I grew up in a Christian home, and was baptized as an infant. I have amazing parents that have always encouraged me to have a relationship with God. Growing up I always believed in God and thought I had a good relationship with him. However, what I didn’t realize at that time was how much I rejected God in my life.
Although I would state that Jesus Christ was my savior, this was not evident at all in my life. I never opened up God’s word or prayed, and if I did it was a last resort. Although I didn’t purposely reject God in my life – I didn’t have too. I truly believed that as long as I lived a half-way decent life and did good deeds for others, I would get to heaven.
I have had a blessed life. I have not endured great suffering or trial that brought me closer to God. I think because of this, I felt I didn’t need a stronger relationship with God. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Although, I knew these blessing were gifts from God, what I didn’t accept or acknowledge was the greatest gift of all from God, my salvation.
I can’t pick an “aha” moment where I realized my need for Christ. However, I became very curious after mission trips to Belize. Seeing the poverty that the people I met on these trips lived in, brought so many questions to mind. My biggest thought was how happy and content the people I met there were, when in my eyes they had nothing. What I came to understand is that the people I met on these trips had the greatest gift of all, God’s grace and love.
This made me question my own life. How could someone with so much not praise God and live their life for him? Since coming to Sojourn last January, my eyes and heart have been opened to what a true relationship with God looks and feels like. What I know now is that I am a sinner, but because of God sacrificing his Son for the punishment I deserved, I have been made right with God. I have become God’s child only through God’s grace and Jesus’ suffering on the cross, not by anything I have done. Although this was a gradual process for me, I have been forgiven of my sins and have obtained new life in Christ.
Christ’s death was the death of my “old life” before I had truly known the Lord. Christ’s resurrection symbolizes my new life in him. When I found the Lord over the past year, I “didn’t find the right way to live” but life itself in Jesus Christ. Through my baptism today I want to publically pronounce the washing away of my old life, and beginning a new life in Christ.