I grew up in a Christian home. My parents are pastors in The Salvation Army. A lot of people don’t realize that it is a church, but it is! Being born to a Christian family does not automatically make somebody a Christian. I had to learn that throughout the years. From when I was a child, my family taught me about the life of Jesus, and that I need Him to be a part of my life. I remember being young and confused on the days we would be singing Sunday-School songs like “My God is so BIG!” and after singing I learned that Jesus was God and that He wanted to come into my heart. I realized that I wanted that to happen, and I believed it to be true, but I knew that I didn’t quite get it. Just any normal sized human person couldn’t fit into my heart – how could such a HUGE GOD fit?
At this point, I wanted to understand, but I didn’t get it yet. I remember my parents kept telling me about Jesus and His love and forgiveness for me. They used to make me and my brothers memorize a verse of the Bible, and I remember choosing Jeremiah 29:13. This is the verse where God says: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” This was the foundation of my mind as I began to learn about Jesus. I must give it my all or give it nothing at all.
I do not remember one particular time when I was in church and decided I was going to be a Christian – It was more gradual than that. You would think that I would want to become a Christian the more I learned about God in church. That was not the case for me. I knew so much about God, but my question was, so what? What does this mean to me? Why do I need a Savior? It was through personal experience, even in my youth, that I began learning more and more about myself. I learned about how I am sinful and I am in need of Jesus for forgiveness. I learned that God had a plan for my life, and that my plan would not be as good. The more I knew about myself, the more of myself with which I sought the Lord. “With all your heart,” as Jeremiah 29:13 says. As I continually sought the Lord, I found Him! He became my Savior from sin. I have relied upon God for joy and purpose in life.
Jesus does not stop at providing protection from evil. Yes, being my Savior, I have an eternal home with God. The wonderful thing about living with Jesus is that it is a journey that never ends. Ever since I accepted Him as my Savior, I have been seeking Him with all of my heart. The more I seek Him, the more I find Him! The more I find Him, the more He reveals to me about myself and Himself. The more I know, the more I have with which to seek Him. It is a circle that does not end. Now, in the good times and the bad times, Jesus is my Savior and my life. The life I experience with Him is so wonderful, that I want others to experience it too. It is available to all people. John 3:16 says that “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.” All people are provided for! Everyone can experience the gift of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. John 15:1-8 is a metaphor which explains the relationship we have to Christ. He is like a vine, and we are like the branches on the vine. The good deeds that we do are all in order to live according to God’s will. Those deeds are like our fruit, like fruit from the branches of the vine. We are connected to Christ, and we live by His power in the same way that a branch is connected to the vine, and bears fruit according to the indwelt life therein! Jesus is alive, and inspires our hearts with His Holy Spirit, who acts like the life that transfers from the vine to the branch. In this way, I have continued to know Jesus. I do abide with Him! And life has never been better!