My Life Before Christ
Before Christ, I was interested in the pleasures of this life (I was worldly-minded) and looked to relationships to fill the void of God in my life. Titus 3:3 describes this as those who “…once were foolish…disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures…” I thought I knew what was right, not knowing that my own ignorance was in my way of truly understanding God’s plan for my life. As Ephesians 2:12 puts it, I was “…separate from Christ…having no hope and without God in the world.” I thought if I did enough good deeds in this life, then I was bound for heaven; the problem was, I never knew if I had done enough good deeds.
How Christ Saved Me
I went to the Alaska State Fair in August 1984, full of expectation to meet my boyfriend, who never showed up. Disappointed and discouraged, I wandered around the fair. I saw a sign above a booth from a church that read, “How do you know if you are going to heaven?” This was something I had wrestled with all summer and I really wanted to know if I was on the list of those heading towards heaven. The gentleman explained how I was a sinner (disobedient to God’s standard), which was something I had never considered myself to be. I thought I was a pretty good person, but Romans 3:23 tells us, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I did not understand that I needed to be measured by God’s standard, not my own. He also shared with me that when Christ died on the cross, He took my sin on Himself so I could be right with God. Jesus took my place in death so I could live eternally with God in heaven. Titus 3:5 says “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy…” At this point I knew I was not right with God and I needed to do something. He explained I needed to repent of my sins and put my faith in Christ alone—not in anything I could ever do. Luke 24:47 says, “and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations…” I felt the weight of my sin and I knew I was condemned to hell. I prayed to God right then and, by faith in Christ, I asked God to forgive me. The guilt and duty to earn my salvation was taken away like a big backpack off of my shoulders. I had peace in my mind and heart, knowing that the penalty for my sin was taken away.
His Life in Me Since
My interests changed. I wanted to know what God’s Word said. I was no longer interested in relationships to fill that void I had; God filled it with His love for me. “…and He who loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him” (John 14:21b). I began to go to church and then to Bible College to learn what God’s plan was for my life. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’” I used to worry about all kinds of things, but God gave me peace and has helped me to know He is in control of everything in my life (Phil.4:6-7). I no longer felt separated from God. I did not have that fear of death; I knew was headed for heaven. 1 John 5:13 declares, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”