I used to think I did not have much of a testimony. When I was growing up, I was a “good girl” who knew all the Bible stories and never got into any big trouble. I went to church all the time, so I thought that was all I needed. As far as I knew, I was saved.
If I believed in God, what more did I have to do to be saved?
Let me back up and add that I grew up going to church a lot. My family were members of a denomination that attends on Saturdays. I went with friends on many Sundays, Sunday nights, and Wednesday nights. I had heard many sermons but I guess I never “heard” what was being said.
When I was fifteen, I was at a friend’s house one Sunday afternoon. We had been friends for years and were always at each others’ houses. Somehow, she realized that I did not have a personal relationship with Christ. We started talking about if I wanted to go to heaven when I died. I was really confused.
A New Understanding
Her preacher lived about four blocks away so she took me down to talk to him. He explained to me the plan of salvation. He told me that going to church, doing good things, or being a good person was not enough. I had to pray to ask Jesus into my heart so that I might have eternal life. This sounded new to me, but God was speaking to me. I understood more in that short amount of time than I had in my entire lifetime. It was there in the pastor’s home that I prayed to accept Christ. We went to church that night and I went forward to share with everyone what Christ had done for me.
My life has not been easy since that day.
I have not always done what God has wanted me to do. Although I have strayed from God, He has never left me. I have seen God work miracles in my life and in my family’s life. Accepting Christ was the best decision I ever made.
If you have never done this, it is as easy as ABC.
You must Admit that you are a sinner and in need of salvation from sin. Believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died on the cross for our sins. And, Confess that Jesus is Lord.
If you have never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior and you would like to, you can pray this simple prayer:
Dear Lord, I know that I am a sinner. I know that You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ to die on the Cross for my sins. I believe you did this so that I may have eternal life in heaven with You. Please come into my heart and save me.
If you just prayed this for the first time, please share with someone. Even if you are ninety-nine years old and have attended church all your life, do not be embarrassed. We will all rejoice with you. There is plenty of room in heaven for more.
Did you just pray this prayer?
Were you raised in church and yet didn’t realize the need for a personal relationship with Christ?
A note from Kristi
This is the last post in the Testimony series. We pray above all that no matter where you are, whether you have a relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior or not, you will come to learn that He truly loves you. Above all he wants a personal relationship with you. He sacrificed himself on the cross so that you can be forgiven of EVERY. SINGLE. THING. you have ever done wrong in your life. No matter how big or small, we all have sinned. Even the smallest of sins separates us from a Holy God who cannot encounter sin. For this reason, Jesus sacrificed himself, so that our sins would be forgiven and we could come back into a relationship with the God of the Universe. This is why we need Christ.
Our other hope and prayer is that you see it’s not just about believing.
Yes, it all starts with believing that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth, died for our sins, and three days later was raised from the grave. We must be willing to accept his gift of grace which is freely given. He destroyed the hold death had over us. So yes, it all starts with this belief. But even demons believe in Jesus and choose to not follow him. So in addition to the act of believing, we must accept his gift of grace which is freely given. Then your choice lies in either choosing to follow Christ and learning how to love God first with all your heart, mind, and soul, or choosing instead to love yourself and the things of this world more.
This is why Jesus calls us to die to our sin and to be born again.
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’”
Being born of water and the Spirit was also something the apostles called believers to do:
Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
Continue to nurture your faith
We all make the decision to either accept or reject the amazing gift of grace we are offered. For it is grace that saves us and nothing that we could ever do! When we choose to follow Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will not automatically get everything right. We still aren’t perfect, but He is! As we draw close to Him through his word, prayer, and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us, we become a changed person. Our thoughts, actions, and even desires begin to change to more of what Jesus wants and less about what our selfish nature wants. It’s not just about our words, but our actions expressed through faith.
As James says:
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
Prayer over our Hearts
Lord, we come before your holy throne and humbly thank you for everything you have given us! For forgiving us and giving us a choice to live eternally with you. We pray that our lives will be a pleasing sacrifice to you and that we will choose to glorify you above ourselves. In the One who humbled himself before his Father’s will to save us, Amen!
Be encouraged by these posts as well!