Tuesday, December 24, 2013
A Prayer from Indiana
This morning I was reading your Word in 2 Timothy 4, and read Paul's words to Timothy:
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
This reminded me of someone who seems to have gone down this very path. In another passage, in Hebrews 6, it speaks about knowing those who have been saved by whether they bear fruit or briars. And I remembered this friend mentioning in passing her "salvation moment", calling it "a mystical experience" but never further elucidating.
And I thought, if we are to have a testimony, should it not begin with our salvation moment- especially at the time of year we remember Your Son's manifestation on earth? For every one of us was born a "little Israel", having knowledge of You, but in the darkness until Jesus was born within us. Thus You dealt with me; I knew who You were, instructed in religion by Pharisees and scribes, until the moment a group of friends- my Angels- announced to me Jesus' coming birth. Led by common shepherds, You drew me to the manger.
The darkness on the land, for me, was like a chorus of demons, calling me, screaming at me, telling me I was their slave. It was not just faith, but their oppression that drove me to my knees. I was at the bottom of what I would be. But then, I called out to you, and a voice bid me step into the manger. And there Jesus was born, within my heart, and the demon-darkness rose like a curtain from over me, never to rule me again. Nothing "mystic", lightning didn't fall from the sky. But I was changed. The faith of my fathers had born its ultimate fruit in me.
Heavenly Father, while we find a time every year to concentrate on that birth, so often we fail to consider that Christmas is actually that moment of salvation- and so is Good Friday, when Jesus died for our sins, and Easter when He rose again. The holiest of the days You give us is just that one. And as I finish this prayer, I praise You for bringing THAT day to my soul.
This is part of the 50 States of Pray event formed by Mark Koopmans over on his blog. I thank him for the opportunity and hope you will follow the links and read some of the other prayers as well.