Tuesday, December 24, 2013

There is Nothing, Nothing Like Jesus


The bears do not discuss the possibility a deity exists. The dolphins do not question the purpose of their existence. The monkeys do not pray. So can you understand just how precious and wonderful man was made? We naturally know there is a deity and a Creator. The voluminous amount of religions reveal man’s quest to find and worship that deity. And billions of members of our fallen race worship an imagined deity and they feel religious and content.

I was raised in a home where my mother took us to church and my father stayed home. It was a mainline denominational church which was structured with images of the Old Testament law. It meant nothing to me and I went to catechism for three years and was later confirmed as a member. You see, that church believed they could teach you how to become a Christian and the teachings was what they believed.

So after having gone through the motions religion had no place in my young adult life. But I heard the gospel on television (yes, it was sometimes presented back then) and my life was forever changed. But as I sit here I am still amazed that I could have ever been drawn to such an eternal treasure and that I was allowed to even believe. What am I that Thou art mindful of me? To say I didn’t deserve to be grafted into God’s family is such an understatement it is actually self serving on some level. I didn’t deserve to be created; I didn’t deserve to draw my first breath; I didn’t deserve the ability to think; I didn’t deserve the love of my parents; and I didn’t deserve to receive the knowledge that God did exist.

But as I bow my heart I say this with all the humble sincerity I can know. I have never deserved to know Christ and become a born again believer. I was sullied by religion and I was enjoying the pleasures of sin without conscience. And yet the Holy Spirit still draws me to Christ even though I was His sworn enemy? Just what kind of illogical fable is this? Who really would want me? I am certainly not special in any way. So God the Spirit ministers to my heart and mind and I begin to feel a sense of hopelessness. I didn’t turn to Christ immediately because I was enjoying an earthly party thrown in my honor.

And yet the Spirit still strives with me? And then I began to think; then I began to meditate; then I began to dwell; then I began to wonder; and then in an unbelievable instant I began to seek. Yes it was all Him but my thoughts were consumed with the thought that Jesus was real and alive. You would think that going to church would do that to people but you would be wrong. But on so many levels sometimes church itself is a stumbling block for sinners to see Christ. But I would get up and as I put my clothes on I would think about Jesus. As I rode to work I would think about Jesus. As I welded under the helmet I would think about Jesus. I would see a statue of Jesus in the cemetery; I would see a bumper sticker; I would hear someone on the radio speak of Jesus; I hear that one of the Watergate men believed in Jesus; I was almost going insane.

So one night in March of 1975 I climbed up the face of Garrett Mountain in Wayne, New Jersey and sat overlooking the clear Manhattan skyline. I had promised myself I was going to once and for all settle this Jesus thing before I came back down. So there I sat and I spoke out loud directly to Jesus and I said, “Jesus, if you are real and alive I want to know You.” I sat there again in silent thought. And suddenly, I cannot fully put it into words, I receive the unmistakable witness of the Spirit. Yes, Jesus was alive and He was the only way to eternal life. Now I was not remorseful over my sin just then and I knew nothing of the law. All I knew was that Jesus was real and He now was my Savior and Lord.

I descended the mountain and I was never the same. Now I do not know how you came to Jesus. You may have been in a church or in a home or in an evangelistic meeting or even led to Jesus by your parents. But we can all agree that none of us had anything of any value that would have cause Jesus to desire us. We were wretched sinners who thought continually about ourselves. And still He sought us. Still He loved us. And when I think about the cross and that I, the sinner known as Rick Frueh, was on His mind I am undone. I am cut to pieces and broken before Him. Did He not know how many times I would disappoint Him even after He saved me? Did He not know the sin that often lurks in my heart? Did He not know how often I still think only of myself?

And yet here I am His grateful child. It still seems like a dream. And then one day I will go to be with Him. Such knowledge is almost too great to bear. I stand between being embarrassed by such love and being so thankful that I must run into the street and shout His praise! Sometimes I feel like a madman. Many times I feel like a fool. But if knowing Jesus and expressing my unbridled love for Him makes me a fool then let me be a thousand fools! And if I ever lose these moments where I am overwhelmed just by the sheer reality of Who He is and what he has done then let me die. For I have searched, God knows I have searched, and I have found nothing in this world that is worthy to be compared with even one moment in the presence of my Lord and Savior. Nothing…nothing.


Steve said...

Thanks, Rick. POWERFUL testimony of Jesus.

Amen !

In Jesus, Steve

Anonymous said...

A beautiful tribute to a beautiful Savior. He is EVERYTHING!

And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Maran atha!

michael said...

Yes, that's it.

I was raised by one Roman Catholic Native American father who blended his spirit world culture with his catholic misunderstandings and by one backslidden Scottish Irish mother who knew she wanted her young children attending "Sunday School". After they divorced my siblings and I lived with her and went to Sunday School services. After a few years my dad won full custody of us children so we then went to RC catechism for awhile and church mass once on Easter, usually at our Indian Reservation Catholic Church and once a year for Christmas Mass. But none of us were overly fond of the Mass and protested the catechism classes so we didn't have to continue even after a Priest's visit with dad.

So I can say not until I completely ruined my life in college with sex, drugs and Bob Dylan songs did I ever read a Bible. I wasn't a seeker. I disdained the early 60's "Jesus movement" and during College used to harbor anger at the Christians who met weekly in the College theater where they would have a Bible study from noon til one. They always extended their stay and I was always early for theater practice at one. Someone would say something to me about The Lord but I shunned them. "How rude these happy Christians", always wanting to share their love for Christ with me!

But as College faded and the real world came knocking and rebellion caught up with me I began a slow breakdown and withdrawal from reality. I was living alone and one morning I found myself being confronted by Jesus Freaks. I was given a Bible to read. I left these people and went home and started reading Matthew's Gospel. I started in chapter one and got to verse 21, "She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." and like you Rick, the Spirit of Grace and Truth came alive within me and Jesus became real!

I realized in an instant that I was one of "His" people and bam! Bam! Bam I was on the floor crying and repenting and rejoicing for two to three hours! I was filled with His Joy! I never sought it. I never asked for it. I never ever wanted it! But I got it and haven't looked back since!

For me now these words are what I seek for my life, my wife, my two sons, for you and all who call upon the Name of The Lord:

Psalm 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands,
7 to execute vengeance on the nations and punishments on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron,
9 to execute on them the judgment written! This is honor for all his godly ones. Praise the LORD!

Steve said...

Brother Michael, thank you too for your POWERFUL testimony of Jesus !

In Jesus, Steve

Annette said...

Another moving post Pastor Rick, one to ponder for a very long time.

Another moving testimony Michael...thank-you to you both.

If I may quote a sister in Christ, a lovely Walmart employee, who often cuts my fabric yardage with a delightful measure of visiting, said,
"Oh how we are loved by Jesus."

There are those precious moments in the life of a believer when you just know how much you are loved by the KING. And often, in the most unexpected of times, it is reaffirmed by another who loves our LORD Jesus Christ and it sends His presence of knowing how thee is loved.....always to the point of overwhelming joy accompanied by tears.

Oh, how great is Thy love, that He would love a sinner such as thee. Rejoice always.

Blessings to all of you this day.