Before I felt called to know Christ, I was 12 when I felt prompted to ask for forgiveness of my sins toward a loved one that just passed away. At that moment I experienced that the love of Christ was personal and truly profound.
A song that's recently grown special to me, the chorus repeats with increasing energy, "You've been faithful, over and over, you deserve all of the praise. I will trust you, over and over. Hang on every word you say." This song reminds me of God's faithfulness even through the hard times. And when I'm hard on myself, I've learned to remember the grace of God. From 1 John 3:1, "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are."
I'm not perfect and moving forward, I continually ask Jesus for forgiveness of my sins. A tune from my past that I even taught my fiance the melody is, "Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with your free spirit."
I will continue to turn to Christ to learn how I should honor God and love others.
Hi! I'm Bethany Jensen, and I've been a disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ for the last year and a half.
My live pre-Christ was exactly as Paul describes in Romans 1: By my unrighteousness I suppressed the truth; Although I know God, I did not honor him as God nor give thanks to Him; Claiming to be wise, I became a fool; I was filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice ... full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and maliciousness; I was a gossip, a hater of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, an inventor of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, and ruthless. For those of you who think murder might be a bit extreme, Jesus's sermon on the mount equates murder to anger - and anyone who is angry with his brother is liable to judgement and to the hell of fire.
In the fall of 2020, I had a fit of rage and directed all my anger at God. I told Him I wanted to be able to sin without having my conscience convict me. I even went so far as to tell God I never asked to be chosen, and I begged him to unchoose me, so I could live a much easier, guilt-free life, while continuing in rebellion. I was a slave to sin, and the fruit I was getting at that time (from the things of which I am now ashamed) was death.
God showed me that a part of what I said that night was true - I didn't ask to be chosen. My salvation depends not on my own human will or exertion, but on God who has mercy. He has powerfully demonstrated His grace to me - in that while I was dead in my sins, including that night, Christ died for me. God has given me the faith to believe in His Son, and therefore be justified, and be at peace with God.
How profound is it that we once were enemies with God, and he was enemies with us ... BUT GOD being so rich in mercy & because of the great love with which He loved us has made us alive together with Christ - which means we aren't fighting anymore with our Creator and Sustainer. Instead, we're on the same team, and our life is hidden with Christ in God.
The Holy Spirit has filled me with desire to study and meditate on Scripture, just like the blessed man in Psalm 1 whose delight is in the law of the Lord. I've seen evidence of God's Word as living and active, discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart, and of being profitable for training in righteousness. After all, how can we be disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ without studying Scripture? Actually, through Adam's and my study through Romans last summer, the Spirit piqued my curiosity at Romans 6, which brought both of us to getting baptized today, to #1 - Be obedient to Christ's command, and #2 - to take part in the unity that we have into Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. Romans 6:4 says "We were buried with Him therefore by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead, we too might walk in newness of life".
I'm thanking and praising God today for this beautiful sacrament he's given to use; For my joy and my crown, my fiance, who loves God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength, and who shows me the love of Christ; For our sweet friends who have been a great encouragement in the faith, several of who are here today; And of course for Jesus - who foreknew, predestined, called, justified, and glorified us.
For from Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen!