I see now more than ever what my life would be like without Christ. I was saved at a young age. It was on a Thursday, June 9th, the summer before I turned nine. It was during Vacation Bible School and our Pastor brought an object lesson where he took a clean clear glass of water and put a drop in it and the water turned black to illustrate sin and the effect it has on our lives. Then he put in another drop of something and turned the water red to represent the blood that Jesus shed to cleanse us from sin.
I had heard all this before many times during Sunday School. But I am a visual learner and his "magic trick" illustration made quite an impression on me that day. Then, and this was what was really amazing, he added another drop of something and the water in the glass turned pure and clean again. He did this to show the fact that Jesus blood washed all the sin away in order to make my heart clean again.
Well, you can imagine what an impression that made on me. I knew exactly what I needed to do and went forward that day and prayed to invite Jesus into my heart. And I was gloriously saved that day, June 9th, 1966. (Hey, I just realized today is my spiritual birthday!) After that I couldn't wait to tell all my friends what had happened to me. I was so excited and felt like a brand new person. I was born again!
Well, as you can imagine, as time progressed I would hear testimonies of people who had come to know Jesus and they would share these tremendous stories of how God had rescued them from such horrible lives. Maybe they were into substance abuse, or on the verge of suicide, or had been to prison, etc. Like many other people who began their relationship with Christ at a young age, I began to think, well my life wasn't all that bad before I came to know Jesus. After all, I had only been alive on this earth for less than nine years. I don't have a wonderful testimony of God's saving power in my life.
But the older I get, the more I see what my life would have looked like without Christ. I see all the things that he rescued me from. As I watch the people that I know who do not claim to know Him, it's like looking at my life in a mirror. My life as it could have been.
When I look at them I see emotions, ..... sadness, loss of hope, depression, frustration, anger, despair, bitterness. I see them striving, ...... for things, pleasures, wanting more and more, trying to fill the emptiness they feel. I see them struggling, ..... in their relationships, in their finances, ...... with strongholds, in bondage to habits and addictions. I see them fighting, ...... in conflict with family, friends, work, even at church ....... battling storms, and everything around them. They can find no peace. They are blind and cannot see the help that is available to them. They seem oblivious to the hand that is reaching out to them.
This is who and what I would be without Christ. This could have been me. This was me! This is the person I would be if it were not for Christ. This is how my life would have looked if I had never come to know Him. What a glorious testimony to God's grace and mercy! And the life I have now is my testimony to the power of His saving grace. You see it's really not about me or my testimony at all, it's all about God and what He did for me. He rescued me!
Mercy means not getting something that you deserved. I deserved death because the Bible says "The wages (or payment) of sin is death." (Romans 6:23) Grace means getting something that you didn't deserve. The rest of the verse says "but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23) I deserved death, but instead I received the gift of life, eternal life!
So on this day, my spiritual birthday, I have much to celebrate! My salvation is more real and more precious to me now than at any other time in my life. And my testimony is more glorious than ever before. And for this reason I will give praise to the One who gave His life for me and has changed my life completely!
"Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; let those who love Your salvation continually say, "God is great!" Psalm 70:4