The Journey Begins........
I met Him. He found me.
So you may asking- who is He? Were you lost?
I grew up in and out of churches, getting an elementary education in “Christian Jargon”. I did not know anyone who lived a life devoted to Christ and many of the concepts of unconditional love, redemption, and accountability were foreign to me. I knew about the Bible, even considered it holy, but I had no idea what was in it.
I remember the day, I had the sweet opportunity to hear Luis Palau. He was an elderly gentlemen, with a Latino accent but it was his joy that caught me off guard. He was straight forward, funny, and had the kind of loving countenance that draws those in around him. He simply explained the truths of the Christian walk and joy of knowing Jesus Christ. 
So to help those out there, in the same spot let’s first clarify some basic terms and truths in the Christian Walk:
I found it. Or better yet, I realized He had been pursuing me all along.
God is not hiding or trying to elude us. In fact, the Bible says God actively pursues a relationship with each person. So, how do we seek God? Compare how we seek wealth, prestige or romance -- we read up on, work hard, set priorities, and surround ourselves with others who will help us achieve our goal. To seek God, we make Him our first priority in life; read the Bible, pray, trust Him, and learn from others. When we pay attention, His activity in our lives is unmistakable.
This is so true. When I began to hear about God, I couldn’t get enough. I would talk to the people at work, listen to sermons online, and was open to hearing truth, because I knew inside that I was empty and something was missing.
In seeking the Lord, I began to understand He was what was missing. God loves you and has a plan for you. [Christ speaking] "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly" [that it might be full and meaningful] (John 10:10). So why is it that most people are not experiencing the abundant life? They are separated from God and they do not know about who Christ is or what he did.
I met Him. Who is He?
Even when He was on earth, Jesus was much more than a great teacher. Jesus was fully God and fully human. He created the universe and loves His human creations so much more than we deserve to be loved.
Jesus Christ is God’s ONLY provision for man’s sin. Through Him you can know and experience God’s love and plan for your life. Let’s get to know Him:
He is the son of God, what does that mean?
Jesus is not God’s Son in the sense of a human father and a son. God did not get married and have a son. God did not mate with Mary and, together with her, produce a son. Jesus is God’s Son in the sense that He is God made manifest in human form (John 1:1, 14). Jesus is God's Son in that He was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:35 declares, “The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’”
He Died in Our Place
"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
He Rose From the Dead
"Christ died for our sins...He was buried...He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures...He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred..."(1 Corinthians 15:3-6).
He Is the Only Way to God
"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me’" (John 14:6).
This picture illustrates that God has bridged the gulf which separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.
Faith in Jesus keeps our earthly life on track and guarantees an eternal home in heaven.
I knew I did not live a perfect life, would God still love me despite my past and in spite of my struggles?
No one is completely without fault-no one is "blameless." Everyone has done something wrong. We are not inherently good, we are sinful (have done wrong, will do wrong). The Bible tells us that "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). We were created to have fellowship with God; but, because of our stubborn self-will, we chose to go our own independent way, and fellowship with God was broken.
For years, I struggled with this thought. For a long time, I thought that if I just tried hard, did good things, or focused on good thoughts, this would be enough to keep me from my struggles. I would constantly get discouraged when I would lie, get angry, or hide feelings and thoughts, that I didn’t want anyone to know. Even if it looked good on the outside, I knew inside, I struggled. It was not until I realized, that I need saving grace, that I experienced freedom. None of us will ever reach or be perfection.
Yet, one perfect and blameless man exists: Jesus Christ. Because He took the blame we deserve, God sees us as blameless, when we accept that Jesus Christ died for our sins. I am not perfect, but my sins are erased because of that gift.
What is Sin and why do I continually do wrong- even in understanding the grace Christ extends to me?
To sin is to defy God's ways and act to please ourselves. As discussed above, sin is self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference. But sin is not just behavior. It is also thoughts or attitudes that contradict God's expectations. Sin can be dramatic or subtle, but it always separates us from God's love and glory. The Bible tells us that "The wages of sin is death" [spiritual separation from God] (Romans 6:23).
No good deed, or any of our own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion – will bridge the gap. We will inevitably fail because we can never achieve perfection.
Jesus Christ is God’s ONLY provision for man’s sin. Through Him you can know and experience God’s love and plan for your life. God forgets our sin when we ask for forgiveness, believing that Jesus Christ already took our punishment.
So what is “the gospel” and what exactly does the cross represent?
"Gospel" means "good news." Because Jesus Christ died for our sins and returned to life, those who believe in Him will never experience spiritual death or hell.
This good news changed my life. I went from a life of desperate frustration to a life of joy and peace. I was so glad someone shared the gospel with me.
The cross is a very common symbol these days. We see it on churches, bumper stickers, and necklaces. What does it actually represent, though? The cross was a humiliating torture device used to execute Roman criminals sentenced to death. Christians do not delight in the cruelty Jesus Christ suffered on a cross, but rather in the amazing love that motivated him to die such a death on behalf of wretched humanity.
On the cross, Jesus Christ died to pay sinners' way out of hell, which is eternal death. A cross reminds us of how God Himself experienced physical death, without which we could never obtain spiritual life.
I understand who Christ is, what He did, now what? How do I get to know Him? What is redemption, what is salvation?
Jesus Christ's death redeemed, or paid the price for, our sins. We can take comfort in knowing that there is nothing we can do to nullify Christ's work for us.
We must individually RECEIVE Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.
We Must Receive Christ
"As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name" (John 1:12)
We Receive Christ Through Faith
"By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9)
When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth (Read John 3:1-8.)
We Receive Christ by Personal Invitation
[Christ speaking] "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him" (Revelation 3:20).
Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.
After sin entered the world, each human being became enslaved by corruption and death. God's Son came to rescue humanity by paying the penalty for sin. The work necessary to obtain salvation has been completed. Jesus Christ now freely offers salvation-rescue from death to eternal life-to all who place their faith in Him.
So what happened that day for me? The day I heard the words…. “fully devoted follower of Christ”. I came to know Christ by faith through prayer. (Prayer is talking to God) I said these words, and I felt the peace of the Lord enter my heart:
"Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control my life, I know I am not able to do this on my own. Make me the kind of person You want me to be."
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If it does, I invite you to pray this prayer right now and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.
Did you pray this prayer?
So excited for you! You are loved by God and are now his child. Share with us, we would love to be praying for you: firstname.lastname@example.org
Seek a Bible-based church in your local area. Get connected, read the Word, these steps will help to grow you in your walk and encourage you to grow in community with other believers. If you don’t have a Bible, there are great resources on the web:
"God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16 NIV).