My Faith

My mom started taking my sister and I to church when I was 7 years old.  There was a Baptist family next door to us that did church service in their home.  Their teenage daughter taught Sunday School.  After they moved away a Nazarene pastor and his family moved into the house 2 houses away and, same thing, did Sunday church service in their home. I don't remember how old I was when we started attending church at their house, maybe 11 or 12, but that was the first time I really understood how one got to Heaven.
I remember one day the daughter (4 years younger than me) said something about Heaven, and I asked her, "how are you so sure you're going to Heaven when you die?  How do you know?"  I had attended Sunday school and church services for years, I loved God, I read my Bible, I knew the major Bible stories, I memorized scripture, but no one had ever actually explained to me how one is guaranteed a place in Heaven.  She explained to me that if you believe with all of your heart and mind that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, and pray to God that you believe this then you are saved from the wages of death and guaranteed a place in Heaven.  I wanted this!  So at the age of 14, in my bedroom, on my knees before my bed, with my Bible open I prayed and accepted Christ as my personal savior.

"If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

God sent his Son as the ultimate and final sacrifice for our sins.  We are forgiven.  We are all God's children, and there is nothing that we can say or do that can separate us from that love. God created every one of us in his image.  He loves every one of us equally.  His love does not discriminate race, disability, ethnicity, political views, sexual orientation, social status, our past, etc. He wants you to come to him just as you are.  Jesus came to love every one, to save every one, to walk among the sinners, to heal the sick, to feed the poor.  It's not about religion and do's and don'ts, it's about having a personal relationship with Jesus.  I can't earn God's love, God is love.  Just as I love my own children, God loves me even more.  To me that is overwhelming.  All it takes is believing that we are sinners, Jesus died on the cross for us and rose from the dead to be able to spend eternity with Him.  But it's a choice and only one you can make on your own.

Dear Heavenly Father, I know that I am a sinner and can not save myself.  By faith I received your gift of salvation.  I trust you and thank you Jesus, for coming to earth, and I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank you for giving me the gift of eternal life. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be my Savior. Amen.

So at the age of 14 I became saved. I know without a  doubt that I am going to Heaven when I die. 

Life didn't get easier, but I now had the power of the Holy Spirit in me to guide me.  "Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us."  2 Timothy 1:14   I had Jesus to help me, to comfort me, to direct my path, to lean on, to give me strength.  God made me, He loves me, and I am perfect in His eyes. The Bible is God's word and is a guide for my life.
Here are just a few of my favorite verses:

"I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot slip, he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you, the Lord is your shade at your right hand;  the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." Psalm 121

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3: 5-6
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts him and he helps me.  My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him." Psalm 28:7
"This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

I have relied on these verses (and many others), prayed these verses, and pressed into God to get me through many challenges in life.  And I honestly believe that I wouldn't be where I am today without Jesus, prayer, and the Bible.  He is my rock, my solid foundation, in life.  I have a daily personal relationship with Jesus.  I have testimony after testimony of God's work in my life, even more than I could have even asked, think, or imagined.    
I am sharing this because maybe like me you grew up in church, believe there is a God, know the Bible stories, but never entered into a relationship with Jesus, or thought that good works got you into Heaven, or maybe you haven't heard any of it and something just "clicked" and you want to know more. Tell someone, read the Bible, pray, find a church, listen to sermons online, read Christian books.  Maybe we never meet here on earth, but my prayer is that we meet in eternity, in Heaven.

(related post:  Blessing  )
(my other blog/faith journal: )

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