How and when I became a Christian?
I became a Christian when I was 6. It seemed a logical thing to do. When I heard that I would never get to God’s standard on my own, however good I was or however hard I tried, I knew in my heart that was right. And when I was told that the Bible said that the only way to be right before God who loved me so much was to say sorry for the things that I had done wrong and to give my life to Jesus who died and rose again to take my sin away, I gladly did that and I have never regretted it.
There is so much I could say today. For example about the day I realised not how much but how God loved me or when my eyes began to be truly opened to the wonder of grace or how much God has shown and taught me through my passion for his Word but I am going to focus on four things that I have learnt that may be an encouragement to you:
1. God keeps his promises.
Over the years there have been times in my life when I wondered, when circumstances seemed to change materially for the worst, whether in some way God had lost sight of what I thought the plot was. But over time I have seen exactly why those things happened and the good that came from them. Romans 8 v 28 tells us ‘that in all things God works for the good of those who love him’, not that all things are good but that all things work together for good.
2. Guilt is like cholesterol.
Guilt is like cholesterol. Just like cholesterol can be good and bad so can guilt. Good guilt is of the Holy Spirit and leads to us being convicted of sin, and then to repentance and restoration, bad guilt is of the devil and leads to debilitation and less effective Christian lives. For example, if you have asked God to forgive you for something and you truly mean it then he has forgiven and forgotten. We should not go on feeling guilty.
3. Wherever you are make an early stand and pray for opportunities.
In any new environment, whatever that is, and for me it has mostly been the workplace, make an early stand. Let everyone know you are a Christian and don’t compromise. If you haven’t made that stand it is never too late. Making a stand and living it out will give you natural opportunities to share your faith with others, especially if you pray for those opportunities to come along.
4. Aim to finish the race well.
I don’t know how my life would have been had I not become a Christian. But I do know that because of Jesus, I have lived a life that has purpose and meaning through highs and lows and thick and thin and when, for a time in the Air Force, I faced the prospect of death almost every day, I faced that death with no fear having confidence of my destination in the life to come.
In the Bible, the apostle Paul likens the Christian life to running a race. In my Christian race at the moment, God is asking me to deepen my relationship with him and to step into challenges impossible without his strength. May I encourage you to start your race today if you haven’t begun and to aim to run the race well if you have started. My Mum, who recently died, was a Christian lady who finished her race well. I pray that will also be true for me and for you. Amen.