I was raised by two wonderful parents, but my father was agnostic and my mother was German Lutheran. Even though I was loved at home, I did not go to church. On a side note, I am delighted to say that both my parents have received Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I had the privilege to baptize them in June 2008.
All of my young life I lived very selfishly focusing on things that would bring me pleasure, yet I could not find total satisfaction. There was never enough in this world to make me happy. I went through periods when I thought about God and other periods when I totally rejected the thought of a God. It was in college that I felt there was more to God than what I had thought. I believed there was a God, but I didn’t know His identity. The last week I lived in the dormitory, I discovered there was a Bible study between two Baptists and a Mormon. Figuring this could be fun, I showed up hoping to start an argument between them. After a while, they turned on me and I realized I was ignorant about God and the Bible.
Returning to my room, I said a prayer and asked God, if He was real, to reveal Himself to me. The next day two gentlemen walked up to the floor where I lived. It turned out they were looking for someone, but he had already left for the semester. One of the men struck up a conversation with me and told me he was a pastor. He asked me if I ever thought about God. I told him what happened the previous night, except for the prayer I said, and he invited me to church. I gave him my word that I would be there and the following Sunday, even though I thought of not going, I attended worship services.
What I saw was nothing like I had thought church was. People were caring, loving, and friendly. There was something special about them. The only contact with religion I had, up to that point, was what I saw on television with the scandals concerning Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart. This was totally different from what I had believed. I continued to go to church until one Sunday, the pastor gave the invitation and I felt God drawing me to the front. I argued with God thinking I could do this some other time. I also knew if I did walk forward, this would mean a total change in how I was living and I couldn’t walk away from this decision the following week. The invitation ended and then the pastor directed the congregation to another verse of song because he “felt” someone was wrestling with a decision. That someone was me. I walked forward to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior, repenting of my sins. At first, I felt scared and nervous, but after the pastor introduced me to the congregation, I sensed I also had something special. That something special is Jesus and I praise God for Him coming into my life.
Today, while I am still far from perfect, I have a peace with God. Through His son Jesus, He has forgiven me of my sin and has accepted me as one of His Children. You too can receive the same love and forgiveness I have.
First, admit to God that you have sinned and have fallen short of God’s standard of perfection (Romans 3:23).
Second, because of your sin, acknowledge that you deserve to be punished by being eternally separated from God in a place called Hell (Romans 6:23).
Third, accept God’s free gift of love as provided through His Son Jesus who took our punishment upon Himself so that we could be forgiven (Romans 5:8).
Finally, tell God that you accept His Son Jesus as your Lord and that you know Jesus overcame death by being raised from the dead to never die again (Romans 10:9).
It is my hope that you will receive God’s free gift of forgiveness and that will find true meaning in life by being all that God created you to be. If you have prayed for God to forgive you of your sin and accepted Jesus as Lord of your life, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to be able to encourage you in your new life with Jesus.