Last Saturday afternoon when I arrived at the local Swim and Survival Centre the grandchildren were well into their long distance swims. I stayed for a while to chat to my son-in-law and my daughter, who arrived a little after me, before heading off to see Hamish, who lived nearby.
Hamish and his family had been attending church for several months and recently I asked, “Would he be interested if I could explain to him from the Bible how he could know God personally?” to which he answered, “Yes!”
It had taken a few weeks to negotiate a convenient time however, Saturday was the day and Hamish welcomed me warmly into his home. We settled into the lounge room with a coffee prepared by his lovely wife.
I explained that before I shared God’s story from the Bible I would like to tell my own story about knowing God personally. On this occasion I was prompted to start with a photograph I have on my smartphone of my immediate family. I introduced my wife, our two daughters, our son-in-law, and the two grandchildren explaining that we all worship at the same church, one2one Church in Ballarat where Hamish and his family were now attending. I then went on to explain knowing God personally had helped me personally in my multiple roles of husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather. I was not to know the responsibilities I would be carrying today when I committed my life to following Jesus and was baptised at the age of fifteen. However, through the years I learned to rely on God, who proved himself faithful over and over again.
After my story I asked Hamish if he had a Bible so that we could look at some Bible passages together. He disappeared from the lounge and returned with a King James Version of the Bible, which proved to have special significance. The Bible had been his father’s, now deceased, and was given to Hamish at an early age with the instruction to read it to help with his English.
As promised I then set about showing Hamish how he could know God personally starting with John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” followed by Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8 and Acts 2:37-38.
As Hamish read from the New International Version of the New Testament I gave him, with the passages highlighted and although he commented it was helpful to read from a more recent translation, it became evident that God used his father’s old Bible to make clear the truths of the Scriptures.
Hamish readily answered, “Yes,” to the series of questions printed on a bookmark that I handed to him, “Are you a sinner?”, “Do you want forgiveness for your sins?”, “Do you believe Jesus died on the cross for you and rose again?”‘ Are you ready to surrender your life to Christ?” and “Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and into your life and express this through baptism?” Although there was a question over the last question a simple explanation readily yielded the “Yes!” response.
We then prayed together, “Heavenly Father, I have sinned against You. I want forgiveness for all my sins. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for me and rose again. Heavenly Father, I give my life to You, to do with as You wish. I want Jesus to come into my life and into my heart. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen”
A divine transaction occurred there and then in Hamish’s lounge room, and there was much rejoicing in heaven.
We then confirmed this transaction by reading Romans 10:9-10.
I left knowing that I was privileged to be part of God’s Kingdom work. See 1 Corinthians 3:5-9.
On the way home I called into the Swim and Survival Centre. My granddaughter had finished her five kilometre swim, two hundred laps of the twenty-five metre pool. My grandson was the only person still swimming. He still had three kilometres of his thirteen kilometre swim to go, a total of five hundred and twenty laps! That’s perseverance!