It was during the trials of a painful breakup and divorce that I started actively seeking the Lord by attending church. Thankfully, God promises us in the Bible that when we seek Him, we will find Him when we seek Him with all of our hearts. I remember the service where I came forward, sought forgiveness, and completely gave my life to the Lord. Jesus calls this being “born again” in John 3:3, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” The knowledge that I had about what Jesus did for me on the cross finally became a reality in my heart. I wish I could say that from that day forward, everything was easy and I didn’t struggle with sin anymore, but that’s not the case. Becoming a Christian did not erase the consequences of past sins, nor does it mean that I never fall into sin anymore, but I no longer run TO sin as I once did. I know I am forgiven, and God gives me the grace and strength to live each day for Him.
Jeremiah 29:11 states “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” This is a particularly meaningful verse to me because God had a plan for me all along. Even when I turned my back on Him through sin and rebellion in my teen years, He was there waiting for me to return with open arms. God, who hates sin, loved me so much that He sent His only Son to die for me so that I could be forgiven, and that “whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and in Ephesians 2: 8-9 that it is “by grace we have been saved, through faith- and this not from ourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works so that no one can boast”. This means there is nothing I can do on my own to deserve God’s favor- no amount of good deeds can make up for my sin. When I disobeyed God’s laws, my sin prevented me from having a relationship with Him. I deserved eternal death for my choices, but God gave me eternal life through Jesus, and HIS death on the cross: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) By repenting and turning from my sin and believing with faith in what Jesus did for me on the cross, I am given not only help and guidance in this life, but eternal life in heaven when I die. This is the only way- there is no other way to be made right with God but through faith in Jesus Christ: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Today I am a completely different person than I used to be because of what Jesus did for me.
To be continued...