MAKE YOURSELF READY!
(By: Richard Madison)
Is there REALLY a God? Maybe you have asked yourself that question many times, yet still are not sure. Or perhaps you have chosen to believe there must be a God, but just aren't sure what to believe about Him. Possibly you've read a variety of literature about what others believe about God and about all that has done is trigger more questions. Which religion is right? Which is wrong? Are all right for those who believe they are right? Or, is a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ the issue to focus in on? Questions abound, don't they, about God, and the things of God?
So - what am I going to share about God that you probably don't already know? I'm going to tell you how I experienced God. Perhaps as I do so, your desire will increase to experience God as well.
Like many others, my childhood had its challenges. For instance, at six months old, I rolled off a couch and laid in a coma for six days. Then at age five, one of my great uncles lost his mind and shot at me several times. I ran into my grandmother's house and hid under the bed. He shot my grandmother four times and later committed suicide. My grandmother lived though, and she credits it to the healing power of God.
At age 12, I gave my heart to Jesus Christ, and was water baptized at the local rock quarry. But as I grew older, I forgot about the Lord, and went my separate way. God simply calls it rebellion. Not surprisingly, I got into alcohol, drugs, and just plain riotous living. For ten years, I ignored what the Bible has to say about the consequences that will come for people like me who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, but make no effort to keep His commandments. As parents must discipline rebellious children for their own good, God also disciplines His rebellious spiritual children. (Read Hebrews 12:5-11).
During those rebellious years, there were times when I faced great peril, and I would call out on Jesus to come to my rescue, and He would. But when I wasn't in trouble, I'd forget about Him.
However, on April 13, 1986, at 6:45 AM, I was unable to call upon Him. I was involved in a head-on collision. I went to sleep at the wheel and crossed the center-line. My 1984 Ford truck struck a 1985 Delta 88 head on. The engine of my truck was pushed into the cab, pushing my left leg up through my hip and pelvis. My right leg was pinned in under the dash, crushing my right ankle. The steering wheel crushed my chest, breaking all my ribs in front. One rib went into my right lung. Another rib cut the aorta artery in my heart. My spleen was ruptured. My left jaw was broken along with a vertebra in my neck. My right eye was knocked out of its socket. I was in bad need of a Band-Aid or two. Forty minutes passed before I was removed from the wreckage and transported to Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee.
I was considered DOA, but the main trauma doctor later told me a voice from out of nowhere told him to try and save me. My aorta artery was repaired twice; my spleen was removed. I was considered brain dead since I had no blood carrying oxygen to my brain for 40 minutes. I was given a total of 124 units of blood.
To give the doctors a greater challenge, I got double pneumonia, blood poisoning, yellow jaundice, and hepatitis. My left hip, right ankle and left jaw remained broken for 25 days. Doctors felt it was useless to repair my bones when I was not going to survive anyway.
As I lay there in that hospital bed, teetering on the brink of death, three Christian believers in my family anointed me with oil and prayed the prayer of faith over me, believing God to heal me, in accordance with James 5:14-16 in the Bible.
On the 27th day of my comatose state, my liver and kidneys stopped working. I laid in this condition with infections, swelling, and a fever of 104 degrees for 10 hours. The doctors called all of the family in one last time and advised them to make funeral arrangements. But the three determined Christians whom the Holy Spirit had given faith stood on this promise:
All things are possible to him who believes. (Mark 9:23)
Members of my family went to the prayer chapel. While they were praying, I either had a vision, or my spirit left my body. I saw myself leave the ICU and walk down a hallway. I entered a door, realizing I was in some sort of a church. I saw my family praying. I heard my name mentioned. I saw the color of the carpet and counted the number of the pews. While watching my family pray for me, I spoke to my mother, but she could not hear me. This was the end of my life ... it seemed.
Then I had this knowing that I was not walking in right-relationship with Jesus Christ, nor had I been in nearly ten years. Was Jesus giving me one last chance to call on His name?
Suddenly I looked up and called on the name of Jesus. All of a sudden, I felt a huge hand cover the top of my head. A voice said:
"I am Jesus. I am giving you another chance. Go and tell my people I am the same yesterday, today, and forever, and I change not. Tell them I still perform miracles, and I am coming SOON."
I tried to look up at Him but He would not let my head turn. As I pushed against His hand . . . I sat up out of the 27-day coma.
I reached for the nurse at the foot of the bed. I had a tracheotomy and my jaw was wired shut, so I wrote on paper the color of the carpet and the number of pews in the church. The nurse realized I was describing the prayer chapel and hurried down and found my family praying. She told them I was awake and okay, and that they must be praying to the REAL God.
After five days without medicine, the main trauma doctor came in my room and told me that he had never seen anything like what had happened to me. He said there must be a God in heaven, and He was watching over me.
I left the hospital in a wheelchair - told I would never walk again. The sciatic nerve was severed and three bones were removed in my right foot. But after eight weeks from the time of leaving the hospital, Jesus spoke to me and told me to arise and walk. I knew I was delivered from drugs and alcohol and even virtually raised from the dead, but to walk on legs I could not feel? My mind said it was impossible!
Walk By Faith, Not Feelings
But Jesus told me that I must begin to walk by faith, not by feelings (See 2 Cor.5: 7). Little did I realize at the time that He was teaching me one of the most important foundations in the Christian walk -- not to mention how to see miracles manifest. I stood up out of the wheelchair and leaned forward. There was no feeling in my legs. Then I began to run. My legs just began to operate! I gave up the wheelchair for a walker. A week later, I traded that for a cane. A week later, I didn't need anything, and I've been walking with Jesus Christ ever since!
So dear reader, if you want to experience God for yourself, don't let this moment pass without making Jesus Christ your Savior and Lord. But you must be serious about it. You must be willing to give your all to Him and be obedient to His commandments in the New Testament. When you do that, you'll have a glorious experience of your own to share . . . and it will be ONGOING! This age as we know it is winding down, and when Christ comes back for those who are sold out to Him, which He told me is SOON, we will forever be in the presence of God. No more prison, no more sadness, sickness or sorrow. Just pleasure forevermore!
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.
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Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity.
(Matthew 6:19-21 is our assurance)