Close Encounters: My Personal Close Encounter

In our little study of close encounters with Christ we have looked to the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament. We have seen Jesus working personally in the lives of people since the foundation of the world. We have seen Him wrestle with Jacob. Have you wrestled with the Lord lately? We have seen Him having sweet communion with Abraham and Zacchaeus. Have you communed with the Lord lately? He fought and won some major battles for Joshua and Gideon. Do you have any battles that you need the Lord to fight and win for you? We have also seen Jesus pass by and save the Unsaveable and cleanse the Uncleansable. No matter how bad or rotten you think you are, allow Jesus to cleanse your heart today and save you.

I have also shared with you some personal close encounters that I had with some gobblers through the years. As memorable as those close encounters were, they have no comparison to the personal close encounter that I had with Jesus.

I was very fortunate to grow up in a Christian home within a Christian community. As a teenager I never got into any real trouble or did anything really bad. To this day I never drank, smoked, did drugs, or anything like that. However, I was still lost as I could be and headed to a devil’s hell. You see I was still a sinner. I also knew the Bible and what it said. I knew that Jesus went to the cross to die for me. Yet I was still a sinner, and according to the Bible, “the wages of sin is death.” You see I had only a head knowledge and not a heart knowledge of Jesus’ saving grace. But on one summer day Jesus passed by and met with me personally. I was fifteen years old sitting toward the back of a Baptist Church listening to my pastor begin his sermon. It was like Jesus came through the back door and sat down right next to me. I have no clue what the preacher preached on that day, but it really didn’t matter because the presence of the Lord was all around me. He used the Holy Spirit to bring out my head knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and what they had to say about my sinfulness and about His goodness and grace. Immediately I was deeply convicted of my sin and knew I needed a Savior. You see Jesus was knocking on my heart’s door and I let Him in. I asked Him to forgive me of my sins and made Him my personal Lord and Savior that day.

During that close encounter with Christ His convicting presence changed to a comforting presence that was like nothing I have ever experienced before. It was like all my burdens were lifted away as all of my sin was forgiven. The chains of sin were broken and I have been set free. I was reborn and birthed into the family of God. I was made into a new creature in Christ. What a blessing! What a Savior!

Since that day some twenty years ago, I now have the pleasure of meeting with my Lord daily. Through these meeting He has taken me by the hand and showed me so many things. He has blessed me in so many ways that all of the treasures of this world could never come close to matching. He later called me into the ministry where He has used me to touch the lives of many people along the way. It was through this avenue to where He introduced me to Emily, my now wife of almost six years. The latest special touch of God in my life is through my two-year-old daughter, Anna Grace.

God has been good to me and I could go on and on about the goodness of my Lord. However, I wish I could say I have been a prefect and sinless person since the day Jesus saved me twenty years ago, but I can’t. I wish I could say I deserved all those blessings that my Lord has granted me, but I didn’t. You see God still uses the convicting presence of the Holy Spirit to convict me of my sins. Sin can’t exclude me from salvation, but it does exclude me from God’s fellowship, the sweetest fellowship you could ever have. Nevertheless, still to this day, once I confess my sins the sting of the Lord’s conviction is replaced by His soothing comfort and that sweet fellowship with my Lord is restored.

Do you know the Lord today? Have you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior of your life? Are you a part of the family of God? If not I encourage you to read back over my past ten devotions and open your heart to the ten close encounters with God that the Holy Scriptures talked about. When Jesus knocks at your hearts door please let Him in.

You may be saved and know the Lord personally today, but have gotten out of fellowship with Him. You may have forgotten the sweetness that a close walk with the Lord can bring. If so I encourage you to read back over my past ten devotions and open your heart to the ten close encounters with God that the Bible talked about. Because His sweet and comforting fellowship can be restored.

God Bless and Happy Hunting.

Posted by Mark Newell

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