Sunday, May 20, 2012

Always Be Ready

"but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect"
1 Peter 3:15

       I use to live a self-focused life, and did what pleased me.  I was kind to others so I’d get something in return and did good things to make myself feel better.  I loved life, and thought I was living it to the fullest.  I was living the exact opposite of the way God wanted me to live.  God created the Heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1) that includes human life.  And since He is Creator, he is the one we are responsible to.  I didn't believe this, but what I believed doesn't change what is truth.  Because I was living opposite of what God wants, I was sinning, and I found pleasure in the very things God hates.  He hates sin because He is holy, meaning perfect, and calls us His created beings to be Holy as well (1 Peter 1:16).  Because of this, I was separated from God, and yet, I still pursued sin because of its passing pleasures.
       Since God is the Creator, and therefore I was responsible to Him, my sin deserved His punishment.  The Bible tells us God is just, meaning He will judge in a fair manor (Romans 6:23). He can’t just look over my sins because I was an okay person compared to others.  I was going to stand before God as an individual to be judged (Heb 9:28), and in comparison to a Holy God, I would be found guilty. So, I would pay eternally for the sins I committed against an eternal God in Hell (II Thess 1:8-9).
       While this may sound hopeless, and it is from a human standpoint, God stepped in and did something wonderful.  Because every single person was in the same position I was in, God had to do something to take care of our sin. Thankfully, God is a loving God who wanted to provide a solution for the separation between us and Him.   For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believe in Him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).  Jesus, being God in human form, came and lived a perfect life for us, since we are unable to.  Jesus suffered and died on the cross taking on the wrath of God that we would have deserved to pay in Hell for eternity
       In 2006, this became real for me, when I was invited to church and heard this good news preached.  It wasn't until this point where I realized my eternal state and that Jesus was the only way to Heaven (John 14:6).  I learned that Jesus proved Himself and paid the penalty for sin on the cross by rising from the dead.  I was convicted immediately and knew that in order to receive this gift of salvation, I needed to change.  I needed to live a life that would please the God, but without faith it is impossible to please Him (Heb. 11:6).  I learned I could earn His favor and forgiveness by turning from my sin and placing my trust in Jesus (Acts 20:11).  On August 6, 2006 I did just that and on that day God forgave me from all my sins (1 John 1:9).
       God was immediately at work in my life to live the way He had made me to live (Phil. 2:13).  A first sign of the work He was doing in my life was stopping my vulgar language and stopping my desire for the sinful lifestyle I was leading.  God had also given me a desire to know Him more through reading the Bible and listening to sermons.  He had given me a sacrificial love towards kids that had never been in my heart at all.  I started serving the church by getting involved and having accountability to the church (Rom. 12:10-11).  While God was blessing me, he was also taking me through trials, which although they were tough, were able to draw me closer to depend on Him.  My love for God and others has since grown the more and more I get to know Him through what He had revealed of Himself in the Bible.  I have a strong desire to follow His commandments and do His work he has for me all the days of my life. (Eph. 2:10)

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