September 18, 2013

My Journey to Christ


"It's not the journey that's important; it's the people you meet along the way." - Anonymous
Along my life's journey, I have met many different people...but none so enticing as Jesus Christ. Now, I'm sure you're thinking, "How old is this chick, anyway?" Well, I didn't meet Him 2,000 years ago when He was walking the streets of Jerusalem or anything, but I assure you--I did meet Him!
When I was 13 years old, my family moved to a new state that was a loooooong way from the place I had always known as “home.” However, what I thought to be a travesty (a.k.a. biggest bummer of my life!) at that age turned out to be the biggest blessing for me instead.
About halfway through that 8th grade year in my new school, my best friend invited me to a youth discipleship program at her church. Discipleship? I had no idea what that word even meant! Well, as it turned out, it was just 10-12 teenagers sitting in a room together, discussing the Bible with their youth pastor. The first night that I went, I liked it…I guess...but I liked the social aspect more than anything else. I was getting to hang out with my best friend outside of school. What could be more fun than that?
The second night of the program, though, she never showed. I had been stood up! However, what I began thinking was a negative—that I’d been deserted by the only girl I knew at that church—turned out to be a positive. Instead of talking to her (and believe you me, girls, we were chatterboxes!), I was able to direct all of my attention to the youth pastor’s lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Gospel. Another new vocab word. "This church is like school!" I thought. Well, as school-like as it may have felt that night, the discussion dealt with things I needed to hear. It was all about the teenage struggle: trying to fit in, wanting to wear the cool clothes and hang with the cool crowd...and on and on it went. The leader taught us that instead of seeking these "worldly" things, we were to be seeing to wear the “designer label of discipleship”…being unified with Christ by His forgiveness into a friendship with the one, true God.
The message seemed simple enough, and it came from something called the "Roman Road" - basically, just tracing a path through the Bible's book of Romans in order to explain this new life in Christ. May I share it with you?
Romans 3:23 told me that I am a sinner. I make choices every day that are not pleasing to God and that sinfulness keeps me separated from Him. However, Romans 5:8 told me that even while I was stuck in that sinful state, Jesus Christ (God in flesh!) died on the cross for me. He came down to earth and lived the perfect life that I couldn't live, and then He took the punishment for my sin (both past and present!) in order to forgive me and be reunified with me. Then, Romans 6:23 explained how the wages--what I've earned--from my sin is death and hell, but God wants me to live my life in Him and gain eternal life in heaven. How do I do this? Romans 10:9-10 says I must believe the truth about Jesus in my heart but also confess it with my mouth and give my life over to God as Lord. He is now "the boss of me," in other words. Once I do these things--believe and confess--I am saved from death and given new life in Christ. And according to Romans 8:38-39, once I have turned my life over to God, absolutely nothing can separate me from His love.
After hearing all this, I was hooked! For the first time, I began to understand that I was loved, bought with a price, and that the Buyer now wanted a personal relationship with me. I soaked all this info up like a dry sponge, and by the night’s end, I was full and flowing over with desire to have this new life in Christ. As the youth pastor prayed to close the meeting, I just prayed in my own heart that God would forgive me of my sin, that I believed in what Jesus did, and that I wanted to give Him charge over my life from now on.
Of course, there is SO much more I could share with you from God's Word...and I will, keep checking back for updates! Just remember, as you're journeying along in life, relationships are the most important thing. And the most important relationship of all is the one that Jesus wants to have with you.

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