I was raised in a family of five girls were mom always made sure we went to Sunday School and church just about every Sunday; from grade school through high school, while dad stayed home most of the time. I sang in the choir from Jr. High to high school, took confirmation as a teenager, where the only thing I got out of that, was memorizing a few scriptures. I attended Methodist Youth Fellowship during high school every Sunday evening and all this time nothing sank in why I was attending or what I was there for, other than I had to! Basically, I was your normal child growing up, but even in my younger years Satan was working in my life, leading me to steal money from my mother and one of my sisters for a short period of time, just a little here and there. I never thought a thing about Satan being the one guiding me then. I mean I went to church and everything! It was the first time I realized God was showing me his grace, as my mom and sister being disappointed in me, yet they still forgave and trusted me.
Romans 3:23 says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God", which means every one sins in one way or another, starting from the very beginning with Adam and Eve.
Romans 5:8 says, "God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Though out the years as I was going to church, Jesus would fill my heart to over flowing by a song or His Word, and I would be in tears, but as soon as I walked out the door I would forget. I thought I was a Christian just because I believed in God and went to church.
I married after 2 ½ years of college to someone in the military and we did not attend church, though we both believed in God. I was married to him for 8 years, but was very unhappy and so I ended up being unfaithful in my marriage to him. Sometimes God allows us to follow our own will and desires as a stepping stone to bring us to where He wants us to be. I met Orville in California during our country western dance class, where we become partners and friends first, then married. 25 years later we have God at the center of our marriage where Jesus has brought us through attending church periodically and letting Satan lead us astray in sin to attending church regularly, and accepting that God is our Lord and Savior and we want Him working in our lives.
When Orville dedicated his life to Jesus, at the age of 62, Jesus drew me in closer leading me to want that personal relationship with Him also. Just a couple of weeks later, our Pastor Dave in Powell, Wy asked during a church service if anyone wanted to accept Jesus in their lives to come up and be prayed for. At the age of 47, I gave my life to Jesus Christ, knowing that was the only way I would go to heaven. What an emotional decision that was for me, knowing I was also forgiven for my sins. A couple weeks after that Pastor Dave asked if I wanted to be baptized. Thinking I was baptized as a baby I didn’t need to be again. As adults we are showing that we made our own decision to accept Jesus in our life, so we need to be baptized. Being baptized as a baby, says that we will be instructed in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me""
God has provided for us financially when we were in need. He has continually blessed me with better and better jobs, but only when I relied on Him and not myself to make the decision. He has shown me why I have had to go through the loss in my family of my mom at 67 to cancer, my father at 84 to heart attack and the younger sister to cancer at 49, so I could be there for other people that have to deal with the same loss. Jesus helps me with my day to day living, if I just take the time to pray and most important to listen. I think because of my past sins, God has blessed me with the gift of being a very giving person through love, time and money.
A very important scripture for me is Ephesians 2:8,9 "By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works that no one should boast." This says that we can not save ourselves and expect to go to heaven just because we are good people, go to church, to give financially, but only through the grace of God; giving ourselves to God in a relationship with Him alone.
If you don’t make the right choice, the only other choice according to the bible is in Romans 6:23, "The wages of sin is death", and that is being in fiery depths of hell for eternity. Is that where you want to be?
LORD, I THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE, GRACE
FORGIVENESS AND MERCY!