Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Reason I Believe

There are a lot of reasons I could give credit for the fact that I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  I was fortunate enough to be born into a Christian family. My mother taught me to pray as a child.  I went to church with my mother and father and Mema Cameron growing up.  I also attended Bible School at several churches.  I was involved with the youth group at Barbecue Presbyterian Church.  There were people all around me that supported the fact that I was committed to church even as a young man.  But although all of these reasons were influences, none of them are the reason for my faith.

The story of Jesus Christ is personally the greatest historical recount that I know.  Jesus was born both in controversy and celebration.  A king wanted him dead even as a baby but the wise men knew he was the Savior. He was aware of his relationship to the world even as a child.  Most of the years of Jesus are undocumented and we aren’t sure of all of the facts during that part of his life.  Of course, we know the last short time of his life and how he died.  Through the Bible and understanding of God’s word, we know why he died…..for you and for me, so that we can spend eternity with him if we accept him as our Lord and Savior. 

It breaks my heart to think about what he went through.  For someone to do good their whole life, to help others, to heal the sick, share wisdom, help the destitute and teach people around him to do good and be kind to others is truly a blessing.  Then for that person to be accused of blasphemy, mocked, ridiculed, publicly humiliated, found guilty, beaten, tortured, and executed simply because people in power were afraid of him is heartbreaking.  To think that Jesus endured all of that to save the very people doing it, and all of us, is extremely humbling to me.  Although the Bible and all of the significant stories that shaped Christianity gives us a lot of answers, and a guide to follow, it is not the reason for my faith.

There are a number of influences in my life that have encouraged my spiritual growth. The real reason for my faith is something that has always been within me.  As a child, I could feel the presence of God.  My mother would warn me that if I did certain things, I would make Jesus cry.  Even as a child, I NEVER wanted to make Jesus cry!  I don’t just feel drawn to God during critical or challenging times.  I am drawn to God when things seem to be going great.  But I will admit, during my lowest points in life, when I have felt helpless and could not see light at the end of the tunnel, I could feel the presence of God like I cannot explain.  It wasn’t wishful thinking or unrealistic hope.  Whenever I’ve been faced with difficult circumstances, I have felt peace that everything would be alright.  I have never felt forsaken by God at any time in my life.  I have been hurt, and regretted that I did not have better answers, but I did not feel like God had left me. 

A year ago, my family was supporting my Mother as she battled cancer.  The situation was difficult, it was grueling for her physically and emotionally.  I know there were time when she did not feel like she could go on.  But I personally believe what helped her through was so many people praying for her. A year later, the cancer is gone and she is feeling much better.  During that time, I always felt like God was with us. There are many of our friends and family battling difficult circumstances this year.  I would encourage all of you to keep Lacy O’Quinn, Drew Blalock, Brandy Currin Thomas, and Gabe Langdon’s family in your thoughts and prayers this Christmas.  All of these families are dealing with difficult circumstances and the least we can do is love, support, and pray for them.

        I am not sure why I can feel the presence of God as strong as I can sometimes.  However, I am grateful that I can.  I believe that it’s one of the reasons that I love Christmas so much.  I believe in the story of Jesus Christ with all of my heart.  I hope all of you have time to spend with family, friends, and love ones during Christmas.  Take the time to tell your friends and family just how much they mean to you.  You just never know what circumstances may exist before next Christmas. 

             May God bless all of you and I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!!!