Fifty-nine—and a half

Six months ago, I turned 59. Of all those years I have spent 43 as a Christian. God and the church have been very good to me. I have met the best of people in the Lord’s church, and, admittedly, I have met some who have had a very long way to go—but I have been one of those, too. I never suffered from meaningless doubts. God is real to me. I have always believed that nothing makes sense without Jesus. So, having read Paul’s words in Philippians 3:10 many, many times, I have wondered at the depth of meaning that Paul placed upon them. What do they mean for me in my years (Lord willing) to come? With him I say: “I want to know Christ.” Going beyond the superficiality of my inherited beliefs and traditions. To a faith that goes on to see “the power of his resurrection.” Understanding that no resurrection means that Jesus was a lunatic. But that his rising means he is Saviour. Proving his divine power over life and death—His and ours. He is alive and giving me life here and in eternity. That to be a Christian is to experience “the fellowship of Jesus’ sufferings.” Jesus suffered opposition and abuse to bring the saving gospel to all. As I go, I want to have the passion of Christ, so that the persecutions of man will not stop me from preaching. How do I live my life “being conformed to His death”? His death was all about my sin. The soul that sins dies—unless someone is willing and able to die for me. Jesus did! At 16 I accepted Jesus’ offer of forgiveness. I repented of my sins. I confessed him as Lord and Saviour. And I had my sins washed away as Peter Craig plunged me under the waters of baptism. My body became the temple of the Holy Spirit as he transferred me from the devil’s dark kingdom into the kingdom of Christ—His church. Here’s to speaking a good word for Jesus for another 59 and a half years.

johnstaiger1@gmail.com

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