Tonight marks a sort of anniversary, not so much the date Nov. 22, but the eve before Thanksgiving. 4 years ago tonight some friends from out of town picked me up at a house I was living at that was a sort of unofficial frat house. We headed downtown here in Albuquerque, for really one purpose, to catch up, and to get drunk. We went to my fav. bar, Anodyne and started to get our drink on. As the night went on I got more and more sloshed, not that that was something new however it was pretty normal for me to enjoy a drink or ten. The bar closed I got home somehow, I think my friends drove me, and ended up puking on the floor near my bed and then basically trying to beat my roommates with a bat or some kind of foreign object. I do remember one friend helping me eat a cup of roman soup and then I remember waking up the next morning to the phone ringing... It was a coach from the UNM Men's basketball team where I worked and still work, I was late for practice. I got up, very hung over and smelling like the gutter outside of Anodyne, still had the clothes on from the night before that actually had puke on them still. I got in my Jeep and headed to The Pit, I made it in, made up some excuse, got the work done, left and headed to my grandma's house for Thanksgiving dinner which was not as good hungover. That night however something happened in my heart, for the first time I realized that this life was not going anywhere, but it was not like a I better change and get better feeling, it was a this lifestyle is wrong.
It was that next night as I was driving that I turned on the Christian radio station and this pastor was talking about the women at the well (John 4). The pastor said how this women was a very sinful person, that she had had 7 husbands and now was shacking up with some dude. Jesus basically called her out on it and she was obviously ashamed, but the pastor then talked on how Jesus forgave this woman at the cross, that he was the son of God and that was what gave Him authority to forgive, and she did nothing to do gain forgiveness it was simply God's grace. I thought as I drove that I am the same as this woman, my sin was not like hers exactly, but it was still sin, and God will not just let my sin slide, and in light of who God was in His awesome holiness I sat there ashamed of who I was and realized I deserved to be sent to Hell for my life and my actions. I had an idea of the Gospel as I was raised catholic and more than that the UNM Coaches, Coach McKay and the assistants were Christians and had shared the gospel many times with me, but now for the first time it was like I actually heard it and believed it!
That was 4 years ago, when God softened my heart and unclogged my ears. Today I cling to the cross still, it is not as if I had this 'revelation' and then moved on, no rather the more I read the Bible the more I realized how far I really fall from the standards God has for all of us, perfection, not just our human idea of perfection, but God's Holy perfection. The cross is the only way to approach God, you see, Jesus Christ is God's son, He is God, He is man, he came down, lived a perfect life, died on the cross (a very gruesome, public execution), and on the 3rd day He did rise and people did see Him in His risen form. On that cross He became my and yours if you believe, substitute for the punishment that we deserve for our sin, and He died as a sacrifice so we could be forgiven, and He rose as a sign that His sacrifice was acceptable, and that the righteousness He achieved while living on earth, He now puts on us so as we approach God, we are covered in righteousness, an outside righteousness given to us who trust in Jesus that all this is true!!
That is my faith, it is not that I think I am better than anyone, cause I am not, in fact I know what goes on in my heart and mind and feel that all that read this are my moral superiors, it is what Jesus Christ did and was and is that makes me right with God.
4 Years ago I was a sinner who deserved hell, today I am a sinner who deserves hell but by the grace (undeserved gift) of God through the cross of Christ, I am going to heaven!!!
Yeah I got somethings to be thankful for tomorrow, my daughter Jordyn, my beautiful wife Lauren, my home, my friends, my church, my job, but really all that will pass, I will die, and heaven and God and seeing His glory will be there and that shall never pass- Truly something to be eternally thankful for!!!!!!