Summary: This is my testimony and the first in a Series on what it really means to be a true follower of Jesus Christ.
I Have Decided to Follow Jesus
Sept. 25, 2005 Various
These are my actual notes and sermon handouts and they probably mean more to me than they do to you. If you don’t understand something in my notes – feel free to e-mail me for clarification (email@example.com). Here’s some deciphering hints: I use hyphens (-) to separate key elements in a thought progression. I use quotation marks when I’m illustrating what some one in the congregation might be thinking or asking at that particular point in the message or to illustrate different character voices in an illustration. Bullets are springboards for thought progressions associated with main points in a thought.
INTRO: It was the last weekend in June – the 29th to be exact – the year was 1977. The weeks duties were over and as the young man was sitting in his room – he was wishing that his pay check was here – but it wasn’t due until Monday. It had been a long time it seemed since he was able to get a hold of his drug of choice. Three weeks since anyone was able to get anything – must have been a big bust somewhere he thought. In his boredom he took out his Kansas album cover and began to read it. Soon looked for something else…
• Looked for Bible mom sent with him – picture of VW with big engine…
• Beginning of Matthew – began to read – flipping through – H. S. began to woo him – and draw him – cried out –“I’m so confused – help me!”
• Little did I know that He took that prayer seriously…
• He began to orchestrate events over the next week to bring that help.
Though I had prayed at 6 – I was a long way from God.
• Though that prayer meant very little to me beyond fire insurance – there were times I talked with God – “get me out of this and I’ll be good”
• Did I believe He was there to hear? – well yes and no… I sensed He was there but I had no idea what claim He desired on my life.
• After all I was just a kid – what could possibly want with me?
• But a growing awareness was beginning to take shape…
Two days later on July 1, company moved across base – in scramble I got into a room with a Christian.
• While putting things away – new room-mate Geoff Wood – small talk – asked – “What do you guys think about evolution?”
• Corby said “yea, makes sense to me!
• I said no – think we were created by God.
• Though not a Christian – I knew the plan – times when God would come to me – call to me – drawing me – I would resist “I’ll follow you later!”
• But it was different now…
At the age of 18 – I had been on my own since 14 – Seen a lot – done a lot.
• Knew that everything to that point had left me empty
• And God’s Spirit was drawing me again…
Geoff had several comic books – witness tracts – they cut to my heart…
• He invited me to Wednesday prayer meeting – went but left early
• Went for walk – talked to God – wondered what was going on
• Deep sense of hope welling up in me – could these things really be true?
• So true, I could abandon myself to Him and find truth and purpose?
• Slept that night pondering these things in my heart
Thursday – 4th of July, lot of partying – commotion – Lt. thrown from 2nd story window – arrests – rough neighborhood…
• That night a dream – massive wall couldn’t get around or over – woke up
• Thinking about dream and events of last night – wondered what the next 2½ years held in store for me…
• Spirit of Lord – “Steve, you can’t do this without me” – I believed Him.
Next morning – Friday July 5, 1977 - told Corby – “I think your going to start seeing some changes in me” – don’t remember what he said – didn’t really matter.
• Geoff had told me – Bible study that night with YWAM missionaries – I was going to go…
• That whole day – sensed God’s Spirit drawing me
JN. 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
• Already knew what I must do…
• That night – Geoff and I walked over to the basement of chapel – as everyone getting their coffee and seats – I snuck off – went upstairs to main sanctuary