: Larry Jones
 

My name is Larry Jones and I greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Please bear with me as I give a short testimony of my conversion to Christ and the subsequent years.

As a young married man I had a hunger for truth and reality. I simply could not see any purpose to life. I felt so empty. As a disgruntled Catholic, I prayed to God to show me…. something. What’s it all about? If there is truth, what is it?

I was at mass, another boring mass, wife and kids at my side. I was attracted to the crucifix (an image of Jesus on a cross) hanging at the front of the church. Tears leaked down my face as, for the first time in memory, the Holy Spirit spoke to me, saying, “Don’t you get it?” “No, God, I don’t get it,” I replied. “Don’t you get it?” He asked again. “No, God, I don’t get it.”

You see, I was staring at the answer to my heart’s cry, a cry for truth and reality. I was staring at (an image of) Jesus. “Don’t you get it?” the Holy Spirit spoke again and again. My answer was the same, “No, God, I just don’t get it.”

But soon after I got it. I was handed a tract, The Four Spiritual Laws, and I made a decision to embrace Jesus Christ as lord and savior. A light turned on inside, and my life was changed from darkness to light. I was born again. I entered a spiritual world I never knew existed. That was 1972.

Five years later I led my family out of catholicism and we attended an evangelical church. It was at the far end of the 1980’s that I produced The Main Issue, having it delivered throughout my city in B.C., Canada. I am so pleased you have visited my website. Perhaps you will be moved to accept Christ. Perhaps you already have.

If you have recently (or not-so-recently) made a decision for Christ, I have something to say to you:

Where do you go from here? -  deeper. You are a babe in Christ, and healthy babies grow. You have much to learn, but as you learn you must protect and enhance the new relationship you now have with Christ. You see, I lost what I had when I first came to Christ, the fervor and excitement.....well, not completely, but the passion dissipated a little each year until there wasn't much left. Now I must tell you my sad story is not uncommon, and I don't want it to happen to you.

A few hours previous to this writing I met a friend at a coffee shop. I relate his story because it is typical. He became a Christian twelve years ago, and realized he had seriously drifted from Jesus. Fortunately, a few months ago he returned to the Lord and the joy has returned. Drifting from Christ (what we Christians call backsliding) is, sadly, quite common. Actually, it's scary. If 100 newborn Christians were gathered in a room, I would guess-timate that in a period of ten years, most - yes I said most - would have lost their fervor for the One who bore their sins on the cross (though they may remain attached to organized religion). Some of those 100 will have drifted so far from Christ they will not make it to heaven, but will reside in that place most find too ghastly to think about. Only a few will live victorious fruitful lives. As I said, scary.

And unnecessary.

You can and must protect the enthusiasm you have for Christ. Be like the aged granny always checking the thermostat to see if it's adequately warm in her house. You see, if your relationship isn't becoming warmer, it is cooling. Don't be fooled because you are gaining Christian friends or you are becoming involved in 'Christian' activities. Many are spinning because they don't want to be still enough to enter intimacy with Jesus.

You have a friend, a Friend, who is able and wanting to help you every day of your life, the same One responsible for your conversion to Christ. I am speaking of the Holy Spirit, Christ's gift to you. Don't replace that Friend with a human friend, no matter how nice, no matter how smart. His assignment is to keep you, instruct you, govern you. But this is the *****problem: The Holy Spirit will only keep, instruct and govern by your permission and cooperation; He will never trespass your free will, so much so that He will let you go back to your old life if you choose.

Please listen to me. The Holy Spirit will always be there for you. Your place is to trust Him, rely upon Him. Relying on the Holy Spirit must be a way of life. You might think, Hey, that's easy, but it isn't. Though some Christians lean on the Holy Spirit, more trust in something else - money, investments, job, religion. Some trust in their own ability and understanding, while others trust in the local pastor or the Christian group they hang with.

Why is it crucial to trust in the Holy Spirit?

