How Jesus changed my life
Not by being a good person
This is the story of how I found God and what a difference he has made in my life. I am in most peoples minds that know me, just an average person, with an uneventful ordinary life. I thought I was a good person, because there seemed to be so many people that were worse than me. I thought I was a Christian because I believed in God and Jesus, but even the devil himself believes in God.
I was brought up in a Christian home with loving Christian parents. We didn't have a lot, but we weren't poor. I went to church almost every Sunday and Made a commitment to Christ when I was around 9 or 10 years old. Everything seemed to be going well to me.
I went through high school and moved to Minnesota to go to Bethel Bible College. I spent 1 year at Bethel, then went into the workforce. Over the next 30 years, I was like many people, I thought I was a good person and that when I died I would go to heaven. I thought like many that I was better than most people, and that on judgment day, God would say that i was good enough to get into heaven.
I was a good person
I wasn't that bad, I didn't have a drug or drinking problem. I didn't do anything that I thought was really a big sin. What I and most people don't understand is that sin is sin in god’s eyes, and the size of the sin is irrelevant. God doesn't have a saved line where he says that if you’re this good, you get to go to heaven. To be good enough to go to heaven, you must be perfect, and no one can meet that standard.
Just over 3 years ago, I was laid off work and spent over a year and a half unemployed. My wife was also unemployed for a while during this time. I was nervous and worried all the time, and didn't know what was going to happen to us. During my time laid off, my life changed dramatically for the better, because I really found God. I learned what a real conversion is and what we really need to do to get to heaven.
What changed me
My stepdaughter and stepson in law had both become Christians a while before that. They got me listening to Ray Comfort and going to a good bible teaching church. They both teach about what we need to do to be saved and spend eternal life in heaven with God.
I had never really understood the seriousness of sin, and what we really need to do to be saved and true follower of Jesus. All of the sudden one day, I finally got it. A light bulb went off in my mind and I let the Holy Spirit come into my life and I gave my life completely to God. Like so many good people, If I had died before that day, I would not have gone to heaven.
A Bible verse that helps me every day is, Philippians 4:6 . “Don't worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done for you.”
I thank God several times every day for everything he has done for me, because everything I have is from him. Ask him for what you need to follow his will, and he will give it to you, and you will not have to worry about anything.
For most of my life I thought as many do that I could do anything that I want to do, and be anything I wanted to be if I tried hard enough. I know now that it’s not me that can do anything, but I can do anything with God's help. Another verse from the same letter of Paul, that I think about all the time. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I can do anything I want to do with God's help. Now the things I want to do are different, they are not worldly things like they used to be, I want to do the things God wants me to do.
My changed life at that time was a perfect example of how spreading the gospel is like planting seeds. My seeds were planted years ago by my parents, I just took a long time to grow. My son in law re planted the seeds, then the Holy Spirit came into me and led me to see what the real meaning being born again means, with the teaching of Ray Comfort and a few others, it made the needed difference in my life.
Great message on how and why to witness
Use the law
My problem as with many others, was that there was never any repentance, I just kept doing the same things. sinning, asking for forgiveness, then doing the same sins over and over. There was never any real repentance for the sin, no real desire to stop. Saying your a Christian does not make you one. I said I was a Christian, but I lived in the world. I was not anywhere close to being good enough to get into heaven.
One of the major parts of repentance is contrition, being sorry for our sins. Now, when I sin, I feel bad, I feel like I let Jesus down and it hurts me. If you don't feel bad when you sin, you don't have the relationship with God that you need to have.
Do you feel bad when you do something to hurt a friend or family member? Shouldn't you feel bad when you hurt the one who created you?
Use the 10 commandments to see that no one can meet the standards of being good enough to get to heaven. We need to look at the 10 commandments to see that we are all sinners, that we need Jesus and we need to repent to receive the gift of eternal life. Every one of us have broken most of the commandments at some time in our lives, but just breaking one is enough to keep you out of heaven if you don't repent.
Jesus died to pay the price so we could be forgiven of our sins, but to be forgiven, we must repent.
My son in laws testimony
Are you good enough
The ten commandments are there to show us the significance of our sin, to show us why we are all sinners and why we need Jesus. Once we understand why we need saved, then we will realize it is the only way to God and eternal life. It makes no sense to tell someone that they need to be saved, if we don’t show them why they need to be saved.
Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen anything in your life? Have you ever looked at someone of the opposite sex with lust? Have you ever taken the Lord's name in vain? That is 4 of the 10 commandments and no one can say they have never broken some or all of these 4. We also break the 2nd commandment frequently. You shall not make a graven image, or worship any other God over me, yet many Christians and non Christians worship their own created god, be it money or fame or a multitude of things that are more important than God in there lives.
What we all need to do
We must do whatever we can to help everyone else learn the truth. What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t want all of my friends, and family members, and even all of the people I don’t know to also have eternal life in heaven with God.
Planting more seeds and spreading the word of God everywhere I can. We have been told by Jesus to do this, go into all the world and spread the gospel to all creatures, we must do this if we want to save as many as we can.
I have a lot of years to catch up on. Reading the Bible and learning from good teachers all I can. I want to learn all I can. I can't get enough now.
I have not missed a day of reading from the Bible for almost 3 years, and I don’t plan on ever missing a day for the rest of my life, not because I should read it every day, but because I want to learn everything I can.
Read the Bible, listen to Biblical preachers, check out Ray Comforts website, watch my step son in laws testimony, and go out and plant seeds for the Lord.