Biblical Doctrines, Christian Living, Church, Culture & Society, God, Jesus, & the Holy Spirit

The Tender Mercy of God

Whenever I get a chance to visit with another Christian for any amount of time, I always ask them, “How did you come to faith?” I love to hear the story of people’s conversion to Jesus. Perhaps one reason for this is because I did not have a dramatic conversion experience like Paul on the road to Damascus. Like Timothy in the Bible, from a child I have known those Scriptures which are able to make a person wise unto salvation. My earliest memories involve loving Jesus, and going to church. I tell people, “I may not remember when I entered into my house, but I know when I am inside. I may not remember the day of my conversion, but I know I am in the family of God.” So I enjoy hearing the stories of those who had a more dramatic conversion experience. Some stories are gentle in nature. The love of God was proclaimed by a faithful minister. A gospel invitation was extended, and confession of faith in Jesus was made. Some stories are almost humorous. I know one person who was in a bar. The television set was on. The channel was broadcasting a Billy Graham crusade. Conviction came, and so did gospel repentance. My friend was converted to Jesus sitting on a bar stool. The saloon lost a good customer that night.

Born February 13, 1938, in September of 1957, Dr. R. C. Sproul, founder of Ligonier Ministries in Sanford, Florida, came to faith in the Lord in an unusual way. He remembers what happened.

“I’m coming up on the 60th anniversary of my conversion to the Christian faith. It was in September of 1957. And I will never forget, I think I’m the only person in the history of the church to be converted by a particular verse that God used to open up my heart and my eyes to the truth of Christ. It came from the book of Ecclesiastes, where the author of Ecclesiastes describes, in metaphorical terms, a tree that falls in the forest and where it falls there it stays. And God awakened my soul by considering that passage, as I saw myself as a tree falling, and rotting, and decaying. And that was the description of my life. That’s where I was. Nobody had to tell me that I was a sinner, I knew that. It was abundantly clear to me.

But as I went to my bedroom that night and got on my knees, my experience was one of transcendent forgiveness. And I was overwhelmed by the tender mercy of God, the sweetness of His grace, and the awakening He gave me for my life. And I pray that any of you who have not yet experienced an awakening to the reality of Christ would have that experience in your life. That you would look carefully at the Scriptures and the Word of God, and that that Word may be used in power to quicken your soul and your spirit that you too may be awakened to the fullness of glory, and peace, and joy that is ours in Christ.”

What is the story of your journey in grace? How did you come to faith in Jesus Christ? I would love to hear your narrative. As the Lord leads, please share your story.

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