• I went to church every Sunday only because my mother forced me. During mass, my mind always wandered, and I rarely paid attention to what the priest said. And I certainly didn’t apply it. My prayer life consisted of a quick “Our Father,” “Hail Mary,” and my list of requests. I rarely opened the Bible, let alone read it, and I didn’t even have a Bible. I saw religion as something I had to do, like going to school. I didn’t have any relationship with God and barely knew Him.
  • But glory be to God I am not that person anymore! I want to share with you how Jesus changed me. Here is my salvation testimony; it is a tale of love and grace, and how it came into my life. Come and hear what Jesus has done for me; how He turned me from these dead bones of mines and made them alive.
  • My life before Christ
  • My life before Christ had an abundance of fear, anxiety, and hopelessness. They say your view of God determines everything else in your life. It was indeed right for me. I believed God was a mighty being whose sole job was to punish me for wrongdoings (breaking the ten commandments).
  • God terrified me growing up. Whenever I disobeyed one of the ten commandments, I prayed immediately for forgiveness to avoid punishment. My fear was so high I couldn’t believe God didn’t exist. What if I decided not to believe in Him, and it turned out He lived and punished me?
  • This fear also led me to believe that God didn’t love me or care for me. He wasn’t with me, and I was on my own. Due to this belief, I was always afraid, worried, and I had no reasonable expectations or hope for the future.
  • How I encountered Christ
  • Since I had trouble finding a job after college, I decided to apply to graduate school. I wanted to get into a particular school and was afraid I wouldn’t meet the requirements, so I tried praying. I was skeptical of prayers because God had never answered mine before. Nevertheless, I decided to try it. And to my surprise and delight, God responded to my prayer, and I got into my dream school.
  • I felt like I owed a debt to God and decided to take my faith more seriously. To me that meant: going to church every Sunday, giving my spare change as an offering, praying before eating and sleeping (which really were repetitive prayers), reading my Bible (never made it past a few chapters in Genesis) and of course not breaking the ten commandments (I obviously couldn’t keep them all). I genuinely thought I was “good” Christian doing all the right Christian rites and motions.
  • SEE ALSO:  Remember God’s Faithfulness
  • Thankfully, God already had a plan to transform me into a real Christian, one whose life is centered around His love and grace, not works.
  • Psalm 66:16
  • During my first semester in grad school, a friend invited me to an on-campus Bible study. I had all kind of excuses for not going, I was tired, had a headache, and Bible study wasn’t my thing. It happened that the guy I had a crush on was going, so I sought an opportunity to spend time with Him (God works in mysterious ways!). I went to that Bible study expecting to learn more about my crush than God.
  • However, the teaching was so exciting and captivating that I quickly forgot about my crush next to me and paid full attention to the sermon. It was the first time in my life I enjoyed a sermon, and I wanted to try the experiment again. I couldn’t attend it for the rest of the year but made it the following year.
  • That semester, the director of the Bible study went through a series titled “Jesus and the outsiders.” In that series, he preached on different stories of Jesus interacting with outcasts, sinners, rejects, people that didn’t know Him. The director showed me how God loves everyone, no matter who they are and His willingness to accept anyone who sincerely seeks Him.
  • From the way the director spoke, I could tell he loved God. It was the first time I heard of God’s message of love, the first time I learned of God loving me, and the first time I saw someone express their love for God. I didn’t even know we could love God; I only knew the wrath of God, not His love. During that study, I learned these four truths that changed my view of God.
  1. Jesus loved me and died to save me (and the world) from my sins. (John 3:161 John 2:2)
  2. He loves me not because of anything I have done or will ever do, but because it is His nature (Romans 5:8), and there is nothing that could ever make Him stop loving me (Romans 8:38-39).
  3. I learned that I am a depraved sinner in need of His grace (Romans 3:23). But no matter the depth of my sin, Jesus will forgive and redeem me if I confess my sins and repent (1 John 1:9).
  4. He gives His grace freely, and I can never earn it (Ephesians 2:8-92 Timothy 1:9).
  • SEE ALSO:  4 Resources That Helped Me Start My Faith Journey
  • I never knew of this loving God, and I wanted to know Him and also come to love Him. That is why on January 1st, 2016, I gave my life Jesus.
  • My life since then
  • Once Jesus came into my life, it was never the same again. He made me into a new creature and nailed my old self to the cross. Where I was once a slave to fear, He broke my chains and set me free.
  • It’s been three years since I have been walking with Jesus. I can say without a shred of doubt, that life with Jesus is way better than life without Him. I no longer live under the shadow of fear (Romans 8:15), but I live in the light of His love and presence (1 John 1:7). He has given me peace; I don’t have to worry or be anxious about anything anymore (John 14:27). He works all things for my good and making me like Him (Romans 8:28). I know now He is for me not against me (Romans 8:31), and I have hope for my future.
  • My walk with Jesus hasn’t always been easy. I still face many trials, have to deny myself things that I love, and learn to do things that aren’t in my nature, for example, forgiveness, humility, loving people, etc. But I don’t have to do this alone. He strengthens me, comforts me, and through it all, He is always with me.
  • Giving my life to Christ is the best decision I have ever made, and I can never thank and praise Him enough for ordaining the steps that led me to this decision (John 6:44John 15:16Ephesians 1:4-5).
  • If you do not know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, know that His unfailing love, His unending grace, and His unexplainable peace are also available to you! It doesn’t matter what you have done, Jesus will forgive you if you repent and confess your sins.
  • And if you have accepted Jesus into your life, congratulations! Know that heaven is rejoicing over you! But we also want to celebrate you on earth. Please consider sharing your testimony to encourage others and give glory to God for what He has done. You can learn how to write your testimony here.
  •    Grace and peace to you!