In His Steps

Do you remember the time and place where you encountered Jesus for the first time? I was a preacher’s kid and I literally grew up around churches – I was told when I was a young child I used to be such a Daddy’s boy that when my Dad got up to preach I would run down the aisle, only to be intercepted by the equivalent of the chairman of the Church Council in the front pew – where I would sit for the remainder of the service.

I don’t really have recollections of church until I was about 5 – when my father was a student minister at Newtown Mission in Sydney…but from that time on I can remember significant times, places and people who were instrumental in my journey in following Jesus’ steps. Once such event happened when I was about 10, when my father was in the Orange Methodist Circuit – when one Sunday night we had a visiting evangelist come and preach…the church was packed and I still remember him giving a challenge to follow Jesus and invited people to come forward during the singing of “Just as I am.”

I remember shuffling down the front and having the preacher ask me ‘why I had come forward?’ I was so nervous I couldn’t say anything…but when he asked me if I wanted to have Jesus in my life, I said ‘yes’. How happy I was that night that I had made a commitment to follow Jesus. How much work had been done prior to that night to lay a foundation? From an early age my parents had laid a foundation for loving God and for living out the Bible…many people had helped me along my way- but when I made a public stand for Jesus – something solidified in by belief.

Now, as a child I understood enough of this to say yes to Jesus.

I understood something of God’s love…

I understood that he cared for me, not matter how big or small I was…

I understood that I was small – and that I needed God’s help to deal with my problems…

I knew that I needed to say sorry…and to ask for Jesus to help me – invite him to begin to make some changes…

We may belittle such a childlike response to the gospel – but the fact is Jesus doesn’t care how much we know; how much we have; how important we may be in the eyes of others…he only cares that we follow the example of the little children and come to him with an open and trusting heart and a willingness to respond to his love and his great gift…

It’s not childish to have faith – it’s childlike. It’s not foolish to take Jesus at his word…it’s wise. God does have a wonderful plan for all of our lives…and no matter what twists and turns await we are assured that we are not alone on this journey. So let never tire of following Jesus!

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