Eleven years ago...

....I was 6 years old, a stubborn little sinner who knew alot about Christ, but didn't really know Him.  I was one of those know-it-all little kids who memorized easily, loved facts, loved knowing more than other people (especially those older than me) and facts about Christ were just that: facts.

Then on April 2, 1999, Good Friday, my family and I went to an Easter drama at a local church.  I sat there stunned as I watched a gruesome (at least it seemed that way to me) reenactment of Christ's rejection, suffering, death, and burial.  I had known that Jesus died, but never did I understand what He went through because He loved me.   I was overcome with the realization: Christ died for me!  Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

I was definitely a sinner, there was no question about that!  I wasn't one of those little kids who make people question whether people are born sinners: I confirmed it!  I was rebellious, disobedient, stubborn, deceitful, angry, resentful, jealous...among many things.  I was on my way to a Christless eternity in hell.  Though I was young, I was old enough to understand. 

It was in that moment, that I understood.  Christ suffered so much because He loved me and wanted me to be His child, and yet, what was I going to do about it?  That night, I humbled myself and admitted that I was a sinner in need of salvation.  I thanked Christ for dying, and rising for me and asked Him to save me from my sin, from death.

I ran forward at the invitation, yes, at age six, without my parents, and joined a line of a hundred or so people  for counseling.  I had been in line for a while when my parents realized that I was gone, and I decided that I didn't want to wait in line, or go in a back room with a stranger by myself, and so I ran back down the middle aisle!

When my family and I got home, my parents took me back to their bedroom and talked about what salvation was, making sure I understood.  I prayed with them, and we called relatives and friends telling them the good news. 

Some may question the validity of a decision made at a young age.  Some may belittle the fact that I had not done many terrible things.  Some may think my story sounds normal and not "exciting." I am not ashamed of being saved at a young age: I am grateful.  As a missionary who came to our church said, "I was not saved out of a life of terrible sin, but I was saved from a life of sin." I am so grateful, for if that day, I had not become a child of God, who knows where I would be today?

Eph 2:4-10 "But God, ( I love those two words!) who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." 

I have nothing to boast in, no righteousness of my own to hold up and exalt.  I was lost, but Jesus found me, and did everything possible and everything necessary that I might be justified (declared righteous) in His sight.

The next verse in Ephesians 2 goes on to say: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

My response to what Christ did must be to be faithful in what He has prepared for me, and to live my life to glorify Him.  Luke 9:23 "Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?"

This is the part I'm in now, denying myself, taking up my cross and following, wherever my Savior leads.  After all, He did so much for me, how can I but love Him and serve Him with all my life?

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."


lil' em said...

I love how the gospel is so clearly presented in this one!!

lil' em said...

Oh- and Happy Birthday!!

Anonymous said...

Amen! Thanks for sharing your story of salvation!
Blessings in Christ,