Pilgrim Jim's Treasure Field
For where your treasure is, there will  your heart be also. Matthew 6:21 KJV
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A DIFFERENT PERSON

When I made the decision to ask Jesus to forgive me for my sins, to repent, turn from the way in which I was going and to receive Jesus Christ into my life I knew that I had a lot to learn.  I soon began to sense that many changes had taken place within me and I was a different person, a situation that the Bible refers to as being a new creation in Christ.   "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:"   2 Corinthians 5:17-18  NIV

Those first few days and weeks I knew that I was a different person and that changes had taken place within my heart, soul and spirit. One day I decided to call my brother, Gene, and tell him about my experiences and new life as a born again Christian. I called him and asked him if he had heard that I had made a decision to give my life to Jesus Christ. He told me that he had heard about it, but he also said that even if he had not heard about it he would have known that something was different because he could tell it in my voice. Now that amazed me, to hear that even my voice indicated that something was different in my life.

There was an acquaintance that I will refer to as Friend. I did not have a close relationship with Friend because I didn't like some of the things that he did and I suppose that before I repented and received Christ as my Savior, I thought that I was better than he was. Now , how in the world could that be? I certainly was not better than anyone, and probably turned a blind eye to all my own faults, failures and shortcomings, prior to meeting Jesus. I had been judgmental and held myself aloof from this person. In reality I certainly was not better than he was but the devil can deceive you quite easily when you're willing to be deceived, and are not following after Christ. I had been a Christian for just a few short weeks when one Saturday afternoon, on my way home from a morning at work, I looked in the rear view mirror and saw a car some distance behind me. I didn't recognize the car but a very strong sense of awareness of that car came over me. I didn't actually hear a literal voice or anything like that but something like an inner voice was telling me that there was something about that car that was extremely important. I continued to watch that car in my rear view mirror, with a sense of excitement and expectation. I knew that something related to it was pulling at me. I even asked the Lord if He wanted me to stop the car and talk to whomever was in it but didn't sense that I should do that, so I continued on the 5 miles to the next town where I lived.

I entered the city limits of the town where I lived, stopped for a traffic signal at an intersection, and watched as that car came up behind me and then pulled up beside me on the right side. I could sense some tension and excitement because I knew that there was something about the car that was demanding some sort of attention. I was almost afraid to look over there but I did. When I looked, suddenly, I knew exactly what it was all about and I knew exactly what the Lord wanted me to do. There, in the car beside me, smiling at me, sat Friend.

I can not explain how God tells us what we need to know and I don't know how He can accomplish so much in an instant of time but when I looked over at Friend, God spoke many things to me in the twinkling of an eye. He showed me that I had been wrong to harbor the negative feelings and attitudes about Friend. The Lord showed me that my heart needed to be right with people in order to be right with God. He also showed me that I needed to do something about it and must make it right. Just how the Lord accomplished all of that in an instant of time, I do not know but I'm so thankful that He did. Sometimes God speaks very slowly but sometimes He speaks extremely fast, if we are willing to listen. 

Friend and I sat there, with our automobiles side by side, speaking to one another, for only a moment, and then the traffic light changed and we both went on our way. That moment in time was long enough because now I knew what I was supposed to do. When I got home I called someone and asked them if they knew where Friend lived and they said that they did. I asked them if we could go there the next day after church and we did. Sunday afternoon I visited Friend and just had a very enjoyable time visiting and talking with him. I told him about my new life in Jesus Christ and he said that he had heard about some of the changes that had taken place and knew that something was different. We saw each other a few times after that and I always enjoyed the times. I spoke with Friend about some of the teachings of the bible and we became friends. I had to ask God to forgive me for my previous judgmental attitude and I was amazed and thankful for the way He had brought the need to my attention.

Friend moved to another state for employment not very long after our new beginnings of friendship at the traffic signal. Friend had some health problems related to his heart and entered a hospital, in the other state, for an operation. A Pastor, whom I understand was from an Assemblies of God Church in that town, came to visit Friend and I have been told that Friend prayed with the Pastor and committed his heart and life to Jesus. I believe Friend began a new life that day when he prayed for forgiveness and asked Jesus to come into his life. Friend never came back to his earthly home because he died while in the hospital.

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
2 Peter 3:9  NIV

God has a time and a purpose for everything. Nothing surprises him and nothing escapes his eye. God moves and works in mysterious ways and I am very grateful that He loves each and every one of us.

And that's the way it was that day, on Pilgrim Jim's journey.
James Lloyd Clark

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