Bob’s Corner

Excerpt from the unfinished Book of Bob:bob-sims

My name is Robert Sims, pronounced “Bob” by those who know me best. I was born in L.A. — that means “Lower Alabama” to people who are not blessed enough to be from there. I was fortunate to be born into a Crimson Tide family. If you see a small dot on a map about 60 miles south of Montgomery on I-65, the tiny town where I spent a large portion of my formative years is probably about 20 miles from that dot. I moved with my parents to North Carolina shortly before starting elementary school but I spent each summer with my grandparents in Alabama. After my parents were separated during my second grade year, I moved back to Alabama to live with my grandparents for a few years before returning to North Carolina in fifth grade. As far back as I can remember, I grew up attending the services at the town’s small Baptist church and would even attend the Vacation Bible School for the Methodist and Baptist churches—pretty religious, right? It was during that time in Alabama, while in third grade, that my grandmother brought me into her beauty shop, where she shared Jesus with many people throughout the years, and I accepted Jesus into my heart. Thinking back, Third-Grade Bob’s motivation for accepting Christ was entirely based on wanting to go to Heaven and not wanting to go to Hell, but I did not really understand the Gospel. I considered myself a Christian because I accepted Jesus and felt that I was going to go to Heaven because I followed “most” of God’s Commandments “some of the time” and could name a lot of people who were worse sinners than me. I would try to do “good”, minimized my sin compared to the sin of others, and always tried to “do my part” so that the “spiritual ledger” that I kept in my mind would be sufficient for me to enter into Heaven. Did I mention that I attended the Baptist AND Methodist VBS programs each year?

 

After graduating high school, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, attended college, had gotten married, got a dog, and had two beautiful daughters—the American Dream. The entire time, I was keeping my ledger about how good I was and was even getting extra credit by going to church regularly, sometimes twice on Sundays. I had religion down. It was not until I was in my late twenties, through the love and discipleship of Godly men, that I really started to see and understand the beauty of the Gospel. I had it completely wrong. I was using my standard to measure my righteousness instead of God’s standard for righteousness. I began to see myself and God rightly. I saw myself for what I truly was, a wretched sinner who was unworthy to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I saw that even my best efforts to do good had tainted, sinful motives behind it. I saw that it is not possible for myself or any person (besides One) to be able to meet our Holy God’s standard of righteousness. But then I also started to understand the Good News that is the Gospel: We were all enemies and separated from God because of our sin but through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, we are made righteous. There is no “Jesus plus”. There is only Jesus.  His sacrifice is sufficient. My works are not. It is this freedom that provides peace. Because of the gratitude that I have for God’s unwarranted grace, I serve and follow Him. Now, the mission for me is to glorify God in all that I do and to share the Gospel with those who do not yet know so that they may also be saved—not through their works but by God’s mercy and grace. I love being a part of a God-loving group of men who love to study and discuss His Word and our goal is to share the Gospel with as many people as we can.

 

Background: I served in the Marines for 6 years. I worked in the telecommunications industry for 16 years and currently work in the metal roof manufacturing industry (because those are related…). I am married to a very God-loving and beautiful woman, Kimberly Sims. Together we teach our two beautiful daughters, Madelyn and Avery, to love God most and to love others as God loves us. I am very thankful for my family and they are a blessing to me but I am most blessed because God loved me first.

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