March 1997 – The smartest thing I ever did in my life was to make a decision to follow Jesus Christ. I first remember making that decision when I was about nine years of age. I renewed it when I was about eighteen. The decision to follow Christ has made all the difference in my life.
Recently I celebrated my 59th birthday. As I look back I see how good God has been to me. Not only that, but I see a glimmer of the goodness of God. I can’t understand his total love for His children because I don’t have that ability. But I do understand a small bit of it.
I shudder to think what my life would have been like had I not decided to follow Christ. I won’t go into all the details, but let me just say it would have been vastly different.
Of course, the best thing I had going for me was that I was born into a home headed by a Christian mother and father. How fortunate I was! And they, when growing up, had that same advantage.
Several years ago, I preached a funeral sermon. At the grave site, I was approached by a person I did not know and was asked if my grandfather was John Wildmon. When I said yes, the stranger said my grandfather was one of the finest persons he ever knew. Imagine that! A grandfather I never met made a decision years before I was born that affected my life dramatically. That’s the way life works.
My grandfather Wildmon died before I was born. I hardly knew my grandmother Wildmon as she died when I was relatively young and we hardly ever visited with her because of the distance involved.
My mother lost her mother when she was seven and her father when she was twelve. My mother devoted her life to her family – children and grandchildren. I was grown before I realized why she put so much emphasis on family. It was simply because she never had one.
Our society is increasingly becoming more pagan. Children today will not be able to avoid facing that pagan society. Each of them will make decisions as to what he wants to do with his life, how he will live and react to the hedonistic culture around him.
I am convinced that the finest gift parents can give to their children is to raise them in a Christian home. Every other gift comes in a distant second, not even close.
I hope your children and grandchildren have that advantage.