The most important decision you every make is whether or not you choose Jesus. The Bible says...
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God... the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ." (Romans 6:23, 3:23)
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." (Acts 16:31)
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
My dear friend and former roommate gave her life recently to Jesus Christ. I asked her several questions in hopes that we could piece together her story of faith and post it on this blog... here's her response in its entirety:
I think my story begins like one of your favorite songs Renee, "Amazing Grace," where I would say "I once was lost, but now am found" because that is how I feel now after having this life changing experience and what I feel is joy!
I have felt like there was an emptiness inside of me for a long time that I tried to fill with other things, but I have gradually realized that none of those other "fillers" really worked. I found myself searching for different solutions, and exploring other faith based communities, but it was not until I went to this one nondenominational church in Indianapolis in October that I really felt at home, and allowed myself to completely accept Christ into my heart. I have gone through some life challenges already, from dealing with my parent's divorce to transferring schools, to getting into a pretty serious car accident, and any challenge, in life is even harder I feel to go through without turning to God.
I feel like I find new passages from the Bible every day that really speak to me, but I really like where it says in Lamentations "Because of the Lord's great love we are consumed. For his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, the Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for him," and whenever I feel like I am lacking in wisdom on what to do or choices to make I turn to James 1:5-7.
I would not say I necessarily had negative experiences with religion or Christianity, but I never really thought it did anything for me. I grew up going to church every Sunday, but I didn't really have any good reason for why I went except that that was what I thought you were supposed to do on Sunday. So, I would sit there and not really listen to the sermon, but instead wait for the hour and a half to pass. I now get excited to go to church on Sundays and go to my bible study group every Thursday, as just another way to worship with a group of people.
As I mentioned before, I explored many other religious faiths, and one that I was drawn to for several years was the Quaker religion. I liked and still like many aspects of this religion because there is a heavy focus on social justice and pacifism. These two aspects can be found in the teachings of Jesus so I greatly admire this aspect of the religion, which is why I think I was so initially drawn to it; however, I felt like there was too much of an attitude that maybe this is right or this could be right without ever coming to any conclusions. I think at some point there needs to be a choice made, and I've decided to accept Jesus.
Many people might be afraid that they could experience ridicule from other nonbelievers, but I would say I have not experienced ridicule but many questions. My family is very supportive, but I think they are still trying to "figure out" this change within me. I welcome the questions and the discussions, and it has been eye opening for me to be on this side and answer the skeptical questions that I would have asked myself only months ago. This goes along with my day to day life experience that I have as well. Being a Christian is a choice, but one that is lived out day-to-day. Beliefs on marriage, relationships, friendships, certain morals have drastically changed for me, and I am better I think because of it. Knowing that God has a purpose for me and my life is amazing, and allows me to see my earthly life differently.
Renee, you have really been an influential person in my life who has helped point me to Jesus, and I'm definitely not just saying that because you asked me these questions. I think I began to realize the emptiness I felt more after getting to know you better, and I am glad to finally discover that accepting Jesus fills that emptiness. Also, the members of my house church have really helped me continue to grow as a Christian and kept me accountable with my relationship with Jesus.
In this coming year, I expect to continue to grow as a Christian, and put my trust in God whenever I feel lost.