I am a Christian.
This may come as a surprise to most of you, because I have never really discussed this whole topic on my blog before…and there was a reason for that. The reason I haven’t talked about my faith much was because, well, I didn’t really have a faith worth talking about. Yes, I was born into a Christian home. Yes, I had made a profession of faith when I was eight. Yes, I read my Bible every day (usually) and attended church every Sunday and said all the right things.
But I wasn’t really, truly saved.
Oh, I thought I was – don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t trying to deceive anybody, at least not intentionally, by being good on Sundays and horrible the rest of the week. Still, there were things going on in my life that should have clued me in to the fact that I wasn’t really a true Christian: apathy and indifference toward the things of God, continual resentment – sometimes even hatred – toward certain family members, and other things that I don’t want (or need) to get into. Anyway, I was going on my merry way, content with my books and movies and TV shows and mostly happy life when, suddenly, everything changed.
A visiting pastor came to our church and preached a very strong, very pointed sermon about the dangers of indifference and apathy in the Christian life. And it gripped me in the most powerful way possible – the Holy Spirit was moving and, looking back, I’m happy to say that I didn’t resist Him in the least, but I still thought that perhaps I was saved, but I had just fallen into indifference (as that sermon indicated). What followed was a week of soul-searching, prayer, and Bible reading that ultimately culminated in my coming to the conclusion that I wasn’t saved…and that I needed to be saved right away. God used II Corinthians 6:2 (“…For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation…”) to convict me of my need for the Saviour, and I called on Jesus’ name.
Let me tell you something. The Christian life is the only life worth living, guys. It really is. Even though the last couple of months have been difficult as I have studied my Bible and prayed and, yes, cried, there is nothing, absolutely nothing as sweet and perfect as being saved, trusting and following Jesus, and doing His will. Nothing. If you let Him work in your life, there is nothing that He cannot do.
The last thing I want to do is to sound proud or boastful of myself, because as God has reminded me over and over again in the past several weeks, I am nothing without Him, can do nothing without Him, and am hopelessly lost without Him. But He has done so many wonderful things in my life so far that I can’t help but share them with you (not as though I’m bragging on myself, though, but only on Him, because it is by His grace and leading that I am what I am today – nothing more, nothing less). I’m happy to say that my life has cleaned up dramatically. Sure, I was always the ‘good preacher’s kid’, so to speak (at least from the outside) but there was plenty of stuff that I had to repent of…and now it’s all in the past, covered by Jesus’ blood and I’m truly free from sin’s stains and its grip on me. Another amazing thing that has happened is that my resentment toward the aforementioned family members has been completely removed and it feels wonderful. I also find that I’m less argumentative, more even-tempered, less lazy, and, I hope, generally more pleasant to be around. 🙂 Again, though, I want to stress that none of this is by my own efforts. It is all Jesus, all the time. I’ve tried numerous times before I was born again to ‘be better’ on my own strength, but it never worked. And now I know why: I didn’t have Jesus in my heart, I didn’t have the Holy Spirit guiding me. But now? Well, I’m definitely not perfect, but I love the new me, the saved me, so much better than my old self.
Another great thing that has happened is that I find my interest in spiritual things growing more and more each day. I eagerly look forward to Sunday and Tuesday night church services. I pray a lot (a lot), about anything and everything. I read my Bible every day, first thing in the morning (sometimes more than once a day), and it has become infinitely precious to me. (I use the King James Bible, by the way.) Interesting, encouraging, my guide-book for the Christian life. The Psalms, in particular, have been a huge help to me in these past weeks (and now, of course) because there always seems to be at least one that perfectly expresses my mood, passages that I can prayerfully go through.
And yet another thing: you would have thought that, having been part of a strong Christian family for seventeen years (and my dad a pastor, no less!), I would know pretty much everything there is to know about the Bible, God, Jesus, pretty much any topic you can think of. Welllll…not so. I’m discovering new things every day and coming to a deeper understanding of God, His character, and a fuller realization of everything that Jesus has done for me and so, so much more. It’s both amazing and humbling to discover that there are so many depths that I’ve never explored, never studied, never really even thought about.
I’ve decided to put this up just as I wrote it, with no editing or tweaking (besides whatever obvious typos I find) because this all just sort of spilled from my heart and I don’t think I should change any of it. I hope and pray that if you are a believer as well, this post will encourage you in some way. And if you haven’t accepted Jesus into your heart yet, then please consider doing so today! It’s the absolute best thing you can do with your life and I give you a one hundred percent guarantee that you won’t regret it. Ever.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. -John 3:16