Wednesday, December 9, 2015

TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY AS A CHRISTIAN


Image result for BibleOn this day in 1975 I became a Christian by turning my life over to Christ and accepting Him as my personal Savior. I was already a church member, having made a profession of faith and getting baptized at age 15. Over the years, I believed I had done what was required of me for my eternal destiny.

Fast forward to 1979. I was now age 28, and had been hearing the true gospel for several years at Mid-Way Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC. Scripture was taught clearly, and I began to have doubts for a year before I surrendered to the Lord that night. I kept justifying my unease by citing to myself how busy I was in the church: I taught a children's Sunday School class, I sang in the choir, my husband and I worked in the church bus ministry, which involved visiting prospective church attendees on our route every Saturday to invite them to church. The route was in an area of town where people often did not have their own transportation. Then, on Sunday, our bus went through the route to pick them up for church and return them home afterwards. I also worked in children's church and taught in the Christian school affiliated with our church.

That didn't help, because these verses kept coming to mind: "For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no man can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9. My so-called "good works" would not get me to heaven. It was clearly stated in the Bible.

My profession of faith at age 15 and subsequent baptism were merely outward actions. There had been no heart change, and throughout the years, I had tried so hard to "do the right thing" regarding my faith. It wasn't enough.

Then, there was the pride thing. What would people think of me if I came forward, admitting that I had been a hypocrite, not really a Christian at all, merely pretending? I wrestled with that for quite a while until the night of December 9, 1975.
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Life Action Crusade was holding a revival at the church. It consisted of a young people's chorale and several staff members: one handled the children's programs during the regular services, and a few of the men alternated preaching on the nightly revival. The message that night was about the boy Samuel whom God called while he was sleeping. He awakened, looking around for the person who had called his name, not realizing until Eli had told him that it was the Lord God.

It seemed as though that pastor was looking straight at me when he uttered this statement: "Some people don't even realize when God is calling them to repentance." I know now that it was the Holy Spirit's conviction of my needing a Savior. When the altar call, or invitation, was given at the end of the service, I felt as though I was propelled by an invisible hand to go forward and accept Christ. Again, it was God's convicting power that led me forward to confess my need for a Savior, and I did that, no longer holding back or worrying about what others thought. That issue of pride would not take me through eternity!

I was baptized again a week later, because the first time was only an outward action that I thought was a necessary part to be a good person. This time, I was baptized as a new Christian, and that baptism signified my step of obedience to God and a public profession of an inward change in my heart, much like the wedding ring symbolizes a marriage. The ring itself does not make one married, but is a symbol of what happened between a man and a woman.
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I am so thankful God gave me a second chance! That was the best Christmas present I have ever received: God's free gift of salvation! If you have doubts or questions about your own eternal destination, there are several online sites to help you in your quest:

http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/about/becoming_a_christian.aspx

http://peacewithgod.net/mobile/?gclid=Cj0KEQiAv5-zBRCAzfWGu-2jo70BEiQAj_F8oCgOPdAywIfw-Zhvr8o68YCn0atDBQzcAxzjhzkP23oaAozr8P8HAQ

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