Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
November 17, 2013
The most important person I have ever met
I have met hundreds of people during my lifetime. Many wonderful people have blessed me. But one day I met the most important person in the world and the difference he has made in my life is absolutely amazing.
I had heard about him at my mother’s knee. She read Bible stories to me when I was small. She talked about him as though she knew him.
I heard about him in Sunday School. My folks thought church was important so they left me crying in the nursery when I was a baby. We went to church every Sunday, rain or shine.
In church the preacher talked about him. As a child I squirmed a lot on the pew but I learned to sit still so Dad would stop thumping me on the head. Mama and Daddy were serious about sitting still in church. Sometimes Daddy sat so still that he went to sleep and Mama would punch him in the ribs.
Years went by and then one day in church I heard him call my name and he really got my attention. I was ashamed of my sins but I heard him calling me to come to him so he could forgive me. The preacher said he would cleanse my heart and I wanted him to do that. To my amazement he did it and I felt clean inside for the first time in my life.
After that initial meeting I began meeting him again and again. I met him when I began to question the purpose of my life and I felt him call me to preach. I met him when I pledged my life to my sweetheart Dean in holy matrimony.
I met him when our first child was born – and again when that son died. He made me glad to be a father. When David died he gave me comfort and healing for my sorrow.
Later as a pastor I met him in brokenness. I was empty, drained and weary of “church work.” I confessed my need for the Holy Spirit to take over my life and he graciously filled me with the presence of his Spirit. I suddenly had spiritual energy I had only dreamed about before. I felt his power within me.
I met him when my marriage was falling apart and he healed our broken relationship and gave us a new beginning.
I met when our sons were living in sin and ignoring the faith they had learned as children. He forgave me for my failures as a father and filled me with compassion and forgiveness for my children.
I met him when my children, and grandchildren, were baptized and consecrated to him. I met him when my sister Laurida died, and when my father and mother slipped away to the other side. Every time he touched me and met my need, despite my unworthiness.
I met him hundreds of times when praying for people who were weary of emptiness and ready for God to cleanse and change their hearts.
Of all the people I have met, none has meant more to me than the one I call Master, my dearest friend, my Savior and Lord, Jesus the Christ. He is by far the greatest person I have ever met. I owe everything to him and every day I thank him for coming into my life. He has done so much for me that I want to serve him as long as I have breath.
If you have not met him, I urge you to get to know him. + + +