|Grandma Jones with Mother and Dad at the General Assembly|
|Mom and Dad|
As I write these words it occurs to me that many may take it that we are saying we are more deserving of God’s blessings than others. Not so. Let me state two things here. Number one, You do not receive salvation (nor any other gift of God) by doing good works. It is by grace, through faith that we receive from His bountiful hand. Number two, speaking in tongues is not as important as being sanctified. God demands a lifestyle of holiness. That does not mean we are perfect but that we strive for perfection.
But then, why would God give one person such blessings and not give the same to others? Is it because one is perfect and the other is flawed? Is it because one is doing a myriad of good things? Why would one individual’s life be so full of good and another’s be filled with nothing but turmoil and strife? I know from personal experience that it is not because of one’s goodness. And I’m reminded that the Psalmist said, “3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Psalm 14:3) A man came to Jesus in Matthew 19 and – calling him “good master” – asked what he could do to inherit eternal life. I believe Psalms 14 was in Jesus’ mind when he asked the man, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” (Matthew 19:17 ) Now all believers know that Jesus was good. So what did these words of Jesus mean? I believe that Jesus was saying to him, “If you recognize that I am God, then you have your answer.”
I learned some years after my spiritual crisis from some well-meaning folks that a person could not even be saved until they were at least 12 years of age. They just came too late to tell me that because I knew beyond any shadow of doubt that God had saved, sanctified and filled me with the Holy Spirit. I have thanked God for that experience many times in my life as I went through times of doubt. Thinking back to that time even as I write these words gives me strong assurance that God is real. As wonderful as my experience was = there were many other things which I was told later that would have negated all of my experience had my faith not been based in the Bible. Of course I have had questions. I have doubted. I have failed the Lord and had to repent again (more than once) – but I KNOW that God changed my life that night in 1946 and that I’ve never been the same since.