Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Today, Yesterday and Forever

I went to this man's house one day, we'll just call him Mr. Barney. When I arrived at his house he told me that two minutes ago, his wife was walking out of a local Christian chicken restaurant and fell. She hurt her knee and bruised up her face. They rushed her to the emergency room right away. What a great segway into talking about health insurance.

Anyway, we sat for about an hour and talked about insurance and life. He was a pastor and was fixing to go on a little tour speaking to some churches in the Northwestern United States. We talked some more two days later when I had to return to collect his wife's application for insurance

A few days ago he came into Walmart. He had taken his wife to physical therapy for her cracked knee cap and was killing time. So, when he saw that I was here, he sat, and we talked. I asked him how he became a Christian. As this almost 73 year old man, who was healthy and had his mind about him, retold the story of how he came to accept the grace and forgiveness, peace and joy of Christ his Savior, at the ripe age of 13, 60 years ago, his eyes filled up with tears. This man was in love with my Jesus.

I can identify with the emotions this man has, because when I tell of my salvation story, I am reminded of the love God has for me, and how He sought me out when I was lost and powerless, and changed the course of my life. He saved me and put me in His hands.

Tonight, Laura and I went to a Bible study like Breakaway, and we sang a song by David Crowder. Here are some of the lyrics:

You are more beautiful
Than anyone ever
Everyday You're the same
You never change, no never
And how could I deny
The love of my Savior
You are to me everything
All I need forever
There is no one like You
There has never been anyone like You
There is no one like You
There has never been anyone like You
Where this all comes together is that, while I was singing this song, I thought of Mr. Barney. He loved the same God and Jesus that I did. This 73 year old man was not religious, or a self-righteous, legalistic Baptist, so typical of South Carolina. This man had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and that was the only thing that mattered to Him.
He had the same Jesus I have.
With this worship song and my talk with Mr. Barney I understood in a new way, in a way I had trouble articulating in words to Laura at Sonic after our Bible study, that God is the same today, yesterday, and forever. Mr. Barney is coming to the end of his time proclaiming the glory, love and salvation of Jesus. He is 73 years old and still going strong preaching the good news. Maybe one way I could put it is, just because Mr. Barney is a 73 year old man, and I am 25 we both have an intimate relationship with Jesus. Jesus isn't fresh to me simply because I'm young. With some old people Jesus seems small, religious and crusty, but that isn't the case with Mr. Barney.
The TRUE Gospel, meant to save souls, from the lips of Mr. Barney has not tarnished one bit, it is as fresh as a cold cup of Brita water from the fridge, when you are parched in the mouth. No credit to Mr. Barney, do not let me get you side tracked on crusty old people. My point is the freshness throughout the ages of the Gospel. And, the reason we have this freshness is for lost people who do not know God. From generation to generation the pure and simple Gospel message never rots, never ages like old bananas or moldy bread. It is like crystal clear, fresh, cold Brita water....forever.
All this to point to the freshness of the pure and simple Gospel and it's never aging ability to go from generation to generation.


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