Our God, or at least my God, is such a loving and forgiving God! He loves me no matter what! I can turn away from Him for years (though I don’t recommend this) and come right back to his open and waiting arms! You know, there is no better feeling than to know that you are loved unconditionally. All we, as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit), have to do is love Him, share His love with others, and follow His directions for life which He has conveniently given us through the Holy Bible, aka – God’s word.
To back up just a bit, I have been a Christian for a very long time, but not the kind of Christian I needed to be. Sure, I professed my faith and was baptized at the age of 16, but many years later I came to feel that I had done it for the wrong reasons. Oh, I still knew Jesus was my savior, but I didn’t feel as if I had done things the way I was supposed to. I felt like I took the walk up the aisle of the church, spoke to the pastor, and the following Sunday was baptized, along with about 15 or so others! But there was just something wrong about the whole thing.
I would hear others speaking of the day that they were saved and how they remembered the exact date and all the details surrounding it, but I could remember very little about mine! I could not remember the name of the pastor who baptized me, and the only way I remembered the date was by looking in a Bible given to me by my best friend and her parents at that time. So, I began to feel that if I couldn’t remember all the tiny details, then it must not have been done correctly, by me!
I came to this realization probably about 15-20 years ago. I will admit the thought had never crossed my mind until a fellow member of the church I was attending at the time, stood in front of the tiny congregation and professed that he felt he had been baptized for the wrong reasons at a young age, and now he wanted to make it right! He was baptized the following Sunday.
After hearing this of course the wheels started turning in my brain, but I kept pushing the thought back and telling myself that I was only feeling this way because I had gotten the idea from this gentleman. I thought I just wanted to be baptized over again because I saw someone else do so. So, I let it go.
But, if you don’t already know it, God is persistent! He never gave up on me! I kept feeling like there was something wrong with my relationship with God. I didn’t feel like I was “all in” and I wanted to be. I wanted the kind of relationship I saw others have with God.
Well, over time, we fell out of fellowship with out church. Noones fault but our own, we just stopped going. We would go occasionally, usually for vacation Bible school, Easter and Christmas, and occasionally on Mother’s day. Admittedly, I enjoyed going on Mother’s day because I was usually the mother with the most children there, since my four were to young to decide for themselves yet! And, I enjoyed going on my birthday because I was recognized on my birthday! I know, not exactly the right reasons for going to church, but I felt like “hey, at least I’m here!”
Well, after being out of fellowship with God for several years, I was introduced to my present church about a year and half ago. I have NEVER in my life felt more at home ANYWHERE!! I mean, as soon as I walked in the door of the church I felt this arm around me and a small voice telling me “welcome home.” I knew then that was God! I felt like I had been attending that church for years, and this time, it felt right!
Well, a few months later, with the thought of having been baptized for the wrong reasons weighing heavily on my mind, I spoke to my pastor, a young man the same age as my daughter, lol, and explained my situation to him. He politely explained to me that I was not the only person to have ever felt that way. He asked if I truly believed that Jesus was my savior and I replied yes to someone who understood completely gave me the feeling that I was truly “washed in the blood” for once in my life! July 18, 2010, I was baptized for the second time in my life, but for the first time that actually felt ‘right’.
Do I think just because I have been baptized for the right reasons and attend church regularly and read my Bible regularly, (though not as often as I should) that this makes me a perfect Christian? Not in the least. I have come to realize that being a good Christian is an ongoing thing. Being a good Christian is something that has to be ‘practiced’ each and every day! It’s the same concept as if you were playing a sport. You are not going to know what you are doing at first, but with practice you will find yourself getting better and better. In my walk with Christ, I find myself learning new things every day and I know that I will never know all there is to know, but that is not going to stop me from trying.
I know there will be times when I slip and slide off the right path, but I also know that God will always be there to help me get back on the right path. For that, I am eternally grateful!
I hope that in some way, the words I share on this simple blog will help someone else to see that it is never too late to turn your life over to Jesus, completely, and once and for all! Jesus is always right there waiting for you, and all you have to do is ask Him to take control of your life, to come into your heart and fill that empty spot you know is there.
Thank you Lord Jesus for never giving up on me, for never turning your back on me, and for always accepting me back anytime I have turned away from you. Thank you for your forgiveness of my many sins and short comings. Go with me through the rest of this day and help me to be a representative of you that will help to bring others to you that otherwise do not know you. I pray Father that people will see Jesus when they look at me. Thank you Father for your guidance and your love. In Jesus name, Amen