Thursday, September 17, 2015

My Testimony

I was raised in church. In fact, I started attending 9 months before I was even born. So it’s not surprising that I realized at a young age of my need of a Savior. If we are honest, most of us would admit that we are sinners but not all of us always understand the separation between ourselves and God because of it.

So there I was at 5 years old, sitting in Sunday School one morning, when I realized that because of my sin and because God did not have any sin, I would not be able to go to Heaven.

Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death;”

But then if you keep reading that verse, you learn something what I learned that day, and that is this“ …but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

I learned that day that my sin earned me a place in Hell, a place that God created for the devil and his angels, not a place for me. …but due to my sin and God’s holiness, I would have to go there.

As a remedy, God, in His grace and love toward us, sent Jesus.

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If I believe in Jesus and put my faith and trust in HIM, I will receive the gift of eternal life. Heaven will be my home.

That day, I went home and told my dad what I learned. He took me into the spare bedroom and talked to me about my sin.

In Matthew 9:13 Jesus says “for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."  … He goes on to say many times “Repent and be ye baptized”

I knew that I had to confess my sin and turn away from it.  I had to choose God over my sin.

So that day, kneeling at the edge of the bed, I got down and told God what he already knew, that I was a sinner. I confessed to him my short past, and asked Him for His gift of Jesus.

Part 2
Over the years I struggled with trusting God to actually save me. I would slip in and out of different sins which would make me doubt my salvation even more.

I prayed to accept Jesus many times over those next years, just thinking that “this next time would do the trick.”  I had trust in the words that I was speaking, rather than in the Savior Who was saving.

I would confess every sin I ever sinned and then would re-ask Him into my heart. This happened until about 9 years ago. That last time, I sat crying on the porch of a friend.  I told the friend my struggle and said I just didn’t know if I was truly saved. I poured out my heart to God and asked him to save me. I knew that day that I had to trust Him and not the words I had been saying for all those years.

For those of you that are struggling with truly knowing that you are saved, here are a few tips:
First, trust Jesus.  John 3:16 says “whosoever believeth in Him” You have to believe that He will save you. Faith is about believing in Him.

You know, He has always kept His promises. He is faithful and true. In fact did you know that “faithful” is a word that describes him Deuteronomy 7:9 says “Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;”

He is trustworthy, you can trust Him to save you. Don’t put stock in your own words or in the time it happened or where it took place. Put stock in the Savior who is doing the saving.

Second, if you are struggling, get in the Word.
John 5:21-14 says
 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; This is you.  that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.  And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
Going back to that phrase These things have I written” …these “written” things are the Bible. Most of the time, the reason we are struggling is because of one of two things.
1.     There is sin and so we feel a disconnect from God OR
2.    We don’t really know the God who loves us, the God who sent Jesus to save us.
Just like any other relationship, communication IS KEY, so when we feel disconnected or “not saved”, it’s usually because we haven’t communicated with God in a while or allowed Him to speak to us through the WORD of God, the Bible.
LASTLY, if you are really just not sure, read the book of I John.  Pray through it and ask God to show you if you have ever repented and trusted in Him. He will show you. 

One thing that I have definitely learned, is that GOD LOVES ME and HE WANTS ME. He wants you, too.  So much that He sent Jesus to rescue you from Hell. He is waiting with open arms, the arms that love you so much that they were stretched out on a cross for you.
Trust HIM today.

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