Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Spiritual Life: Where I Was

So, here it goes!  A little insight into where I started, where I am now, and what I hope for the future.

I'll start with the category "Spiritual life."

Funny, until I wrote that, I thought this would be a quick once-over of my life.  But, this category alone requires so much more!  I promise, though that this one will be the longest.  Simply because it includes more explanation since many people won't understand without it.  As a result, it is going to have to be broken down by where I was and where I am and where I hope to be due to length.

Where I was:

I was 5 year-old when I first heard about Jesus.  Now, I might have heard the name at Christmas time or Easter (or as a swear word) before that.  But, I didn't know anything about Him.  I didn't know who He was or what He had done.  I didn't know that He was important or that He mattered.  But, when I was five, my dad started taking me to church.

The first thing I learned about Jesus was that He loved me.  You all know the song "Jesus Loves Me."  I think that might be the first song almost every kid in church learns.  It is so simple, yet expresses something so deep.  How do we know that Jesus loves us?  Well, the Bible tells us so, silly!  So, what exactly does it say?
Romans 5:8 says:

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

And therein is the Gospel.  I learned that I was a sinner.  Once I knew what that word meant, I knew it was true.  So many people think of murder or robbery when they think of sin.  You know, things you would go to jail for.  But, sin simply means disobeying God's commands.  The 10 Commandments (found in Exodus 20) can give you a good picture of how I knew I had disobeyed.

Commandment 1:
Thou shalt have no other gods before ME.
Commandment 2:
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments
Commandment 3:
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Commandment 4:
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Ex 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
Ex 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Ex 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Commandment 5:
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee
Comandment 6:
Thou shalt not kill.
Commandment 7:
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Commandment 8:
Thou shalt not steal.
Commandment 9:
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Commandment 10:
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's 

Clearly, even as a child, I was guilty of many of these!  I had lied to my mom, disobeyed my dad, been jealous of my cousin's new toys, and, since I didn't even know God, He certainly wasn't number one in my life. 

So, I knew I was a sinner.  Where did that leave me?   Well, that verse I shared, Romans 5:8, said that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  What does that mean?  Well, our sin required a perfect sacrifice.  That sacrifice was Jesus Christ.  He shed His blood for our sins.  He gave Himself so that we could be forgiven!

But how do we receive that forgiveness?  First we have to admit that we have sinned.  Next, we have to confess and repent of our sins to God.  We have to be willing to turn from our sin.  We will still fail sometimes, but we have to make an effort not to sin anymore.  We have to believe that Christ died for us on the cross and can forgive our sins.  And we have to receive Christ into our heart by asking for that forgiveness and for Him to be Lord of our life.  When we do that, we are forgiven, saved, redeemed, and become a child of God.   And that is just what I did!  

My life since then has been far from perfect.  I've failed.  I've sinned.  I've been angry at God.  But, throughout it all, God never gave up on me.  He loved me.  He lifted me up.  He forgave me!  I have never regretted the decision to follow Christ.  I don't know how I would have made it through some dark times without Him.  

If you have any questions, please let me know!  I love to talk about what Jesus has done for me and would be happy to talk with you.  If you want more information, you may find this site helpful: Need Him


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