I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
**disclaimer: I do believe you can connect with Jesus and find him as a practicing Catholic, this is NOT a bash on that “religion” just…for me…. God took a different path, later in life to reveal himself to me, we all have different stories….and this is my story….
I was raised Catholic.
Though, I never felt like I connected with “Jesus” though my Catholic church years, through religion.
It always felt rigid….and like I was going through the motions.
However, I am so very thankful for my upbringing. I am thankful for my parents who sent me to CCD all those years, and thankful they took me to church when they could.
You want to know why??
It showed me that GOD IS BIG. He is REAL. And, I was made by Him.
He controls my life.
And…..I feared Him. I feared Hell.
I wanted to know: how I could ever be sure I wasn’t going to Hell!!???
I was 14 years old. We were hanging out in her bedroom after a basketball game at high school. We were both cheerleaders.
It was one of those awesome nights with your girlfriend when you have those deep conversations that can go on for hours.
We had been best friends since we were in 5th grade. We went to CCD together all those years.
But… Cyndi was different than me. She had an inner peace about her that I didn’t have.
After all those years of CCD, taking all those vows together, performing all those sacraments….I had doubts.
I asked her (while in the midst of one of those deep conversations), “what if I got in a car accident on the way home tonight, but had forgotten to ask forgiveness for my most recent sins??? Forgotten to go to “confession!!”
“How can I ever be SURE I will go to Heaven!!???”
I was perplexed, and not at peace. And not sure of my eternal security.
Yet, she just smiled at me. And told me it’s a free gift. It’s called GRACE.
…and you don’t need a priest to be your mediator. You can go “straight to Jesus yourself.” and that’s where you will find GRACE, His free gift of forgiveness….for yesterday’s sins. today’s….and tomorrow’s!
She then picked up a little booklet (similar to this one) from her nightstand and read it to me. Then she prayed with me.
And, a peace flooded my heart like a wave. Why had no one ever told me this before??
I had been a slave, in my mind to a religion of “works”….where I could never do enough, never be enough.
There it was…..GRACE. God offering me His Gift of forgivness, and asking for NOTHING in return. Just that I see my NEED for HIM and accept Him!
One decision= Jesus forever…eternal life, peace!
I accepted Jesus as “MY” savior that night in her bedroom!. He was my answer!
….I needed a savior and I asked Jesus to be the LORD of my life. I wanted that assurance…that free gift.
I fell in love with Jesus that night. I fell in love with the FREEDOM He was offering, freedom from condemnation!
As imperfect as I was and am, I knew He now covered me and my sins and stood in my place before God.
He is my advocate!!!
JOHN 15:3 :Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
I believe the Bible to be GOD’s WORD!
It says that we are lost, depraved, hopeless sinners doomed to Hell apart from the love and grace of Christ. It is only by God’s “free gift of salvation” that we can say we know FOR SURE we are going to Heaven when we die. This is not something that we can ever earn (could you ever be pefect enough for God’s perfect standards?…ummm,NO)
We were guilty for the sins we’ve commited (have you ever lied?) Even one lie is enough to keep you out of God’s perfect Heaven.
Here’s the problem.
God is loving, but GOD IS JUST.
A payment and a punishment had to be paid for our sins.
But HE MADE A WAY!
He did not leave us without HOPE!!!! This is SUCH GOOD NEWS! Otherwise, we’d be running around our whole life wondering how we could possibly do enough “good” to get to heaven. It would leave us desperate and without hope.
But, He wanted us.
He pursued us!
HE LOVED US SO MUCH he sent HIS one and only son to pay our punishment. HE DID THAT FOR YOU!!!!! That is supposed to be us on that cross…..we were supposed to endure the hell and pain of the cross.
But JESUS took on our sins, and he MADE A WAY!!!
JESUS…..and Jesus alone is your ticket to heaven. HE COVERS YOU.
Jesus plus nothing = EVERYTHING
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Seriously, ya’ll!! this is amazing!!
But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us. (Romans 5:8)
If you’ve accepted Christ as YOUR savior then YOU have been adopted into HIS Family! You are a son or daughter of the KING!!
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of man, but of God.” – John 1:12-13
Romans 8:15: So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
BUT HOW CAN YOU BE SURE……
Disclaimer: Being “saved”….being a “Christian” does not make you suddenly “perfect” or even “good” for that matter.
It makes you…..forgiven.
In my Christian walk, the one thing that I have noticed is the more closer I become to Jesus….the more I see how very sinful I am…
and the more I see my need for His GRACE.
This, in turn, makes me strive evermore to please Him and walk in His ways.
But, when I fall and fail (as I do all too often). He is there to pick me up. and, I remember that it is only Grace that saves me, nothing I ever do can make Him love me more or less.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
**please feel free to email me with any questions about how you too can know Jesus.