That’s why they call it Good News
At the close of a weekend retreat at a camp in northern Michigan, Camilla* came to me surrounded by her posse. All weekend I had talked about transformation and invited the audience to take one step closer to Jesus. Camilla wanted to know what her next step with Jesus should be.
She said, “I’m not all that close to Jesus, what do I do?”
“That depends. Tell me more. Have you received Jesus as Savior and gone cold?” I asked.
“No,” she said, “I haven’t ever done that.”
“Are you ready to do that now?”
The women standing around her held their position, their encouragement, and their breath.
“Yeah, I think I am,” she said. “What do I do?”
I said, “Put your hand in the air and say, ‘I say yes to Jesus.’”
She tried. The words got stuck. Her eyes leaked. Her face reddened. Then after about three minutes of trying to choke it out, she put her hand in the air, and horsley whispered, “I say yes to Jesus!”
We all whooped and shouted and hugged her.
The process begins with the first step.
She’s in. She’s taken the first step. And, it’s a fabulous first step. The steps ahead will be to confess her sins and receive forgiveness, put her trust in God when she does not like or understand His reason, and serve alongside the community of believers she worships with.
I took great pleasure seeing her bunkmates celebrate her decision in genuine love, knowing they will lead her on a discipleship path. They will be with her when life gets messy and hard. Just as they celebrated her first step toward Jesus last weekend, they will lead her to loving Jesus and catch her if she falters along the way.
It was a beautiful picture of the church in action.
Camilla had been part of the church ladies’ posse for a year. They had included her in the fun of the retreat and as a result, would spend eternity with her. Between the right now of life in the trenches and the not yet of eternity, they are prepared to grow her faith and equip her for life.
As we wrapped up the celebration for our new sister in Christ, I asked Camilla if she wanted to practice saying yes to Jesus again before we parted. With a big grin and even bigger voice, she shot her hand in the air and shouted, “I SAY YES TO JESUS!”
Have you taken the first step?
I’d hate to think that you haven’t taken the first step toward eternal life with Jesus and us church ladies. If you’ve never stuck your hand in the air and shouted, “I say yes to Jesus,” today could be the day. You can do it right there where you are. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Leave me a comment telling me when and where you said yes to Jesus. It’s a celebration that never ends.
Verse for today: “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. — John 3:16-18 The Message
Prayer: Father, we celebrate Camilla’s surrender to you and pray that you’ll lead her to a deep relationship with you. Equip her with Holy Spirit power to resist evil and do your will. Take us all deeper in love with you so we can love others the way you love us. In Jesus Name, amen.
*Not her real name.