This I Believe
If there had been a bed and shower at the church when I was growing up, I think my family would have lived there. From the day I was born, I must have been in church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. And if there was something happening in between those days, we were first in line. In fact, we probably had the church key and opened the doors.
But being at church three times a week didn’t give me a relationship with Jesus. It was the fact that at a young age, I heard that the Bible said everyone sins against God (Romans 3:23). And that God sent His perfect Son, Jesus, to die so I could have my sins forgiven and live with Him forever in Heaven (John 3:16).
At this point I was only ten, so I obviously didn’t need to be saved from a life of crime and drugs. But I felt God showing me of my need for Him and His love for me. So I asked for forgiveness of my sin one night at a church revival and accepted God’s free gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23).
The next 40 years (don’t you like fast stories like this?) I spent trying to live out my Christian faith. But I wasn’t perfect. The Bible says no human being is perfect (Romans 3:10). So I’ve asked forgiveness for many things over the years. I have learned from reading the Bible that God promises forgiveness to those who ask (1 John 1:9).
Sometimes it was hard to forgive myself for what I had done; but I told myself the truth that when I asked forgiveness, God would grant it. I came to realize the only way He kept forgiving me was because His love was greater than any human person is ever capable of showing (I John 3:16).
Even during times when I’ve resisted following close to God, experiencing a distance from Him, and even battling a time of doubt that shook my faith, God has remained faithful. He promises to go through anything and everything with those who call on Him (Psalm 118:6).
As I approached turning 50, I began looking at life differently. My first conclusion was that statistically my life was now half over. But that’s OK because I hold to the promise that either I will meet Jesus in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17) or I will see Him when I die and leave this earth behind (2 Corinthians 5:8). I also continually remind myself that nothing I face here on earth – good or bad – compares with what is waiting for me in Heaven (2 Corinthians 4:17).
In the meantime, I will continue to follow the Jesus that has been faithful to me, even when I’ve been at my worst. God said to the Apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient”; and I have experienced God’s sufficiency in my life too. So I will continue to go where He leads me – enjoying the peace and joy that comes from a life resting in a Risen Savior.
SCRIPTURES USED ABOVE:
Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him s hall not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 3:10 – There is no one righteous, not even one.
I John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Psalm 118:6 – The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
I Thessalonians 4:17 – After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
2 Corinthians 5:8 – We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 4:17 – For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.