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March 6, 2014
By Pastor Ron Madison
Mount Zion Baptist Church, Huntsville
I am in the middle of my 43rd year of marriage. The young woman I first saw as she walked through the door of her parents’ home in Juneau, Alaska, where I was serving as a summer missionary, has become my wife, best friend, spiritual confidant, mother of our children and grandmother to our children’s children. We have shared a rich and full life together. But there was a time when she was nothing more to me than a picture in a frame whose parents thought their only child was not only God’s gift to them, but to much of the world as well. While I appreciated their articulated love for their daughter, my own love for her did not begin until we met face to face and I began to perceive in her many of the qualities and characteristics her parents had told me about. While I truly did fall in love with her almost the same instant we first met that initial reaction grew steadily through the years, being marked by a public commitment of marriage, giving life to a family and serving God together in various places and capacities. I have never had one moment of regret regarding this relationship of love and commitment.
The beginning of a lifelong, and eternal, relationship with Jesus shares many of the characteristics I described above. Any relationship begins with an introduction. And the best way to be introduced to Jesus, the One the Father sent to be the Savior of all who believe, is to be introduced to Him by someone who already has a relationship with Him. The personal witness of one who is already a Christian remains the single most effective way for an individual to become a Christian.
Not everyone will have the opportunity of being introduced this way or will not be ready to listen when a testimony is shared. However, the Gospel of John remains a most effective tool in introducing seekers and searchers to who Jesus is and to what He came to do on this earth. John 3:16 still contains a full message of how a person can come to faith: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”