Written in 1998
I was born and raised in a small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan called St. Ignace. I grew up going to church every Sunday. During my first nearly eighteen years on this earth, I learned bits and pieces about what the Bible had to say about God and how we should live our lives to please Him. Yet looking back now, I did not at that time really know how to have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me tell you what I mean and how I became a Christian...
Like I mentioned above, I knew things about God, but I did not know God. I first met God in a personal way at a revival meeting in Harbor Springs, MI in 1994. On a Wednesday evening, I went to this meeting with my church youth group--the one I had been attending for several years. This meeting was much different than any that I had attended in the past. First of all, it was held in a basketball gym that had been converted into a sanctuary. I had never been to a service outside of a "normal" looking church building. But the most important difference that caught my attention was the fact that the people there were singing, clapping, and dancing enthusiastically to the Lord. The singing that occurred in my home church was limited to straight-faced hymns and what seemed like depressing organ music. I must say at this time that I have nothing against hymns and organ music. In fact, I love to worship to them as well as more contemporary music. The point that I'm making is that the people at this revival meeting looked like they really believed what they were singing. When a person sings the words "O for a thousand tongues to sing my great redeemer's praise," and really believes it, how can he or she not get excited!
Well, God used this introduction to glorious worship to lead me into a personal relationship with Him. I would love to include more details about what was going on inside of me during this meeting, but I will move on...
I was so excited about the meeting that I went home and asked my dad if he would take the family and me back to another meeting a couple nights later. Sure enough, he obliged. So Friday night, we went back. It was a similar service to the one on Wednesday. However, God did something especially great in my life--He showed me Jesus. This happened towards the end of the meeting. There had been a time of singing at the beginning of the meeting, then a time of preaching, and then another time of singing in response to the preaching. It was during this final time of worship that God revealed Himself to me in the person of Jesus Christ. I began to weep--even in the presence of a crowd of people. I hadn't cried in years. It wasn't something that "real men" did--so I thought.
It was at this time that I understood that Jesus is the Savior and that He is the only way to have a relationship with God. Up until this point, I thought that religion was a good thing to have on the side. I mean, I had school, athletics, family, and church. They all worked together to make me a better person--so I thought. I remember, I used to read my Bible every once in a while and I prayed for a couple of minutes each night before I fell asleep. But there was so much more available! This is what God began to show me. He wanted to have a personal relationship with me--just like one would have with a human friend. He also revealed to me another thing which I alluded to above: everybody needs Jesus. Not only because life with Him is so much better, but rather life without Him is really no life at all. And even more importantly, continued life without Him will result in an eternity in hell. This was the first time that I had understood this Biblical truth. Without a Savior, people--people I knew--were going to spend eternity in punishment for their sins in a place called hell.
This understanding has stuck with me to this day and is the underlying reason for creating this page. My experience more than four years ago was only the beginning of a lifelong relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And I am only four years along. No, everything has not been perfect since I became a committed Christian. I have struggled in many areas, but God has been faithful 100% of the time. And I know that everything works out for those who love God (Rom 8:28). Praise God!
Can I take a few more lines here to share with you God's plan for salvation...
We are all sinners:
"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23)."
The Bible makes it clear that we have not lived perfect lives. We have not obeyed His commands perfectly. If you are familiar with the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament, I'm sure that you could not read them and say that you have obeyed them perfectly. This lack of obedience towards God is called sin. But don't think that you are the only one to sin against God, everyone has done it says the Bible.
God deals with sin:
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom 6:23).
God is holy and just and cannot stand to have sin in His presence. Therefore, the Bible says that the punishment for sinners is death. This results in an eternity of torture in a place called hell. But, the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God's plan for reconciliation:
"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 (Jn 3:16)."
God has made a way for your sins to be cleansed so that you don't have to spend an eternity in punishment. He sent His Son to die for your sins so that you don't have to. That's right! If you accept the sacrifice that Jesus gave then you become free from the wrath of God and brought into a personal relationship with your Creator.
Who can be saved?
"And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Acts 2:21).
It does not matter who you are or what you've done. Jesus Christ has made this sacrifice for each person alive on earth. He will save each person who calls on His name salvation from their sins.
Therefore, there is a decision to make. Either you can continue to live the way you have been and pay for your own sins, or you can allow the Son of God to take your sins away.
If you would like to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, then speak out to Him in the following way:
Admit that you're a sinner.
Believe that Jesus can take your sins from you.
Confess Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and commit your life to Him.
Thank you for reading this page, if you have any questions or comments feel free to email me.
To read more about God's direction in my life click God's Direction in My Life.