That rings a bell

THAT RINGS A BELL
When anyone has been through an experience in life – whether positive or negative, they become ‘experienced’.

Experienced in a given field. They have acquired something other than simply what is ‘written in books’.

Recently my daughter came to help her younger brother put together a flat pack storage unit. She came to help because she had put many of them together before, in her own home.

She is not a carpenter, or an electrician, or a tradesperson – but she has had ‘experience’ in putting things together.

Her experience helped in putting the unit together in perhaps, half the time it would have taken my ‘inexperienced’ son to do so.

In recent days I taught the kids in my daughter’s Sunday school class on what it is to ‘experience’ The Lord Jesus Christ in your life.

The teaching holds true for adult or child. To illustrate the lesson I asked for a volunteer to sit on a chair at the front of the class.

I picked the right child! The young lady was a little ‘performer’ – liked to give her co-operation with enthusiasm.

She sat on the chair, and my wife blindfolded her.
We then proceeded to give her different experiences, all pleasant.

First we wafted a cardboard sheet at the side of her face, creating a wind or draft, (like many of us do in hot sticky weather). She of course got it straight away. She got what she was experiencing.

Following each experience, I affirmed to the children, what she did not need in order still, to have the legitimate experience.

She did not see, smell, hear, taste or touch the wind (it touched her) – but she still experienced it.
(A question we might ask is ‘Has Jesus Christ ever touched you?)

This was followed by a piece of chocolate placed in her mouth.

‘Hmmmm…’ was her response. She didn’t see, smell, hear, or touch the chocolate but tasted it.

Again proof enough that it was there, she experienced the chocolate – if you like – in a specific part of her being. Proof indeed that it was real.

Next we rang a bell, which she didn’t see, smell, taste, or feel – but she knew without a shadow of doubt that it was a bell ringing, her ears told her so.

Then my wife massaged her shoulders, again she over-responded, creating laughter in the class, and again the same lesson, not seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting did not prevent her from ‘experiencing’ the reality of a massage.

God’s desire is to reach our minds, to address our understanding.

He does this by presenting a message.

A message to respond to – or reject. We are free-willed and able to do either.

The Holy Spirit of God, draws alongside the message we hear or read and causes us to experience His words – inside, where, if He is allowed to – He will bring inner spiritual revelation and transformation.

Christian’s share the message, and always there is a mixed response.

Nothing new there.

Jesus Himself got, and still gets a mixed response to His message of offered forgiveness, on His terms.

To share the message is not to force it on people.

What would be the point of doing so?

And yet sharing the message is often perceived without justification – as forcing it upon others.

God is a Spirit. And…

John 4/23
…the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

The Father is SEEKING such to worship Him.

To put all this together in one sentence:

God is a Spirit, not to be found by seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing, touching – but rather by spiritually experiencing Him.

Experiencing by repentance and faith.

Firstly the human mind/heart must be aware of it’s need.

Then there is a seeking, a knocking, and an asking for the reality of a spiritual experience known as conversion to Christ.

Firstly recognising that without His death on the cross, there could be no experiencing of His love and forgiveness, in the first place. As the penalty for sin would not have been paid.

The deep seated spiritual need in all human beings can only be met through peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

It’s also true that ‘one way Jesus Christ’ is being too dogmatic in the mindsets of many, who consider there are innumerous ways to God. I beg to differ – if you must conclude I am dogmatic – then so be it. Here is God’s dogmatism –

Acts 4/12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

This experience of conversion takes place after the mind has been informed, the emotions stirred, and the will activated to choose Christ as saviour, through sincere prayer.

In response to a prayer of repentance and confession of our sin and our dilemma, accompanied with a desire to turn away from sin – Christ Jesus can and will come into your life, by your invitation only.

God is seeking such to worship Him, as we come spiritually alive through turning our lives completely over to Him – in an unmistakeable way, we are able to worship Him in spirit and in truth.

So as one, just now, doing the work of an evangelist (that’s the hat I’m wearing today) the question remains at what stage are you, on this personal journey to Christ?

Answers if you wish to –
(ken.riddles@btinternet.com)

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2 thoughts on “That rings a bell

  1. Ken, wonderful presentation of the Gospel. Another great verse … and Acts 4:12 is at the top of my list … is Romans 10:9. Many “confess” Christ, but do not “believe” in Him. They intellectually acknowledge Him, but don’t, as you say, “experience” Him. This excerpt from your post best sums it up: “The deep seated spiritual need in all human beings can only be met through peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    Excellent post. And, as a fellow “hot sticky weather” person (Orlando, Florida), here’s hoping you have yourself a “cool” rest of the weekend across the pond!

    Like

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