Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Tale of Mercy

Today, I want to share my personal testimony with all of you.  The month of July 1974 was a pivotal time in my life.  I was shown three acts of mercy and grace which began a transformation in my life.   Most of us have heard that being idle is the devil's workshop.  I am living proof of this.  Before I came to Christ, I found myself in trouble.  I was a rebellious young teenager; a problem child.  Perhaps I was just a child with problems I did not know how to handle. 

For some reason, I broke into an establishment and did a fair amount of vandalism.  I wish I could say what motivated me to do this but all I remember was being bored.  Being bored with life at thirteen years of age is not good.  The Sheriff's Deputy put me in the back of his car and was going to carry me to jail.  My mom pleaded with him not to take me there and finally he relented to her wishes.  This was the first act of mercy that month.  I had never been in trouble with the law before and now I had a trial date coming up.  This consumed me with fear and worry but I couldn't say I didn't deserve it.  I knew what I deserved was reform school.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 4:16)

While I was waiting for trial, I went to visit my relatives in Georgia.  My dad had four unmarried sisters who shared a house there and I went to stay with them for a week that summer.  All of them were devout Christians and in my mind this was going to be a drag.  It turned out to be a life-changing visit.  I was there because they were having Vacation Bible School.  One night after service I told one of my aunts I felt a stirring inside of me whenever the preacher would give the invitation.  I asked her why this was happening.  She began to share the Gospel with me in a way I understood.  When she asked me if I wanted to receive Christ as Savior, I said,  "yes."  She went slowly and patiently helping me to get everything just right.  I literally felt a weight lifted off me when I finished praying.  I had been born again but did not know just what it all meant yet.  I had been granted mercy from God, the highest source of power known.

When I got home I still had to go to court.  My prayers were from my heart but not polished.  I just prayed the best I could.  I went into court  and sat there while the charges were read against me.  My new conversion never played into this because I did not share it with the judge.  He asked me some questions and I answered as truthfully as I could. I was as guilty as I could be and there was no need to make things worse by lying.  He said normally he would send me to juvenile correction but he sensed I should be given a second chance.  He suspended the sentence to probation and let me go home.  I was very relieved but felt bad for what I had done.  For the third time in less than a month I had obtained mercy.  I had obtained grace.  I didn't deserve it any of those times.  Grace and mercy ruled that month because of the love God had for me.  He has the same love for you as well.

Father, thank you for your grace towards me.  Thank you for the mercy you have shown me.  I praise you for all you have done in my life since this time and I thank you for all you are still doing in my life.  I ask that you would bless the ones who read this and help them with any concern they may have in their lives today.  Help them to seek you first when they are having a problem.  I especially thank you for the one who decided to ask Jesus into their heart as Lord and Savior this week.  Strengthen him and put a hedge about him and his family.  Manifest your presence to his life in a mighty way.  Guide him to the place you want him to worship. Thank you for letting me tell him the truth.  May your name be praised forever!  I ask these things in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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