Pastoral thought for the week

A while ago a young man called me on the phone to talk about a new business scheme he had just got involved in.

by Jeff Kilmartin

Pastor, Wiesenthal Baptist Church

A while ago a young man called me on the phone to talk about a new business scheme he had just got involved in. It was 10 p.m. and he talked to me until it was midnight. Finally, he stopped for a breath and asked me what I thought of the whole matter. I am not a businessman but I did have one cogent question. I asked him whether he felt this new venture might take him further away from God or closer to him.

For the next two hours until 2 a.m. we talked about the things of God. He said later that he only consented to do this because I had listened to him for two hours already. I shared with him the good news about Jesus that while he and I were sinners before a holy God, and only worthy of death, Jesus had come to take our punishment upon himself and free us from judgment so that we might live for God.

It took him a week to think about these things, and seven days later he called me at the supper hour. “What can I do be born again?” he asked me. That was an easy matter. We prayed over the telephone, confessing his belief in Christ, his desire to turn from his old way of life, pleading that he might be forgiven, and begging God to come into his life. As with all sincere requests of that nature, God heard his prayer and did as He was asked. The young man became a Christian.

He was a drug addict at the time. He had been addicted to heroin for about 14 years or so. He had fallen in with the wrong crowd in high school, taking up drinking and drugs, and had continued on with it all those years. Now as a Christian man his life began to change.

One day, though, about six months after he had believed, he had an urge that he could not dismiss. He went downtown (he lived in Calgary), found a dealer, bought some of the stuff, and began to shoot up. To his surprise and anger, nothing happened. He thought he had been cheated. But no the drug was not at fault. Something else had happened in his life, and the “high” that he had known simply had no more effect on him.

His life before knowing Jesus had been one of accumulating “toys.” He had a very fast sports car, a great home entertainment system, all the gadgetry that one could ask for. But once he was a Christian the appeal for those things simply dissolved in his life. They no longer interested him.

Another thing about his life he could barely read. That was one of the reasons for his previous drug habit; his lack of reading ability gave him a very low self-esteem. He could not read a newspaper article with any understanding at all.

One day, about a week after he had become a Christian, I called him up and asked him how he was doing. “Oh, really great!” he said. It was a Sunday when I called him, so I asked him what he done on Friday, as I knew that particular evening would present its own challenges for him. “Well,” he replied, “since it was Friday I thought I should do something cool. So I got my Bible and started reading the Book of Revelation.” I was dumbfounded, and let him know it. How could he do that when his reading level was so low? He could not explain it. He just knew that when he picked up the Bible he could read with comprehension, but with other things there was no understanding. (I should report that today he can read anything he pleases.)

Some folks think that they somehow need to “get cleaned up” or become better somehow before they become Christians. My friend and many millions just like him shows that Jesus came precisely because we cannot clean ourselves up. He himself makes us a new creation, and this is the gift of God to us.

The Pipestone Flyer has invited pastors and reverends from local churches to write a regular column for the paper.

 

Just Posted

County of Wetaskiwin council moves ahead on efficiency audit

Intense debate Apr. 9 over how county’s efficiency should be reviewed

Alberta’s 47 legislature newbies meet under the dome for orientation day

Most new members are with the United Conservatives, who won a majority government

Albertans have spoken, and spoken clearly

UCP takes 63 electoral districts, NDP mostly an Edmonton party

AFSC crop insurance rates lower for some producers in 2019

Cow-calf producers can take advantage of premiums lower than at this time last year

New Sarepta students host political forum Apr. 10

Political Forum hosted by NSCHS Students

VIDEO: Police dog in Oregon struck by 200 porcupine quills during pursuit

The German shepherd had to be sedated and was in treatment for more than two hours

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Oil and gas company confirms death of one of its employees in Yoho avalanche

Dana Coffield died when he was skiing in the Rocky Mountains

Cenovus CEO estimates production curtailments will deliver billions to taxpayers

The curtailment program started Jan. 1 was designed to keep 325,000 barrels per day off the market

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Calgary’s public school board responds to Syrian child’s suicide after bullying

Amal Alshteiwi, a newcomer to Canada from Syria, took her own life several weeks ago

Child, 11, accidentally shot in the chest at Alberta religious colony

Child taken from Hutterite colony to nearby hospital

Woman in critical condition after motorcycle crash on Edmonton highway

Police say both women were thrown from the bike, and the van continued forward, hitting a Nissan Altima

Most Read