During our recent trip to Texas, I took my family to the location where the substitution of Christ was applied to my life. Christ purchased my pardon at Calvary. He applied it to my standing with God at Calvary Christian Center in Orange, Texas.
It was one of my more sentimental moments. We pulled into the parking lot and I was ready to explain to my 3 year old daughter all that God did in my life "in that building." I was ready to attach God's saving work in my heart to this physical location. Then, my godly and humble wife reminded me that it was not this building that God used to draw me to Himself, it was the people changed by the gospel.
Yes, she is right (as she most often is). It was God's people, preaching the gospel and loving me through the gospel that God used to awaken my affections for Christ.
Those people loved me to Christ. They challenged me to read the Bible. They prayed for me.
This building is most unimpressive. Only a handful of people can gather here on Sunday morning. It only has one bathroom. There is no stained glass, no soundbooth, no cool youth area, and no projector.
All they had was a little old lady who taught me and 2 other teenagers the Bible every Sunday morning. All they had was a bi-vocational pastor who led the music and preached from the Bible 2 times every Sunday. All they had was a passion to worship the Lord together. All they had was a love for a lost teenager who had never heard the life-altering message of the gospel.
There are probably a hundred things I would disagree with them on today. However, my disagreements over theology and methodology do not decrease my gratefulness to God for them one bit.
Father, I thank you for the people of Calvary Christian Center 15 years ago. Continue to use them to awaken love for the Savior. Use me, in spite of all my sin.