When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I was attending children's church at Edgewood Baptist Church, and I told my teacher that I wanted to be saved.
I don't really remember this moment all that well, but I do remember that it happened. I remember going into a separate room, and praying "the prayer" with the teacher. I remember saying that I was a sinner and that I believed that Jesus died on the cross to save me.
But I wasn't saved.
I can also remember growing up and always having that moment to look back on. For the longest time it was my assurance, even though it was only that moment.
Through my junior high and highschool years I wasn't that bad of a kid. Oh sure, I was a trouble maker from time to time, but I wasn't all that bad. And when I felt that there was something wrong, that maybe I wasn't right with God, I thought that maybe I just needed to pray again. That maybe I hadn't really, really meant it the first time, that maybe I needed to pray with more sincerity or fervency. So I would pray again, and say again that I believed that Jesus had died on the cross to save me.
But I wasn't saved.
After highschool, fences came down and I got a chance to see who I really was. I think that this happens to a lot of kids that grow up in Christian homes. They evaluate their life by these outward things, the way they act when they are being watched. Then it isn't about right heart motives, it is about fear -- fear of consequences, fear of being caught, fear of punishment.
I like to say to my students, "You want to know who you are? You are who you are when nobody is watching... That is the real you. If you are sure that you are not going to get caught, what do you do?"
Well, I got a chance to see the real me, and it wasn't pretty. But in February of 1992, after being confronted on all sides, something happened... God saved me.
I can remember the first time that I read my Bible. I picked it up and read James 2:14 -- "What does it profit my brethren, if a man says that he has faith, but has not works? Can that faith save him?" -- And I was blown out of the water. I had never heard anything like that before. I thought that you could be saved, have faith, and still live any way you wanted.
I repented that February. My life was turned around. I was a new creature. True salvation is accompanied by the word all. If you are not willing to forsake all, then you are no disciple of Christ. You may be a disciple of yourself.
If you know me at all, or have read this blog for any significant amount of time, then you know that this is one of my platforms, and I want to encourage you to give up that one thing and turn to Christ.
Thankyou for reading.