by pastor david
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
December 6th is a very special day for me. If you have heard me preach for very long you will recall my mentioning December 6, 1959 as my birthday. Oh, it’s not my physical birthday but my spiritual birthday.
You see, on Sunday evening December 6, 1959, at the Welch Ave. Free Will Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio, after the pastor’s sermon, I walked down the aisle and knelt at the altar. Since the previous Sunday, God had been convicting and convincing my heart that I was a sinner and needed a Savior. No one prayed with me (although my mother knelt beside me and prayed but never said a word). No one shared the Romans Road or the Four Spiritual Laws or anything else for that matter. It was just the Lord and I.
I remember distinctly the prayer I prayed that cold, winter night, while my mother prayed and the congregation sang, “Just As I Am”. Over and over I repeated, “God forgive me! Please forgive me!” It was that simple, because I knew I was a sinner and in need of His forgiveness.
After a few minutes, my mother and I stood and the music stopped. It was then that the Pastor did something I didn’t expect. He asked, “David, do you have a testimony you would like to give?” I was eight years old! What would I have to say? But spontaneously, without having ever given it a thought, I found myself saying through my joyful sobs, “I’m glad I’m a Christian and I want you to pray for my brother that he would get saved too”.
Since then God has fulfilled His promise in the verse sited above. He has been faithful to keep me safe in His arms and to continue His work in me, even during the times that I was not faithful to Him. He kept His promise to “never leave me nor forsake me” (Hebrews 13:5) and to “supply all my needs according to His riches in glory” (Philippians 4:19). His work of sanctification is still going on today, as He helps me grow in my relationship with Christ each day.
You might ask, “But how did you know that Christ had indeed come to live in your heart and life?” That’s a good question. As I ponder the answer, two thoughts come to mind.
Very often, I allow my mind to take me back to that cold winter night – not because I am entertaining doubt but to remember and rejoice in what God did for me; and is still doing for, in, and through me. One day, I will thank the Lord face to face for His magnificent gift of salvation.
By the way, Christians back in those days took professions of faith very seriously. About four or five weeks later, in the middle of January in Ohio, I was baptized in the Olentangy River that runs along The Ohio State University. Maybe that’s why am I still an Ohio State fan. “Was it cold?” you ask. Well, let’s just say that God didn’t perform any thermal miracles that day. Yes, it was cold! We didn’t have to break the ice as some used to do but ice formed on my clothes on the way back to the car!
What God did for that little eight-year-old boy fifty-eight years ago set me on a course that I would never have found on my own. I am rejoicing today in God’s awesome gift of justification and sanctification. I’m thankful that Christ saves us from the penalty of past sins, the power of present sins, and will one day save us from the presence, propensity, and possibility of sin.
Rejoice with me as I celebrate my spiritual birthday and think back to the day you came to know Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:12)
Pastor David Boggs
I hope these occasional posts will encourage and challenge you as we grow in Christ together.
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