I have been considering for sometime getting around to writing my testimony. Even though I am a Hebrew Christian it isn't the exciting story of how a Jew came to accept his Messiah. Therefore, I thought I should probably begin at the beginning. So ... in the beginning the earth was without form and void. Oops! Too far back.
Instead, I probably should start with my parents. My father, at the time he met my mother, was an agnostic Jew living in the center of civilization, San Francisco. My mother, an out of the Lord's will Baptist, had come from the less civilized mid-west. They knew each other for only five weeks when they were married. (I'm a pastoral counselor and if they'd come to me for pre-martial counseling, I'd have told them not too. But then again that would have been a little hard to do.)
But even then the Lord was working in their lives because nine months after I was born my father accepted the Lord. (It probably should be noted at this point, following the scriptural principle that one's Jewishness passes through the father's line, not the mother's, [see Christ's genealogy] that both my wife and I are Hebrew Christians having Jewish fathers.)
Because of my father's becoming a Completed Jew, I was raised in the church. In my father's day, most Hebrew Christians didn't think of themselves that way. They simply saw themselves as believers. Therefore I was raised during my early years in the Presbyterian church.
I accepted the Lord when I was only five years old. While children of that age don't understand the theological implications of salvation, I did know I did bad things. I was able to understand that Jesus took the punishment for me and so I was able to accept Him in the way a child does. When a child is saved it becomes the responsibility of the parents to train and encourage him in the Word so that over time he has a better understanding of the full implications of his commitment to the Lord.
After a while we left the Presbyterian church and went to a local church which was a member of the Reformed Church in America. Unfortunately, after a period of time my father realized some of the teachings that were being presented were anti-Semitic and so we left. But it was during these years that I drifted away from the local church.
While I was the kind of kid, who lacking an adventurous spirit, never got into serious trouble, I did go through a period of rebellion. This was primarily manifest in my unwillingness to attend church. There was never a question in my mind about the Lord or being saved, but I just didn't want to go. While I did date a few non-Christians, having discovered the Christians I dated were pretty phony, I always tried to talk to them about the Lord.
But as with my parents, the Lord protected me from serious consequences during this time and even more importantly as I became involved with the young lady who was to become my wife. I met Janette in junior college in a business class. She was failing and I offered to tutor her. ( I did help her get from a D to a B. I was a good teacher even then.)
Of course, I wasn't being totally altruistic, I wanted to date her and I did. We went together for about four years. It took me that long to convince her to marry me. (I also am a good salesman, and humble too.) But she wasn't a believer. I was going to marry her anyway, but the Lord again intervened and through my family she came to accept the Lord before we got engaged.
The Lord has continued to direct my life ever since. I have worked in a number of fields gaining a variety of skills. The longest period was some 14 years in the hospital field, many of them in an administrator level position. But it wasn't His intent that I stay there. Instead in the mid 80's He directed me into the ministry. It was there I honed the skills He had endowing me with. I had been teaching and serving in leadership positions since 1970, but now I was exercising all of them in a pastoral position.
But this too was to change. He led me from the San Francisco Bay Area to start a church in the Sacramento area. But this too was simply more training for what I do today. And knowing the Lord, this too may be one more step on a journey that He controls and which I can only sit back and see what happens next.
Today, I'm a pastoral counselor working with severely troubled marriages, survivors of child sexual abuse and sometimes with pastors who need a safe place to go. The job is satisfying, but stressful. So, the Lord in His graciousness continues to allow me to teach the scripture, which is the fun stuff.
Meanwhile, I have the opportunity to see God work in the lives of damaged people, seeing them accept His healing and restoration. Sadly, I also have the opportunity to see the damage done by individuals who refuse to be obedient to God and are more concerned with getting out of pain than being obedient.
The pain in people's lives have let me truly understand why the message of the Lord's imminent return is such a comfort. It is only when He cleanses the world and brings healing to His children that every tear will be truly wiped away.
The truth I have learned over many years of life is: Why would one even want to do live without the Lord? One's eternal destiny is at stake. But also, living now would be empty and meaningless without the Lord working through us to bring meaning to all we do. All go through pain, but as believers, for us it is not meaningless pain. All go through trials and tribulations, but for us God brings something beautiful out of our struggles.
I pray if you haven't allowed the Lord into your life you would ask Him in, giving purpose to your life and meaning that will last throughout eternity
This page is a personal outreach of Webservants Ministries. We are a group of individuals who want only to share the gospel with the lost and equip the body of Christ in growing and reaching a lost world for Jesus Christ. If we can do anything to further assist you, or you have a reference you would like to share, please feel free to drop us a line at Webservants@cfdevotionals.org. Peace.