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Jesus Made Heaven My Home

by Dale Buchanan  
3/10/2021 / Testimonies


An old saying proclaims, “Home is where the heart is.” My heart was in the wrong place until Jesus came in and Made Heaven My Home. It was all by God’s grace.

SOWING THE SEED – THE GODLY INFLUENCE OF MY PARENTS

God blessed me with godly parents. When I came into this world, the sixth of seven children, my parents were well along the way in establishing a Christian home. 

DAILY ROUTINES

From the time I was little, I remember having family devotions at the breakfast table. Mom and Dad had a devotional book, along with Scripture, that Dad read from every morning. After reading, he or Mom or some other family member would lead in prayer. 

Before other meals, we would always say grace. We would say a memorized prayer. “Bless this food, take our thanks. In Jesus name, Amen.” Of course, it became a ritual that we didn’t think about very much, but it was a reminder that God provided us with that food.

At night Mother would help me with prayer. Before it ever became personal to me, it was just a memorized prayer.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I ‘wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

As I grew older, she taught me to pray in my own words and pray specific requests. 

CHURCH

As a child, I do not ever remember a time when we did not go to church:  Sunday School and Morning Worship, Sunday night, Wednesday night. ALWAYS. We arranged our weekend and evening schedules around the church. We never questioned whether we were going to church or not. All of us kids knew that we were going.

At Christmas time, regardless of the day of the week, we had church services on Christmas day, even when Christmas fell on Saturday or Monday. We could always open one gift on Christmas morning before church. Then after church, we went home and opened all the presents.

GUEST PREACHERS AND MISSIONARIES

Mom and Dad always wanted to entertain guest preachers or missionaries in our home. So quite often, on Sundays, we would have a preacher or missionary at our house for Sunday dinner. If they had children, I and my older sisters and brothers would get to play with them in the afternoon. These visitors had a significant impact on my life spiritually.

At our church, the foundation of all lessons and sermons was the authority of the Bible. I received a Bible education from both my parents and the church all thru my early years.

BIBLE VERSE MEMORIZATION THRU RURAL BIBLE CRUSADE

Early in my life, my parents became acquainted with an organization called Rural Bible Crusade.  Through the school year, their staff would go around to various rural public schools and hold Bible classes in the schools for the children. At that time, schools and local governments encouraged this. They realized the positive impact this could have on the children.

CAMP MINISTRY OF RURAL BIBLE CRUSADE

Rural Bible Crusade conducted an annual week of Bible Camp. They made this Bible Camp different. You could not pay to go to Bible camp. Before you could go to the first year of camp, you had to memorize 500 verses (that’s not a typo – it was 500 verses pre-selected by RBC) and repeat those verses to a responsible adult.

You were required to say some of those verses to one of the camp counselors or teachers at camp. For the second year, you were required to learn 250 verses. For the third year and the following years, they required completion of a Bible study course. If you didn’t memorize the verses or complete the Bible courses, you could not be a camper. Support for the camp came from gifts only. 

My mother started teaching me and working with me to learn those 500 verses beginning at age five. By age seven, I had memorized the entire 500 verses. Those verses have had a life-long impact on my life.

FUN AT RBC BIBLE CAMP

Rural Bible Crusade produced a fantastic, fun time camp every year.

  • Meeting new kids and making friends
  • You became part of one of the several organized teams among the approximately 200 kids each year. There were sports competitions in volleyball, softball, various contests, scavenger hunts, and boating.
  • Swimming – This was my favorite activity.  I learned to swim – above the water and under the water. I learned to dive – or perhaps bellyflop would be a better description. My most outstanding achievement was to swim across the lake – about one mile. Several of us would attempt it together – with lifeguards in boats accompanying us – and I made it.

MAKING HEAVEN MY HOME – DECISION AT BIBLE CAMP

The influence of parents, church, and Bible Camp over the years brought me to a decision. I accepted Christ as my Savior in my sixth year at Bible Camp. 

I Corinthians 3:7 teaches, “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” Over the years, the continual repetition of Biblical truths settled deep in my heart, bringing me to decision time at age 12.

Bible Camp included powerful preaching and teaching to kids. There were Bible classes every morning.  Then each evening, there was a preaching service. After all the Bible teaching and Scripture memorization plus church, God had prepared my heart.

DECISION TIME

The preaching at camp inspired and convicted us kids. We understood it, and it hit home. I don’t remember the subject of the message on the third night at camp. But it reached my heart. I had been under conviction all week, and that night the Holy Spirit convicted me that I was a lost sinner needing a Savior. 

Instead of going forward at the altar call, I caught my camp counselor after the service. We sat down on a park bench, looking out at the lake. He took me through the Scriptures showing me that God loved me, I was a sinner, and Jesus paid for my sins on the cross and then rose from the dead. That night I asked Jesus to forgive me and save me. And He did. Jesus had now made heaven my home.

LIFE CHANGES: A NEW CREATURE IN CHRIST

What an exciting change in my life! I had been on my way to hell, and now I was on my way to heaven. The rest of the camp week went by quickly, and then I went back home. I was excited to tell my parents and family about it. Then about a week or two later, I had the thrill of leading one of my school buddies to trust Jesus as his Savior.

Jesus changed my direction in life. All my grand life plans were focused around “what does the Lord want me to do?” and “how can I please Him?”.

IS HEAVEN YOUR HOME?

It’s a blessed assurance to KNOW that your home is in heaven. Do you know? Jesus said in John 3:18, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Are you NOT CONDEMNED? Or are you CONDEMNED ALREADY? These are the only two options. Let me show you from Scripture how you can settle this for yourself. Get to know these facts from Scripture and take action.

  1. God loves you.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” John 3:16. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
  2. All are sinners. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:23 That includes me – and you.
  3. The penalty for sin is death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
  4. You cannot save yourself. “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast.”  Ephesians 2:8,9 This excludes the good works of baptism, church membership, helping the poor, giving to charity, or whatever other good deeds you might want to include in this list.
  5. Confess, Believe, Call.  “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”  – – – “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  Romans 10:9. 10. 13

Today, if you are not sure of a home in heaven, I urge you to ask forgiveness for your sin and trust Jesus who paid for your sins on the cross and rose from the dead. He proved to be a victor over sin, death, and the grave. Let Him be your Savior from sin. Let Him change your life and give you a new life in Jesus.  “Therefore If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  II Corinthians 5:17

SINCE JESUS CAME INTO MY HEART

(Words of this hymn by Rufus H. McDaniel)

What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought Since Jesus came into my heart! I have light in my soul for which long I had sought since Jesus came into my heart!

I have ceased from my wand’ring and going astray, Since Jesus came into my heart! And my sins which were many, are all washed away, Since Jesus came into my heart!

I’m possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure, Since Jesus came into my heart! And no dark clouds of doubt now my pathway obscure, Since Jesus came into my heart!

I shall go there to dwell in that City, I know, Since Jesus Came into my heart! And I’m happy, so happy, as onward I go, Since Jesus came into my heart!

REFRAIN: Since Jesus came into my heart, Since Jesus came into my heart, Floods of joy o’er my soul like the sea billows roll, Since Jesus came into my heart.

************************************************************************

If I can help you in any way concerning how to make heaven your home, please contact me at [email protected]

Scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

Dale Buchanan is an ex-Baptist pastor and retired accountant who started his writing career a couple of years ago. He desires to honor the Lord with his writing, win the lost to Christ and encourage Christians to make Christ the pre-eminent person in their lives. Contact [email protected].

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITERS

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