Growing up I was a huge fan of DC Talk. I knew all their songs, watched all of their interviews, loved all their music videos and went to as many of their concerts as I could go to. My especial favorite of the trio was Toby Mac.
I knew a lot about Toby Mac. At the time I could’ve told you his favorite color, candy and cuisine. I watched tons of behind the scenes videos and read articles about him – I honestly felt like I knew him like a personal friend.
And then one day, I had the chance to meet him.
I went with a large youth group to the largest outdoor concert in Dallas on July 4th weekend. I knew Toby was going to be there, and was determined to meet him. The group I was with generally gave me a hard time about it. It didn’t seem likely that out of the 100,000 people attending, I would get that chance.
But as soon as we got settled in our spots, an announcement came over the loud speaker that Toby Mac was signing autographs in the back. Several of us immediately got up and raced to the area where autographs were being signed. When I say that there were hundreds of people in line within seconds of the announcement, that is no exaggeration! By the time we got there, we couldn’t even see the end of the line. This was unfortunate because Toby was only signing autographs for 15 minutes.
Most of our group gave up and went back to their seats, but I still wanted to meet Toby. I hung out in the area near where he was signing and watched him sign for awhile, and then when he was escorted by security away from signing autographs, I covertly followed them from a slight distance and waited outside for hours until he came out, and finally FINALLY had the courage to (let my friend) scream out that I wanted to meet him.
He was gracious and came over, and it took every ounce of courage I had to stammer out that I wanted him to sign my cowboy hat. Which he did. He asked how I was doing, I don’t remember if I was able to answer. We took a picture together. He said something like “God bless”, and that was it.
I was very excited about this encounter at the time – even though it really didn’t go how I imagined it would when I was standing outside
stalking waiting for Toby Mac to come out. Looking back on it today, though, it wasn’t all that satisfying. In the moment that I met him, I realized that I didn’t know Toby Mac. I knew a lot about him and had been a huge fan for years, but Toby Mac was a stranger. A brother in Christ, yes, but one that I didn’t know at all.
On the first day of 2015, I would like to encourage you to consider your relationship with God.
Roughly 80% of Americans believe that God exists, but believing that He exists is not that same as knowing Him.
Each of us was created to know God in a personal way and to have a real relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. Apart from Him, there is no lasting satisfaction in this world.
People are trying to find meaning in life through their family, friends and jobs. They buy more stuff and form addictions chasing acceptance and peace, but there is no satisfaction that can be found in earthly things.
Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.”John 14:6.
Our spiritual condition is one of corruption. As we look into the Bible, our human condition becomes painfully clear: “There is none righteous, no, not one.” Romans 3:10. We are all sinners: “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.
“Therefore, just as through one man’s sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12. If you still don’t believe it, look around. Everything in this broken world bears the marks of our sinful nature. Something has gone terribly wrong in our society and in ourselves. But there is hope. As Paul said in his letter to the Romans, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23. Who paid the price? “But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. How can we get out of this mess? The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.” Romans 10:9-11.
Here is how you can receive Christ:
Admit your need (I am a sinner).
Be willing to turn from your sins (Repent).
Believe that Christ died for you on the cross and rose from the grave.
Through prayer, invite Christ to come into your life through the Holy Spirit. (Receive Him)
Once you have received Christ, pray and read the Bible every day. Ask God to reveal himself to you through the scripture and pour out your heart to Him. Nothing in this world can give you peace like having a real relationship with God Almighty.
I hope and pray that 2015 will be a blessed year for you and that more than anything, you will come into a closer and more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
Happy new year! 🙂