To most people, February 15, 2015, is not a special day at all. Just a normal Sunday. But for my family and I, it’s a day we will never forget. I came home from a youth CG that evening and my oldest, Cade, had been waiting for me to get home so that we could talk. When I asked Cade what he wanted to talk about, he replied, “I want to ask Jesus into my heart.” I was overwhelmed. We had been talking to him for some time about asking Jesus to come into his heart. It was a lot of small conversations that usually ended in him saying he wanted to get saved so he could go play in the large pool in church (our baptistery).
But this time was different. He made it clear that God was talking to his heart, and that he knew without a doubt that Jesus was calling him to give his life to him. It started out that day with him going to visit his great-grandfather in the hospital and thinking about life and death — the kid is a deep thinker. Then he said he was listening to Forever by Kari Jobe in the car and, during that song, God made it clear to him that he needed to be saved.
So my wife and I sat down and talked with him about what it meant to live for Christ. We asked him what he believed about Jesus, and then I tried to lead him in a prayer of salvation. I say "tried" because, honestly, I could barely speak because of how overwhelmed I was about my son understanding and accepting the love and grace of Jesus, my son becoming my brother in Christ, my son now in relationship with Jesus, who loved him before I did and more than I ever could.
We called his grandparents, and they celebrated with us. Then, Cade wanted to call Randy and Marlo Wade, because he wanted them to know that he was saved! The joy we heard on the phone from our families and friends was so uplifting and encouraging. I can’t begin to imagine what the rejoicing and cheering may have looked like in heaven when Cade gave his life to Jesus, but I do know that the joy I had as a father was a mere speck in comparison to what God has for my son.
I know that this is a long story to tell you that God rejoices any time someone comes to know Him, but here are my questions for you: Do you have that story? Do you understand that Jesus is for you and wants a relationship with you? Do you understand that Jesus laid his life down for you?
My fear is that a lot of people know the story of Jesus, but don’t have their own Jesus story. Knowing about Jesus isn't the same as knowing Jesus. The biggest difference between the two is a relationship with him.
“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.”
— John 6:27
This passage is Jesus calling out the people who were following him around for the benefits (e.g., food) and not for the relationship. My encouragement for everyone reading this is to evaluate what you have in Jesus. Is it a relationship or is it just knowledge? Cade knew about Jesus, but it took Jesus calling him for the relationship to start.