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Stories of Lives Liberated

Mike

Mike

I dotted the religious I’s and crossed the religious T’s. Now I have a relationship with Jesus

 

Who I Was Before Christ

I was confirmed when I was 12. I was very happy to have the CCD classes over with. Yeah no more needing to go to church.
I started college and soon had the reputation of one of the biggest partiers in Friley Hall (the second largest dorm in the United States at that time). During my first term, I was invited to a bible study down the hall from where I was living. For the final meeting in December, I heard the gospel shared, but I was already confirmed, and I thought did not need that. In May of my first year, one of my friends was learning a diagram on how to get to heaven, and I helped him out by having him go through the Diagram with me. The decision at the end was nice, but not what I thought I needed.
In my second year of college, I helped out two other friends get practice on the “how to get to heaven diagram”. The bible study I went to that year was doing an Easter study of Jesus. In one of the discussion times the verse: “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14.6 NIV) was read. The idea that Jesus was the only way to heaven was a little hard to except. I was very motivated to prove them wrong, and started reading my bible for 1 to 2 hours a day. Without having the Holy Spirit at this point, I became a very challenging person during bible study discussions.
In my third year of college, I was invited to a retreat by my friends from the bible study that I went to. On the Friday night we arrived at the retreat, my friend and I had a discussion about the need to believe Jesus die so people can go to heaven. He had a good argument and shared some nice verses, but I felt something was missing. During the retreat, I went to a class on how to build a good testimony. On the way home from the retreat a few other of my friends shared their stories and how important it was to except Jesus’ gift that he died for our sins. I was not ready and said “there must be more to it than that”.

 

What Changed?

A week later I was reading my bible and read:

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12 NIV).

“I told you that you would die in your sins: If you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8:24 NIV).

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out. And find pasture” (John 10:9 NIV).

After reading this, I knew I had to believe in what Jesus did for me. I could not find any of the tracks or diagrams I was given over the years. So I went knocking door to door on the rooms of my Christian friends. At the second door someone was home. I asked them “what do I need to pray to accept Jesus?” Then they told me. As I was starting to pray, I hesitated, and my friend asked me “what is holding you back?” My response was, “well after I do this, I will have to stop intentionally sinning”. I was not sure I could do that. As I was praying, the information I knew from the bible went from my head into my heart.

That if you confess with your month, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your month that you confess and are saved (Romans 10:9-10 NIV).

We hugged. Then I went and told my roommate the choice I made. Before I went to bed that night, I left my roommate to think about this thought: God gives us the freedom to believe and choose what we want to during the time we are alive. When you die however, you will learn the truth, and then it will be too late for you to change the choice you made when you were alive.

“I tell you whoever acknowledges me before men; the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8-9 NIV).

“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, But only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” (Hebrews 10:26-27 NIV).

“For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge”; I will repay, and again, “The Lord will judge his people. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God “(Hebrews 10:30-31 NIV).

 

Who I Am Now

This happened on October 28 1990. What is my life like 23 years after I made my choice? I continue to have a personal relationship with Jesus. It is not necessarily a need or want, but is because I really enjoy my relationship with Jesus. The peace and joy I have in my heart from having that engaging relationship is irreplaceable. It is a relationship because Jesus speaks to me through my time reading the bible, and responds to me by answering my prayers with a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’. Over the years I have learned I will not stop sinning until I die. Jesus is the only one who lived a sinless life. I make good decisions and I make bad decisions. Those decisions create the circumstances that my family and I live in and live through. Some circumstances that have changed over the years are: I am married, have children, and now my children are continually growing. I know my circumstances will continually be changing until I die. Even when I get angry with God because the decisions I made don’t turn out the way I planned, or change my circumstances the way I had anticipated. God’s love for me will never change. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

 

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