He Lives - text and music by Alfred H Ackley
With all the compelling evidence for the resurrection, the empty-tomb, the eye witness accounts, the clear, indisputable testimony of the Scriptures and Christ Himself, perhaps the most persuasive evidence, that which cannot be easily dismissed, is our own personal encounter with the risen Lord.
I remember as a cocky, rebellious 17 year-old kid boldly declaring I did not need God in my life. But then I came face to face with the resurrected Christ and everything changed. I cannot fully explain it but I know it is real. For almost 40 years the Lord Jesus has continually revealed His mercy and kindness to me. I have been the recipient of His amazing grace. I have heard Him whisper words of affirmation and love; I have been given direction and purpose in life and an eternal hope and sustains me in those times when the path gets hard and the world seems like a dark and scary place. I have know what it is to live as beloved child of the Father.
My encounter with the risen Christ has changed my life's ambition, my life's vocation; it has changed our geographical location and more importantly it has changed my heart's orientation. I've experienced the transforming power of the truth of His Word and the life-changing power of His grace. As I look back on my journey of faith, I see a continual, undeniable pattern of His leading and provision and care. When I have wandered or lost my way, even in the dark night of my soul, I have never been abandoned for He has promised, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5) I have experienced His abiding presence; I know what it is to rest in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1)
When I am weak, I have know His strength; when I have been restless, I have know His peace. When I have been afraid, I have heard Him whisper, do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27) When I have cried out, He has heard my prayers; when my courage has faded, He has renewed my confidence and restored my hope. I have lived the promise of His Word that those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength. (Isaiah 40:31)
As a core conviction of my life I hold to the truth that there is a God, that He loves me, that we are in a covenant relationship; that His desire is to break into my life and to lead me in ways that consistent with His highest hopes for me and when my journey here on earth is over, I will have a home in heaven; I will be with Him forever. You ask me how I know He lives...because these truths are so incredibly real and powerful in my life I have no other explanation; because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12