“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions; and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age; while we wait for the glorious appearing of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people of His very own, zealous for good works.”
Titus 2:11-14 (NIV)
This is what I believe. This is what I cling to.
Without Christ, before Christ entered my life, I had nothing on my own. I was a sinner in need of a Savior. Sure, I was young, but I was also separated from Christ. I knew I couldn’t keep God’s perfect law. Because God is holy. Pure. Perfect. Un-defiled. Blameless. Unselfish. Righteous.
The Ten Commandments clearly shows us our need for a Savior. It reveals our imperfections and impurities. It did for me, even though I was young. I realized that without Christ taking my place and punishment for sin, I was bankrupt. I couldn’t keep the pure, perfect law of God. And because He is holy, blameless, righteous, He would judge me based on the law. It makes sense because even if we are ‘sorry’ for our sin, if He is a good judge, if He is righteous (which He is), He will still punish sin because it deserves punishment.
When I realized this, I knew I needed a mediator. I couldn’t possibly earn salvation. I couldn’t be good enough to get to heaven.
That’s when bowed my knee to the cross and asked the Lord to be my Savior. I confessed that I was a sinner and that I couldn’t ever achieve salvation or earn my way to heaven. I believed in my heart that because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, because He suffered, died, taking my punishment and on the third day, rose again. I could be saved.
It was a beautiful moment with my parents, Jesus, and I. It was a moment that defined who I am and has forever shaped who I am becoming today.
Following Christ today, fifteen years later, is a beautiful journey. It is not always easy, but it is the greatest adventure of my life.
Following Jesus means allowing Him to mold my life to continually be more like Him.
Following Jesus means obeying Him even when I don’t always understand why.
Following Jesus means I want to live my life to please Him.
Following Jesus means I have ‘blessed assurance’ knowing that I am forgiven and free.
Following Jesus means that because He loved me at my worst, I can love others without question.
Following Jesus means that when dark times come, I have a rock to stand on.
Following Jesus means that every breath, every thought, every image, every hope and dream are held in His hands.
My passion and goal in life, far bigger than getting married, raising a family, running marathons or anything else, is to please my Savior. To make Him smile and to bring joy to Him.
At the end of the years the Lord gives me, I want to hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” I know that when I hear those words, any persecution, hardship, or trial I faced in this earthly life for the sake of the call will be not worth comparing to the joy that I have both then and now in my Savior.
My heart is that you know Christ too. I long for you to know the joy and fulfillment in knowing the Lord. I want you to know the blessing in following Him and the peace He gives.