Pastor Brady's Story
Updated: Jan 27, 2022
Everyone has a story. I pray your story centers around Jesus.
I start my story with some of the harshest words of Jesus. If you have ever read Matthew 23, then you know what I mean. In this monologue of Jesus, He begins to expose and pronounce woes on one of the most prominent religious groups of His day...the Pharisees. Why, you ask, do I start my story with this passage? Because, before Christ, I was a modern day Pharisee. Pharisees prided themselves on their family origin, their knowledge of the law, praise from other people, and their outward appearance. They used the amazing blessings from God for personal pride and gain at the expense of others. This was me.
I grew up in a great church where my family was a very prominent people. My grandfather was a deacon and did much of the architecture and construction of the church, my aunts and uncles played instruments for the choir, and my grandmother was highly respected for her wisdom. I had the proper family. I learned early on facts and information about Jesus and the Bible. I could recite, quote, sing the songs, and answer questions properly. I prided myself and found my identity in what people thought about me and what I thought about myself, especially when comparing myself to other people. I learned how to act toward people in any situation to make them think that I was a good Christian. On the outside, I looked the part. I was a Pharisee.
Jesus exposed and pronounced woes on the Pharisees.
Jesus exposed and pronounced woes on me!
When no one else could, Jesus saw right through my pretending. He knew the truth of me, He knew the grossness of my sin, and He knew the death in me. No one likes to be exposed, especially not me. I had lied to myself so long that I could not or would not see the truth in myself. I remember the day Jesus exposed me. It was on a Sunday night during our church's evening worship service. The band began to play the song Here I Am to Worship. During the refrain of the song, the lyrics rang through my soul by the power of the Holy Spirit "I'll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross." In that moment, the Lord exposed me for who I truly was...a sinner dead in my sins with no hope of saving myself. Not only did He expose me, He pronounced the woe of hell on me because of my sin.
In that moment, the weight of my sin was crushing, overwhelming, and deathly. Hope. Yes, hope! In that moment of brokenness, the Holy Spirit brought the great hope of Jesus. He paid the price, the cost, for my sin. The price was death. He paid that price of death on the cross for my sin. It cost Him His life. His life for mine! What love, what grace. The weight of the sin that I could not bear, He bore for me. Jesus paid the price of death and then defeated death through His resurrection. Yes Hope, hope in Jesus!
In that moment, my proper response was to surrender to Jesus. I did. By grace, through faith, He saved me. He can do the same for you.
Romans 5:8 "but God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us."
Pastor Brady West