My wife, Gina, and I grew up in two totally different worlds. Her dad was a pastor; her brother was a pastor; her mother went to seminary; her brother went to seminary; her sister went to seminary and married a pastor. She gave her life to Jesus at a tent revival. Her brother was leading the worship and stepped down from the platform to lead his little 7-year-old sister to Christ. She has loved and lived for Christ all of her life.
She grew up in church. I grew up in a bar.
My mama was 15 years old when she got pregnant with me. Nobody in our family knew the Lord. My dad was a teenager. My mom ran a bar and my dad was a truck driver who was never home. As an 8-year-old boy coming home from second grade, I stood between my mom and dad and dodged flying pots and pans, flying ashtrays and flying cuss words. My parents threw in the towel on their marriage.
Something inside of me died.
I started getting in trouble in school at a young age. I was introduced to alcohol in eighth grade and within two years, I was drinking every day. When I was a sophomore, someone handed me my first joint, telling me it would make my problems go away. Two years later, I was addicted to both drugs and alcohol. I heard about Jesus from some girls who had made a list of the top 10 worst kids in our high school that they wanted to see come to know Jesus -- I made number one.
So, they would pray for me. And they told me about Jesus – the One who loved me and died for me.
Gina and I could not have been more different, but we shared the same dilemma. In fact, we all share the same human dilemma. All of us feel a sense of guilt over the things we’ve done in our lives. We’ve all fallen short of the glory of God. When we look at ourselves in the mirror of God’s law, we all find out just how lost and how empty we are.
We’ve all broken God’s law. We all have a sense of shame and a sense of loneliness. We all have a fear of death.
It wasn’t until I had been arrested and booked on a felony, while sitting in a jail cell in Fort Worth, that the words of those girls came back to me and the Spirit of God convicted my heart of sin. I didn’t know much about Jesus and didn’t have it all figured out, but I gave my life to Him that day.
I gave my life to Jesus. The same Jesus Gina gave her life to as a young child. The Jesus who was nailed to a cross for me; the One who took every sin I’ve ever committed, every sin Gina has ever committed and every sin you’ve ever committed upon Himself. The Jesus who demonstrated His power over death by rising from the dead. She met Jesus in a revival meeting. I met Jesus in a jail cell. What matters is that we both met Jesus. He forgave our sin. He came to live in our hearts, filling that God-shaped vacuum that we’re all born with. I am another person because of the power of Jesus Christ.
He offers the same to you. He wants you to meet Him, wherever you are.
Whoever will call on the Name of the Lord will be saved.
Scott Camp is an evangelist based out of Arlington. He has preached the Good News all over the world. He regularly ministers throughout Texas and Louisiana and is the Faculty Chair of Evangelism at the School of Urban Missions in West Monroe. This article is adapted from his message “Who Is Jesus?” You can view the entire message and other messages from Scott Camp at his YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaYpN5ZqiEtlK-EjZTyaO0w