Tonight, I experienced one of the most powerful and touching moments of my life at Passion City Church.
To start the night off, the time of worship was awesome! (Led by Chris Tomlin & Christy Knockles.) The house was packed...standing room only. My friend & I had been saving two seats for a couple of friends, but saw an older man and what I believe was his granddaughter standing against the wall & we offered them the two seats. I couldn't be more glad that we did!
Louie Giglio, the pastor, has been doing a series on the Gospel of John and tonight we were studying chapter 3. Each week, we go through a different chapter and Louie gives us a key word to summarize the chapter. Tonight's word was LIFE. (Check out John 3 and you'll see why!) He talked about how every believer has two births, one of the flesh and one of the Spirit, and only one death, of the flesh because our soul has been given the gift of eternal life. (verse 5)
At the end, he offered the chance for anyone who experienced their second birth (of the Spirit) tonight to stand...in a room of at least 1,000 people, about 3 people stood. After a moment, he felt compelled to encourage anyone who was timid to stand at the first offer to take the opportunity now and gave them a few minutes. As I began to look around them room, people were beginning to stand left and right. A couple of minutes later, there had to of been about 30 people standing.
Here's where it get's good...after about 3 or 4 minutes had passed and everyone we thought was going to stand had stood, at the last minute, the grandfather sitting next to me stood up. He had to have been 70 years old. As he stood, tears started streaming out of his eyes...and soon enough, out of mine. He was the last person to stand and then Louie began to pray. As Louie was praying, people just gathered around this man, laying their hands on him, and praying for him as he stood there weeping.
How encouraging! A man, closer to the end of his life, finally finding a new beginning of true life in Christ...standing there singing, hands raised, "I'll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe of the One who gave it all. I'll stand, my soul, Lord, to you surrendered. All I am is Yours."
Sorry for giving your seats away, guys, but this was way worth it. Sitting next to a man who realized it's not too late...that he too could find eternal life as a child of the King.
As we were sitting there, all I could think of was 1 John 3:1 - "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called CHILDREN of GOD! & that is what we are!" This man truly experienced the love the Father has lavished on us tonight and realized that there isn't an age limit on becoming a child of God!
My heart is full of joy knowing that this man's heart is now spoken for!
"If there is something that absolutely must be done before you die in order to go to Heaven, waiting until tomorrow is insane." - John Piper
Check out any of Louie's pod-casts here: http://www.passioncitychurch.com/watch/ I definitely recommend watching the "Open Heart" series and the "Word" series (the series on John).