He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
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As a child growing up on the island of Guam during the seventies, I found a little booklet entitled, “This Was Your Life” which told the story of a rich man who died. He stood before God who replayed the man’s life and it was found that he had rejected Jesus Christ. God then banished him to the lake of fire. I was scared. The back of the booklet said that I needed to believe in Jesus in order to escape the flames of hell, so I prayed to God and asked him to save me. I didn’t know exactly what I was doing. I just knew that I needed some help from God to stay out of hell. It was like following the instructions on the back of the cake mix–I wanted to go to heaven so I followed the instructions. I didn’t understand that being saved is about having a relationship with Jesus Christ–but God met me where I was and, in time, he perfected my understanding.
I was not reared in a Christian family, but I went to church every once in a while, said a prayer before eating (sometimes, I guess, I do not think every time), and recited “Now I lay me down to sleep…” sometimes before going to bed. I’d pick up the Bible every once in a while, but I got sleepy or bored every time I tried to read it. I went through my life living like most other people in this world do. I had opportunities to pursue Jesus, but chose not to–Satan was my lord. Most of the things that I found fun and exciting, I now reject as unholy. I did what I wanted to, but was never completely comfortable with the wild life I was leading. I feel confident that the Lord took my prayer as a child and kept me from being completely sold out to Satan and never making it into God’s kingdom.
During one semester in college I had an Anthropology course that said humans are descended from apes, a Philosophy teacher that said God does not exist, and a Humanities teacher that called the Bible a myth. For the first time in my life I was confused about God. Even though I didn’t really read the Bible, I believed that God was somewhere in the background. These people were telling me that he did not exist. One day I wondered to myself, “Why do I believe in God? Is it because my parents told me about him?” I did not know that God heard me and that he was going to answer.
A few years later, I graduated from college and went to work. One day as I passed the desk of a co-worker, I saw a booklet entitled, “This Was Your Life” lying on her desk–the same tract that I found as a child in Guam almost 20 years earlier! It was like seeing an old friend. I asked if I could borrow it and she said yes. I greedily read it and eventually ordered other tracts for information. Soon after, I began to read the Bible like there was no tomorrow–the television in my apartment wasn’t even plugged up, I was too busy reading God’s word.
The Lord Jesus showed me a lot of things. First of all, he cares about me and everything about me. He desires to be my everything. He also showed me that he loves me and wants to be my Lord and companion. The Lord is holy–and I, as his child, should be holy too. I learned that a life of holiness is wonderfully fulfilling. Now that the Lovely One, Jesus Christ, is my Lord and my Saviour, why would I return back to the filth and vomit that I once had? I am not going back. God does not want anybody to go to hell, but he will not let you in heaven without repentance and faith in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ who is God manifested in the flesh.
When you make the wise decision of making Jesus Christ the Lord of your life (instead of yourself), he will save your soul. And as you read his word in faith, he will help you as you start obeying it and you will be transformed by the renewing of your mind and you will start proving that good and acceptable and perfect will of God–you will be a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. As David said in Psalm 23, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” As a child of God, you are joint-heir to everything that the Creator of the universe has, yet you are to be the humblest and meekest of persons.
After I started to walk with the Lord Jesus, my life completely changed. One day an old acquaintance called me up. We were on the telephone about 30 to 45 seconds when she said, “Tracy, what happened? [Have] [y]ou been born-again or something?” I was glad to hear from her and I wasn’t trying to sound differently so I was surprised by her comment. Can you see how God can change even your conversational style?
I used to think, “I’ll serve God when I get old like Grandmama.” I am so glad that that didn’t happen! Why is it that we want to give all our good years to Satan and then give the leftovers to the Righteous One? I used to think that serving God would be such a bore. How wrong I was! My life is more exciting than ever–the Bible gives me work to do as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and as a wife, mother, and neighbor to my fellow man. I have made up my mind that I will NEVER go back to that wicked place I used to live. I will reprove it and see souls saved and walking with the Lord. I will live my life for the Lovely Jesus. In the best of times or the worst of times, I have no where else to go but him. Glory to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. How my God woos me to heaven–and every step of the way I know that one day my faith will be made sight.
Some famous people in this world have called Christians losers because Christians do not run to the same excess of riot with them. Christians no longer spend their time in the world’s perversions like drugs, adultery, fornication, addictions, perverse language, evil imaginations, rebellion, lawlessness, pride, television, and their music and movies. Not because we are so good (we were once in the world, too), but because the Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed us from sin and as we read and obey his holy word, our desires actually change. When I sin, I certainly don’t feel good about it and I try to avoid it everyday. I may be despised by people in this world, but I can say with the psalmist,
…I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. Psalm 84:10
If Jesus took a sinner like me and made me clean, he can do the same for anybody willing to repent their sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Follow him. Repent ye, and believe the gospel. The following scripture has been placed on my heart of late:
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. Isaiah 43:19, 21
The wilderness and desert mentioned in this verse symbolize the landscape of my old, sinful life. God miraculously made a way and a river in the midst of my barrenness. Hallelujah! Will you let him do the same for you? Talk to the Lord Jesus and tell him that you repent of your sins, ask him to take away the guilt, tell the Lord that you believe in him–that he died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day. Tell the Lord that you give him your life and that you’ll follow him by obey his word. Then thank Jesus for saving your soul.