I had always believed that “god” was real; that there was a being that was higher than me, who controlled the universe, and had bigger things to do than worry about what I was up to. There were a few times that a friend of mine took me to church and on the way home he and his mom tried to tell me how Jesus loved me and died for my sins. At that point all I wanted to do was argue that we evolved from space dust and that the universe was created from a giant explosion. As I look back on this now I have mixed emotions of sadness and pride. Sadness for how I just didn’t care what they were trying to tell me and pride for how I stood by what I believed so strongly.
When I was thirteen I was challenged to tell my brothers youth pastor everything I knew about God, Jesus, and the bible. I had heard and knew about the birth of Jesus because of Christmas; I had heard and knew about the death and resurrection of Jesus because of Easter; I knew the Gospel in a nutshell. I think every American knows at least this much just from being an American citizen. I knew the stories; I knew about God, Jesus, and the Gospel. But when being confronted with telling a youth pastor everything I thought I knew about God, I was faced with a terrifying realization. Even though I KNEW God and the main points, I didn’t KNOW God. I didn’t KNOW Jesus. All I had was knowledge; the stories and stats.
At this point it was obvious to Pastor Thomas and me that I needed to KNOW God and his son Jesus. Anyone can believe in God; even demons believe in God, but not everyone KNOWS God. You can know Michael Jordan’s stats, the stories of his amazing games, and everything there is to know about his career…but do you really KNOW him? I realized it was the same with me and God. Right there I asked Jesus to allow me to live for him, I received forgiveness for my sins and now I am living in victory and peace knowing that I am living for a purpose.
I have a beautiful wife, adorable daughter, and am about to go on the biggest adventure of my life. I have been all around the world and seen the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich. I have been able to minister to prisoners, hospital patients, and orphans. I have smuggled bibles to people that have no access to the Word, and sent food to people fleeing war torn areas. All of this would have been in vain if I had not given my life to Jesus. It’s because of Him that I am alive. It’s because of Him that I am free. It’s because of Him that I have purpose.
It’s because of Him.
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