in Florida and I made a difference, the best I could hope for. But after two years of being a difference maker for Christ, I got tired. I also got lonely. I wanted to love someone as much as Jesus loved me. I have plenty of people that tell me to be careful what I pray for because I just might get it. And boy howdy, did I. I met my wife Mindy at the church on March 24, 2002. My wife asked me why I am so good with dates. It’s connecting things. This one wasn’t hard however. The day before, my great aunt Agnes passed away and my family had to go to West Virginia for the funeral. I stayed behind because I had just started at Public Bank and couldn’t get away.
Anyhow, as we got closer, my time became tighter, for two reasons. I was working with the teens when I met her and I took on the singles ministry while we were together. Then, we decided to get married. Trying to fit three other items on top of a job got hard. Then we made the decision to move for her job. Instantly, the critics began. I was out of God’s will and why should I give up two thriving ministries for marriage. I was told I sold out, not directly, but it was heavily, heavily implied. I sold out Jesus for love. Don Williams wrote a song called “Looking For Love In All the Wrong Places” and the funniest thing of it all was that I found that love in the church.
So did I sell out Jesus? After carrying that demon of a question mark for years, I finally came to terms that yes, I probably did. However, I ask myself one thing in that sellout; did I leave the will of God? Truthfully, I’m not really sure. For those that argue that God can make up for getting out of His will, then I might be a prime example. I’ve been blessed in the past six plus years of marriage. It hasn’t always been easy, but I have a wife that has begun to show me the love that I always wanted. We have three awesome children that I would never exchange. I live in a town that I’ve grown to like, thanks mostly to finding the church home that we were probably intended for from the beginning of our move here to Effingham.
In those years, six in May, God has shown me uncountable love and grace. He’s taught me life lessons that even though I am not a pastor running a large congregation, I can still make that difference. When I was ready to cash in, he gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. He took one of the things that I’m greatest at and gave me a new chance to present the gospel to people. Even though, the schedule might still be crazy, at least I can still sit down at this little laptop and give Jesus the praise.
Jesus gave me One Man Revival. The revival began with me. Honestly, it probably started with Him over 2000 years ago. He’s just given me the honor to be one man in an internet revival. He’s allowed me to touch people that I thought might have long forgotten who I was. Some of them did. It was the message that I brought that made them give me a look. That’s probably what I am most grateful for. He’s allowed me to do what One Man Revival was intended to do; reach one heart at a time. Thank you Jesus.
So where does it bring me on April 7, 2009? It brings me to want to be a Sold Out Believer.
I gotta give my all
Don’t wanna go half way
I got to show my love
Don’t have to be afraid
Gotta lay it on the line
Workin’ overtime believer
But let me tell you how I feel
I believe His love can heal
Yeah, I know what he did was real
And it’s something I’ve been dyin’ for
I wanna be a sold out believer
I wanna follow my Lord completely
I don’t wanna waste another day
I gotta love Him all the way
I want to be a sold out believer!
I love you guys!