The heart of the Holy Spirit is to bring you into deeper communion with Christ, to teach you His ways, to make you Christ's effective disciple. If it were not for the Holy Spirit you would never have accepted Christ, and if not for the Holy Spirit (that is, your reliance upon the Holy Spirit) you will not better that relationship.... you won't even maintain it. When you fail (a gentle word for sin), it will be the Holy Spirit who leads you to repentance. When you are about to say something stupid, the Holy Spirit will 'check' you. When you are about to make friends with the wrong person, read the wrong book, join the wrong group, the Holy Spirit will warn you.....but....only if you ask Him to watch over you. Only if you rely upon Him. Only if you voluntarily come under His governorship.

******I am not saying the Holy Spirit wants to be the highlight of your life. Oh, no. He wants Jesus to be your continual focus. He wants Jesus to be your object of praise and worship. He wants you cloaked in the awareness of Christ's love for you. The Holy Spirit wants you to embrace all that is Christ and all He has done, including, most importantly, the cross.

And......

The Holy Spirit wants to bring you to the Father, the One who loves you so deeply that “He gave His only begotten Son” to not only hang on the cross on your behalf, but, while there, to bear your sins upon Himself.

The Holy Spirit wants you to never forget Calvary. Do you know that for all eternity you will praise and thank Jesus for the cross and the Father who sent Him to the cross? Here, it is so easy to forget, to become distracted by problems and greed and religious ambitions. But there - because your faculties will be sharpened, your understanding of the greatness of His love magnified -  your appreciation will go deep. But you're not there yet; your earth years must be spent working at it - growing in appreciation for who He is and what He has done for you.

To put it in the simplest term: Learn Christ. I mean, spend your life learning Christ. Not religion, not rules and regulations, not how-to-do-this and how-to-do-that. Learn Jesus. Learn Jesus. Learn Jesus.

Christ can be gained - that is to say, the relationship you now have with Jesus can be increased, sweetened. And that's what you want – more. And more. And more.

Please hear me. If it's not more it will be less. And less. And less. Until you become another lukewarm Christian. Bored and boring. Filled with unbelief. Not very content.

How do you gain Christ? - by being filled with the Holy Spirit. And how do you get more of the Holy Spirit? - by purposely pursuing Christ. 

Now please understand, I am not talking instant. Get instant out of your thinking. Think gradual. Think continuous and gradual increase. Time and faithfulness will get you more
of Him.

Now consider your two gates, your eye-gate and your ear-gate. You are responsible for what gets through these two gates. You, no one else, are the gatekeeper. The Christian you become will be determined by what you see and what you hear. What your eyes see and read, and where you place your ears is crucial.

Your eyes. Most of what you learn is non-verbal. You will learn by watching others, this for the good and the bad. Examples are helpful and harmful. You assimilate. If you surround yourself with the lukewarm, you know what you will become. If you keep company with the fervent, your life will be enriched. You need the Holy Spirit to guide you into the right company. And He will guide you to the degree you seek His guidance. (Oh, if you would just get this!)

Your ears. Jesus said more than once, “He who has ears to hear let him hear.” You see, not all have ears to hear. Many (most?) are not particularly teachable. Words create. Who you become depends largely on the words you hear, the books you read. Try this: Do not read anything during the day before reading the Bible, even if only for ten or fifteen minutes. And during that time, always read at least some of the words Christ spoke (in red print in most Bibles). Simply make it a rule. Do not decide for yourself what Christian material to read and where to set your ears (what group to associate with). Again, ask  the Holy Spirit to guide you.  

You must cultivate a relationship with Jesus. The downfall of most Christians is failing to do so. Don't be a spinner, spinning through the day's schedule. Slow down. Take control of your life. How much alone time will you spend today enriching your relationship with Christ? With some it's a few minutes. With others it is three to five hours. You will get out what you put in.

Don't fall into the “I got to do!” trap, no matter how passionately the preacher says you must, no matter how demanding life's pressures become. Jesus said (Oh, if only you would get this!), “Without Me you can do nothing.” But those keen to drawing closer to Christ (those purposing to rely on the Holy Spirit to bring them relationally closer to Christ), will bear much good fruit. Guaranteed.

So go for it! (Go for Him!) I sincerely wish you well. Email me if you like.

 And now I warmly, stress warmly, invite you to peruse my second website, John Fifteen.