Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of New Georgia Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Friday, March 02, 2012

My Personal Testimony


Christians have always told the Good News of Jesus to people who are not Christians in two different but connected ways. Christians have focused on: 1. telling others about the teaching of the Bible; 2. speaking about their own personal relationship with Jesus.

We see examples of how the very first Christians told the Good News of Jesus through the teaching of the Apostle Paul. In Acts 17:22-31, we read how Paul told the Good News of Jesus by explaining teaching based on the Bible. In Acts 22:6-21 and 26:4-23 we read how Paul also told about his personal relationship with Jesus in order to share the Good News about who Jesus is and what He has done.

Recently, I was re-visiting the story of my personal relationship with Jesus. I would like to once again recount that story below:

From the time when I was a small child, I have always gone to church meetings with my parents and most people thought that I was a good person. When I was nine years old, I came to understand that I was not a good person: that I had broken God’s Law and my life needed to be changed or I would face God’s wrath forever. I had heard that if God was angry with me and I died, my soul would go to place of pain and fire called Hell. I talked to the preacher at the church I went to about what I needed to do to stay out of Hell. The preacher asked me some questions about Jesus and I gave him all the answers that he wanted to hear because I knew many facts about Jesus from having gone to church for so long. The preacher told me to repeat a prayer after him and to completely believe what I prayed. I prayed this prayer and wanted to believe what I prayed. Still, there was no basic change in my life. It was difficult to be certain in my mind that I had completely believed the prayer that I had prayed, so it was difficult to be certain that I was not headed for Hell when I died.

On one Sunday morning when I was thirteen years old, my Sunday school teacher, Russell Jones, spoke about how Jesus is Lord: how He is completely good and He is King over everything. The teacher said that if we had not called out to Jesus to take control of our lives and to take away our badness– and give us His goodness– then God was still angry with us for our sins and we would go to Hell for breaking His Law.

I then understood that I was someone who lived only for my wants and that I had not submitted to the Lord Jesus. I called out to Jesus to take control of my life. I asked Him to take away my badness and to give me His goodness.

Since that day, it has often been difficult to live for the Lord Jesus. I have often wanted to follow plans that I have made for myself rather than the plans that Jesus has for me, as found in His book, the Bible. Every day, I call out to Jesus to give me understanding from the Bible of how to live in a way that pleases Him. I believe that Jesus is in control of everything that happens in the world. I believe that Jesus became my friend when I called out to Him. I believe that everything that happens in the lives of Jesus’ friends is for our good, even if some things seem bad at first. I believe that anyone who calls out to Jesus to take control of his or her life, trusting in Him alone, can be certain that God will never be angry with him or her, that he or she will never go to Hell, and that he or she will live as Jesus’ friend forever.

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