I Am: The Way, Truth, Life • Devotion #5: Stellar Defiance

As far back as I can remember, my grandfather had always had the best interests of his grandkids. I can remember for every birthday and Christmas, my siblings and I would receive a card with $100 in it to go towards our education beyond high school. I will always remember the summer vacation after fifth grade. We spent five to six days a week together where in the morning we would cut and split wood for a couple of hours, and then we would take the fishing boat out on the lake. I learned so much from him in a short amount of time and I cherish those memories I have of him. Many of the people that knew him, remember him as a stellar person that would give the shirt off of his back to anyone in need.   

He really was a stellar person, but he also struggled with alcoholism and anger issues. To be quite honest, I really do not know the details or the severity of it, but I do know that he died the day after my twenty-first birthday because his liver shut down, and the rest of his organs followed shortly thereafter. The only thing that we did to honor his life was to have a fish fry in his backyard and share stories of him and what he meant to us.   

This all happened before I accepted Christ as my Savior. To this day, I often wonder, and unfortunately highly doubt, my grandfather was saved. There are so many people around us that show integrity, honor, selflessness, and humility. However, just because a person has all of those qualities does not mean that they are saved. 

On a rough day, I wonder if I am actually saved with all of the wretched things I have seen and done. John 14:6 (NIV) says, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” Jesus is the only way to God. You must believe in and accept Jesus to live in eternity with God. It breaks my heart to know so many wonderful souls that do not accept Jesus into their hearts knowing what comes next for them when they leave this Earth.  

Evangelizing is such a tedious and volatile practice. God called us in His last words on this Earth to do just that as He departed from the Mount of Olives. Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Defiance of God’s Word comes at a price. Matthew 10:33 adds, “But whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” 

We have all had chances to metaphorically swing at evangelizing to non-believers. I will be the first to admit that I have struck out several times and it is mentally draining to constantly be shut down and keep a positive attitude. Luckily, I have a God that is always a prayer away to boost my morale and give me the courage to keep doing so. I would like to challenge you all to find that stellar person in your life that may or may not know the Lord and spark a conversation about Jesus. Do not defy that God has called you to make disciples of all nations. Be bold in His name and speak the truth in love. Jesus is the way, He is the truth, and He is the life!

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