It’s interesting how God sometimes returns us to our spiritual roots, even while we are pressing forward in the faith.
Forty-three years ago on Resurrection Sunday, 1966, I became a Christian at eight years of age in response to a sermon preached by George Batson.
George was then a young Assemblies of God pastor starting his first church in Annapolis, Maryland, and my parents were among the first members of his young congregation.
I lost touch with George over the next forty years, but then ran into him while visiting a mutual friend. It took me several minutes to realize who he was, and my eyes then welled up in tears as I thanked him for leading me to the Lord. To my surprise, he and his wife vividly remembered my conversion those many decades before. He’s now one of my Facebook friends and a fellow faculty member at the liberal arts Christian college where I sometimes teach.
My conversion, despite my young age, was life changing and I never had any doubts that God’s hand was on my life from that day forward.
I’m told that the tear stains from my conversion were visible on that church’s old wooden floor for many years thereafter. It’s since been torn down, but the fruit of George’s ministry continues.
I sometimes wonder if there can be true conversion without tears that flow from true repentance and the wonderful release that then follows from true forgiveness.
As I now pass on the faith that once was handed to me, my own conversion compels me to avoid the current fades of easy-believism and to preach true repentance. As a result, others are finding true forgiveness and leaving their own tear stains on innumerable floors as ongoing testaments to God’s continuing power and grace.
~ Jim Wright
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