1 John 2:1-6
I believe God called me to Himself and saved me when I was 7 years old. It was December 26 – Boxing Day – A relaxed day. On that morning, my Mom and Dad were not up yet. But I got up and ended up in my sister’s room. She is 12 years older than me. So we had kind of a unique brother/sister relationship. She didn’t come and share her dating challenges with me when she was 16 and I was 4. Nor did she come into our sand box and join me in making heavy machinery sounds while I pushed my toys up and down the sand.
But we did have a good relationship which we enjoy to this day. We have drawn closer through sickness and death of first my father and then my mother. Betty has influenced me in many positive ways. On this morning when she saw me wandering around, despite my nickname for her of evil Betty, she invited me into her room. She asked me the question – “Tommy, have you ever received Jesus into your life as your Savior and Lord?” I had to think about that. I’d grown up going to church. We prayed at meals. I kind of prayed before bed. But had I ever prayed and asked Jesus in? No. So on that day, she explained to me why I needed to do that. She used something called the good news glove. It had five fingers and each one was a different color.
Yellow stood for God and His light. Black stood for my sin and darkness. Red stood for Jesus’ blood that paid for my sin. White stood for a life washed clean by Christ. Green symbolized a new life in Christ. Betty explained that I needed to receive Christ for that cleansing and start the green life – life in Christ. So I did or more accurately God did. He saved me and called me to Himself and applied all the benefits of salvation to my life.
Thus began my journey as a follower of Christ. One of my early struggles came with the question of assurance. Was I really a Christian? Did God hear my prayer that day? I still sinned so maybe I lost what I gained on that Boxing Day? So I kept on asking Jesus into my life over and over again – just to be sure. Years passed. We had a strong youth group and college/career in our church. So I found my primary peer group there. Many greatly influenced me in positive ways.