“I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live” (Psalm 116:1-2).
As a very young child, I gave my heart to God and surrendered myself into His care. I vividly remember crying because of the conviction of the Holy Spirit on my life. I prayed with my mother in a back Sunday school room for Jesus to come into my heart. While I never went deep into sin, I needed the same saving grace of God in my life as the drug addict and the drunkard. As I grew and matured, I had some ‘spiritual growing pains’ and failures along the way–as do many who get saved at a young age. I never lost my desire to serve God and yet I made many trips to an altar of prayer as a young person. I thank God today for the faithfulness of the Spirit. As the song says, “The Spirit led unerring to the land I hold today.” I was and remain desperate for the daily presence of God in my life, for my way will lead me astray.
I am in love with the Lord and value His presence in my life more than life itself. God has been faithful to hear my voice and answer prayer. He has healed my body, drawn me back from the brink of death, given me a wonderful family, provided for my daily bread; but most of all He saved my soul from the bondage and grip of sin. He has given me His peace and the presence of His Spirit. Truly, I have much for which to thank Him. Regardless of trials and heartaches, if you love the Lord you have the most valuable treasure in the whole world. This edition of The Gospel Truth focuses on the most important commandment and doctrine in the Bible — Love.
As you face this new year, be assured that God will continue to be faithful to you. As He has met your needs in the past and seen you through the valleys and the fire, so shall He be with you this year. Stay faithful, pilgrim of Jesus, and keep your eyes on the Master. New victories await you and if you hold on to Jesus, one day you shall walk with Him into Heaven.
The last two months I have suffered in my body and have been unable to be very active due to headaches, seizures, and physical weakness. I am thankful for every touch from God and I look for better things ahead. I am encouraged in the Lord and desire to have more years to labor in His service if He sees fit to bless me with life and strength.
My prayer remains that The Gospel Truth will be an encouragement and help to every reader at home and abroad. If this paper has been a blessing to you, it would be an encouragement for the future of the work to hear back from you. Please feel free to email me personally at:
May God bless you with a wonderful year because of His presence. May we all walk in the light and holiness of His Word and be at peace.
-Michael W Smith