I’m so grateful to God our heavenly Father for preserving His Word throughout all the generations it took to finally get to me. I guess that’s why my heart is so full of love and joy and the desire to share it with you! His Word is something I can’t keep to myself because it has set me free. The joy God has given me even through tragedies, has changed me. You see, even though I believed in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I never knew Him. I can finally say, “I know Him”!
I grew up in a church that preached God’s Word, and our faith was in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Thankfully, I did have the foundation of the Blessed Trinity. And I’m thankful, too, that as a young girl, when my mother would put me to bed, we’d kneel down at the edge of my bed and pray the “Our Father”. I carried that with me all my life, and I don’t care where I’ll be, sometimes, when it comes to a serious prayer, I just can’t do it unless I’m on my knees. I was taught reverence. I was taught worship. I was taught hymns and that we should tithe (but wasn’t taught about tithing ten percent and that God says “prove me” in Malachi 3:10-12). Perhaps the first reference to giving God one tenth of everything is in Genesis 28:22 where Jacob said “And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”
And I was not taught that I could have a personal relationship with Jesus! For some reason, I didn’t grasp the fact that when Jesus arose on the third day He was ALIVE! We were taught that His Spirit comes to live within us when we’ve repented of our sins and receive communion, but we weren’t reminded that HE IS ALIVE and that fact did not permeate my soul. All I knew was that He’s in heaven, where I’ll be too, some day. But ladies & gentlemen, He’s alive for you to know Him, too!
Are you scared to give Jesus the same reverence that we give to God? I used to be, because I thought He deserved less reverence than God, being His Son. But He’s God, the Son, too!
The first commandment says “ 1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:1-3 (KJV)
Even though I was taught to believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, I was scared I’d break that commandment if I prayed directly to Jesus.
I didn’t know that praying to God is not enough to get into heaven. It didn’t sink into my soul the significance of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection. He is now the perfect sacrifice for our sins, and through His shed blood and our repentance and belief in Him we can enter through the Gate/Door of heaven, through Jesus!
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.?
John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
It is God’s Word, and His wisdom and understanding, along with me crying out to God, literally, over the last ten years, that has opened the Door, being JESUS, to me.
In John 10:9 Jesus said “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God cannot be mocked. He knows our hearts. He tries us and tests us, and trust me, He’ll use what is most precious to you to try you and test you, too. Yes, even our children and grandchildren. (Just like He did with Abraham). He’ll watch you to see whom you go to when you’re scared and whom you’ll ask for advice in making important decisions, and what you do with the blessings He’s given you. Yep, that’s called ‘refining’!
So, I’ve given you my testimony and not much Scripture. That’s not good, because it’s His Word that has freed me, and can free you, too. But it also took the desire in my heart to know Him.
His Holy Spirit did the rest once I asked Jesus into my life, and actually got baptized along with six other people. You see, God’s Word just kept leading me to the Scriptures referring to baptism, and finally, when I read that Jesus even got baptized to fulfill all prophecy, I figured God’s Word was leading me to do so, too. Good thing the river was flowing with fresh rain that day!
Jesus said “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16