Out of unbelief Jesus

On 3 February, 1952, when I was 11 years of age, I responded to Pastor Ralph McIntyre’s invitation at the Handley Baptist Church and made a decision for Christ. I was baptized at the evening service on 10 February, 1952.  I do not remember any details of my confession of faith except that I walked down the aisle and responded to questions Rev McIntyre asked. Was I genuinely saved at that time? I certainly didn’t turn from my sins (1 Cor 3:1-4, talks of baby Christians who follow their own desires). Either I was not saved when I was 11 and due to not really and truly understanding what I was doing, or I remained a baby (immature) Christian for many years while the Holy Spirit silently and imperceptibly changed me so that as I entered my late forties an unusual unease began to stir within my spirit. I became aware that somehow I was missing the mark in life. I was made conscious by God’s gracious Spirit that man’s life did not consist in the abundance of his possessions.

Always there had been a craving to know Christ, but I ignored it. In mid-life, this craving became more intense, more demanding, compelling, urgent like a yearning, burning quest for God’s very person and presence.

The Spirit of the Living God was present within me, yet, always standing, as it were, at arm’s length from me: close at hand, it is true, but somehow strangely just out of reach, out of intimate touch.   So it was I was determined to search for Him with all my soul and spirit.

In His own persistent, patient forbearance, God began to give me insatiable thirst for His Word. I found myself for the first time in my life spending hours searching the Scriptures, pouring over its pages, exposing myself to its truth.

A crucial, burning issue which God’s Word revealed to me at this stage of my spiritual saga was the whole matter of forgiveness. Never before had I realized the titanic cost of suffering borne by Christ at Calvary in order to extend perfect pardon and full forgiveness to me as a man. It was His impeccable life, poured out in total self-giving on my behalf and in my place, which atoned for all my willful waywardness and wrongdoing.

Such stupendous self-sacrifice to save me humbled my spirit and made me acutely aware of the great debt of gratitude owed my God!

In late 1988, I got down on my knees and confessed my sins to my Lord and asked for forgiveness. I confessed Jesus as Lord and asked Him to help me yield my life to His total control. I asked Him to change me and make me into what He would have me to be. He began to change me. The things I once hated, I now love, and the things I once loved, I hate.

Christ has my heart. He has my thoughts. I love to talk to Him. Christ has my warmest affections and best energies. All I have is consecrated to Him. I long to bear His image, breathe His spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things.

Jerry Young