Forty-three years ago this week I made a decision that changed everything for me—I became a Christ-follower. By that, I mean I gave my heart and my life to Jesus Christ.
I did not realize the domino effect that choice would have on my life. It was a simple decision, but it changed everything.
I always knew about God. I am grateful to have been raised in a church-going home and to have spent 12 years attending schools run by my denomination. Still, church and God were something done once a week for a little less than an hour, and it never spilled over to regular life.
By the time I was 14, attending church seemed like a waste of time. I stopped going, and no one questioned me about it—not even the pastor of my church, who was also one of my high school teachers.
When I was twenty-three, my boyfriend and I would discuss the big issues of life, one of them, being God. We came to the conclusion that God existed. My boyfriend worked a night shift, and when he got off work at 5:30 a.m. the only thing on TV was a Christian program. He'd talk to me about what was aired, and we both became intrigued with the concept of a personal God, one who wanted to have a love relationship with us—a God we could talk with and depend on. A source of peace, wisdom, love, and security.
The TV preacher suggested that everyone should have a Bible and read it, so we went out and bought a Living Bible. My boyfriend and I lived together. One day when I came home from work, he told me he'd called an 800 number to talk to someone about God. He encouraged me to call the same number. The operator invited me to give my heart to Jesus, and I did.
Until then I didn't understand that faith is a choice. I thought we all got to heaven on the group plan—if you went to church at any time in your life, you were in. If you were a "good" person, you were in.
When we realized there was a God who wanted a relationship with us, we couldn't imagine living a life not knowing and serving Him. We also didn't want to dishonor His name, so less than a month later, we got married.
And the rest, as they say, is history. That singular decision was the best one I've ever made. It's affected every decision I've made since. Every challenge I've had, and every heartache I've endured, has been viewed through the prism of His love and the promise of His hope.
I'm secure and grounded in my faith, and I wish the same for you.
This Christmas season, I pray you'll open your mind and your heart to know the Jesus who came as an innocent babe and then died, paying the price for your sins, so that you can live, serve Him, and spend eternity in His presence.
If you're wondering how to invite Jesus into your life, it's easy. Pray this simple prayer:
Heavenly Father, I know I am a sinner. I am not able to change my life or circumstances through my own efforts. I have made some wrong decisions in my life, and now I turn away from those ways of thinking and acting. Right now, I believe and confess Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I ask Jesus to come into my heart and give me a new life, by Your Spirit. I thank You for saving me and I ask for Your grace and mercy in my life. I pray this in Jesus’s name.
If you have any questions, feel free to message me. I'd love to chat with you about this.
*This is an encore post that I run every year on this anniversary of this week.