The reality of it all
Since I was small, my parents and my gran have taken me to church, but for many years it was never something I did anything more about, or realised it was important to me.
As a teenager, I continued to go to church and its youth group for completely the wrong reasons – the friends I had there. However, these visits did cause me to debate inwardly many questions about Christianity and the world, and led me for the first time to think about the issues for myself.
At this time I hated the person I was – moody to all my family, unhelpful and snappy; and no matter how I tried I couldn’t get myself out of this horrible state.
It was when I was 15, on a church weekend away, that I realised that God was real and what he did on the cross for me was important and true; and that I couldn’t just sit there any more and merely think about the gospel, ‘That’s nice’. I had to respond.
It wasn’t just my church’s or family’s faith; it was my individual responsibility also. This began to transform me as I started to believe, and I got confirmed.
However, I did not live out in my life the fact that I was a Christian, although I claimed to be. I didn’t follow the teaching of the Bible, but was picking and choosing what I obeyed.
I don’t think I really understood the gospel message until I came to university. Then I realised that sin wasn’t just the actions I do, but the attitude I have towards God where I effectively tell him to ‘get lost’ and put myself first. I saw my true need for the cross and how amazing it is that Jesus died there to bring me to God.
I also came to acknowledge the authority of the Bible as God’s perfect Word which I should try and follow without exception – and not just merely human words. This realisation has led me to be thankful and try to give every part of my life to him; not just picking and choosing as I did before, but depending on him completely.
I am so excited, growing in my relationship with the Lord, serving him for the rest of my life and giving him all the praise he deserves.
All this was only achieved by God’s amazing grace. He opened my eyes to see his truth when I was blind for so long, and still would be, were it not for his mercy and love.
God’s wrath is what I deserve and yet he has taken me up through Jesus and given me new life.