I remember going into the giant Salvation Army Store with my mother in our city and reading the two foot high letters on the back wall. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16, the Bible.
When I was eight or nine years old, every Sunday my Sunday school teachers would ask our class of 20 or so children whether we were saved. The lead teacher would ask everyone who was saved to raise their hands. I would always raise my hand because I didn’t want to be pressured into making a decision. I knew was not a believer.
I knew about Jesus, but I was not convinced that I needed to believe. I was not convinced that those truths applied to me.
One night in November 1968, however, I was defiantly disobedient to my parents and they sent me to my room to think about it. Alone in my room, I was struck by the certainty that I was a sinner and that I needed to repent and place my faith in Jesus Christ, the savior of my soul.
From that moment, I became a Christian, a believer in Jesus. At that time, I received the Holy Spirit in my life. I was filled with a desire to read the Bible, God’s word to us. I told my parents what I had done and they were overjoyed. A few months later, I was baptized.
My faith journey has not always been smooth. There have been times in my life when I have doubted God’s goodness. I abandoned the church for a couple of years during my mid 20s. But God drew me back.
I have two favorite verses in the bible.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16, the Bible.
8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9, the Bible