Saved by grace
When I was 12 years old, God revealed himself to me in a special way. How life-changing a seemingly chance meeting can be! One lunchtime at school I was sitting at a table in the canteen just minding my own business when a group of fifth-year lads came and sat with me.
I was embarrassed and wanted to get up and leave, but they were friendly and fun to be with, so I began to sit with them regularly. One week they invited me to a young people’s fellowship run by a Christian called Mr Smith.
The day was mostly spent playing sports, but in the evening we would split up into groups for Bible study and later Mr Smith would preach a sermon.
This was the first time I’d really been confronted with the message of the Bible. I listened and began to read the Bible for myself and pray each day. I genuinely enjoyed the meetings and wanted to learn more about God. However, looking back, I can see that this was just an outward change – I was trying to please God by becoming religious.
Looking through my old notebook it’s clear that I knew I was a sinner and needed to repent and trust in Christ for forgiveness, but I hadn’t experienced it. I thought I could parachute into the Christian life without first getting right with God.
It was on the fellowship summer holiday that the Lord opened my eyes to my true condition and showed me my need of Jesus Christ. I began to realise that Christianity was not about me doing things for God but God saving me through Jesus Christ and his death on the cross.
I needed to repent, turn away from my sin and trust Jesus Christ. God really spoke to my heart about my sin and I was gripped by the fact that if I died that night, or Jesus came again, I would be lost in my sins and punished forever. I could think about nothing else.
But God did not leave me in despair. He pointed me to the Saviour who had suffered the punishment for my sin on the cross. That evening I put my trust in Jesus Christ and he saved me. God brought a wonderful peace to my heart and ever since I’ve had the joy and assurance that I am safe in my Saviour for all eternity.