Sam I am
January 30, 2021 by Bob Elliott
I have been reading through the Bible in a year by Nicky Gumbel, the pioneer of the Alpha Evangelism Series. In it he shares a personal story of a man named Sam. I would like to share Sam’s story with you today.
Sam, aged 23, was a militant atheist. He associated himself with the teachings of fervent opponents of the faith and religion. One evening, he went online and discovered that Alpha was to start within easy access of his home. He turned up to our church thinking, “I’m going to take down a few irrational Christians here.”
But his encounter with the teachings and person of Jesus Christ was not what he expected! On his questionnaire at the end of the course, he wrote, “I found the draw of Jesus irresistible and have gone from being someone with no faith, to someone with an immense amount of hope. To live in a state of non-truth to living in truth is, to me, the difference between being bound, to complete freedom.” Whom the son sets free, is free indeed. Sam came to a place of understanding this in a very personal dimension. I just love hearing people’s story like Sam. Much like Paul, while on the road to Damascus, experienced the most dramatic life change possible. There is a sweet savor of lives dramatically changed by the love of Jesus.
Three months later, Sam was baptized. ”I am free of my previous life. I was a slave to a lot of things that I wasn’t aware of at the time. I was a slave to society, a slave to my peers… But now I am free to live my life. I am excited to see what God’s got in store for me into the future.”
Sam had an experience of Christ sets us free. It is interesting to me that some people get it and others don’t, even when given similar information concerning the good news of the gospel. Some will allow God to soften their hard heart, and have their lives beautifully transformed, much like a caterpillar metamorphosing into a butterfly. Others remain stubborn and trapped in unbelief. They may say, don’t bother me with the facts, my mind is already made up so don’t try to persuade me otherwise.
In the Dr. Suess book, Sam did not like green eggs and ham. However, when he finally tasted them, he changed his mind to a place where he says “hey, I do like green eggs and ham” That Sam I am, that Sam I am. Taste and see that the Lord is good!
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