Hesed

Monday, October 30, 2006

How I became a Christian

33 years ago today, I was born into this world. But roughly 23 years ago, I was reborn. I thought today on my physical birthday I would explain how I came to know the God of the universe personally. I was one of those who practically grew up in church. I went to a lot of Sunday services and heard someone talk about Jesus Christ and how He died for the sins of everyone and yet He rose from the dead because He was actually God. I came to know a lot more about Him and the Bible because I was fortunate to have parents who loved me to church (not a grammar mistake). They did not hassle me about going to church, but they did show me in their own life what they valued and thought was important.

One day in Vacation Bible School, my elderly teacher told us about God’s law. She said these Ten Commandments are God’s standard for life. But then at the end of the lesson, she said something that blew me away. She said everyone had broken God’s law. Now I had heard that before, but this time it was different. I began to look at that law just to see if she was right. I thought I never murdered anyone. I didn’t even understand what this “covet thy neighbor’s property” meant. But then I realized that she was right. I had lied. And I had put other things before God in my life. And as a final blow, she said that the Bible said that if you break just one of God’s laws, you are a law breaker. So it didn’t matter that I had only broken the lesser of the laws, I was guilty of breaking God’s law. Now understand something before I go on. She did not get up there and just wag her finger at us. In fact what really got me to think about all this was when she began to tell us how she herself had indeed broken God’s law just like the rest of us. I thought if this sweet, old lady, who I had never even heard cuss, could fall short of God’s standard, then what does that say about me.

Anyway, I tucked all that inside me for years until later at a youth service; a preacher got up and told us much of the same thing. But he began to tell us that if we had broken God’s law, then we had been separated from Him because God is holy and perfect. And then he said the greatest thing I have ever heard. He said that God loved me too much to leave me separated from Himself. He had created me to have a personal relationship with Him. A relationship I thought I had until that day in Vacation Bible School. That is why He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to die in my place. He said God wanted me to have this new life with Him and so that is why Jesus Christ rose from the dead to prove that he could offer me that supernatural life. I knew right then what I had to do. I responded not to the preacher that evening, but to Jesus Christ because I heard His voice saying to my heart, “trust Me.” I placed my faith and trust in Him as my God and Savior that evening. I realized that when Jesus died on the cross, He died for me, to pay for my sins. I was the law breaker that had the punishment for breaking the law removed by Jesus Christ. He was sinless, and He never broke any law; yet that is the very reason why his punishment satisfied God’s wrath against my sin and my breaking His law. Jesus Christ is my God now and I see His hand in my life more clearly, directing me and providing for me. He speaks through His word and shows me how to follow and love Him. Before it was just church, now it's personal.

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