A Thought about 50 Years Ago (Fall 1973)

Fifty years ago, my family moved homes, and that move required us to go to a new school district. Frankly, I was a 12 year-old-brat about it, and I let my parents know of my disapproval. Needless to say, my complaints didn’t change a thing. Against my opposition, we moved anyway—and I would later learn that God had a plan all along. 

That point in my life, I had never owned or read a Bible. I could not have told you who Adam and Eve were. I suspect, actually, that I had little real knowledge about Jesus. Following Him was far from my mind. 

But, God loved me. In fact, He loved me so much that He raised up a seventh-grade classmate who introduced me to Jesus. In the fall of 1973, my friend told me for the first time about the Redeemer. Here’s the way I described his approach in another book:

I first heard about Christ when God planted in my seventh-grade classroom a crazy, fanatical 12-year-old Pentecostal preacher whose goal that year was to win me to the Lord. His approach was simple: he met me at the classroom door each morning and told me, “Chuck, it’s a good thing you lived through the night.” He would then continue, “If you hadn’t, you’d be in hell right now. But you can receive Jesus into your heart right now.” His technique was suspect, but somewhere in the midst of that message God drove truth into my heart, and my life has never been the same.[1]

Fifty years ago, a classmate who barely knew me—but who knew Jesus—introduced me to the Redeemer. It would be year after I first heard the story before I turned to Christ, but my life has never been the same. Indeed, I can say with the psalmist, “I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous abandoned or his children begging for bread” (Psa 37:35). 

Let me give you a challenge today. Take some time to remember/meditate on these things: 

  • the circumstances God used to draw you to Him
  • the people God placed in your life to tell you the gospel
  • the patience God showed you as He awaited your repentance and belief
  • the care God has given you since then. 

Start this workweek with a heart of gratitude.


[1] Brad J. Waggoner and E. Ray Clendenen, Calvinism (B&H Publishing Group). Kindle Edition.

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