The Single Most Important Thing In My Life
Yes, it is. I am a Christian, first and foremost, more imporant to me then anything else.
So what does that mean? It means I'm a child of God, saved and purified by His Blood, following Christ with my heart and mind and soul.
I was eleven when I gave my life to Christ..I know it seems young for such a decision, but I know I was mature for my age..and I know I meant it. Deeply and truly.
SO, WHAT, EXACTLY, IS A CHRISTIAN?
On a winter's night around four or five BC, Mary, who was a virgin, gave birth to a young boy whom God had told her would be the Messiah. At His instruction, Mary named her firstborn Jesus.
Jesus grew up the way most children do, working in his father's carpenting business. At age twelve he disappeared when his parents were visiting Jerusalem, and when they went searching for him they discovered him in the Temple courtyards, astounding all the elders with his knowledge. "I am in my Father's house," the young boy replied to his parents' anxious remonstrations.
Jesus grew to be around thirty years old, and it was then he began his public testimony. For the next three years He wandered from city to city and town to town, often chased away and just as often begged to stay. He preached things people had never heard before..he urged love and forgiveness, and claimed to be THE SON OF GOD.
It wasn't long before various officials, already upset by his radical claims--and even more so by the unsettling amount of proof he had for them--found a way to strike back at this man who had denounced their hypocrisy. Jesus went up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover. He entered triumphantly, seated upon a donkey, the people paving the street for him with their cloaks and shouting "Hosannna!"...and yet Jesus sat there, weeping, and warned his intimate circle of twelve disciples that "the Son of Man(himself) must suffer and die and be raised again on the third day."
A week passed, and Thursday rolled around. Jesus ate supper with his disciples, midway through the meal urging one disciple, Judas Iscariot, to go and do what he had promised to...Jesus was fully aware that Iscariot had agreed to betray him.
Judas hurried out, and Jesus took the remaining eleven and went to the garden of Gethesemane. His disciples, tired and with full stomachs, fell asleep, but Jesus remained awake, praying..begging His Father to take this cup from him if it be His will.
When the soldiers came, Jesus made no resistance. The next day--known now as Good Friday--Jesus was tried and sentenced to be executed for blasphemy, because he had claimed to be the son of God. He wasmercilessly beaten and taunted, then taken to a top of a hill. There, with two other convicts, he was nailed into a wooden cross and left to die. As the cross was raised, he raised his eyes to heaven and said "Father, forgive them,for they know not what they do."
For almost a day Jesus and the other two men suffered on the cross. Then, around mid afternooon, Jesus died...and as he died, the clouds covered the sun, a storm rumbled, and in the Temple a curtain that had always kept the people from entering the innermost sanctum where God was believedto reside was torn in two by invisible hands.
This was Friday. THree days passed, and Sunday morning came. Several women, friends of Jesus, went to his tomb...and found it empty. The stone was rolled away from the entrance, the tomb itself empty of any corpse, and two glowing angels stood watch and asked the women why they looked for the living among the dead.
Jesus had risen from the dead, as He had promised...the Son of God had conquered death and sin. A Christian is one who believes this with all his or her heart, who has earnestly prayed for Jesus to come and, by his great, utter sacrifice, take away their sins, and has agreed to follow Him.
SO WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT IT?
Imagine if you were a neat freak. Room always sparkling, notebooks always in order, clothes color-coordinated. Imagine you showered 12 times a day, imagine you were physically the cleanest person it was possible to be. Now, imagine there was a group of people..people under your rule. People who should obey you and worship you, for you love them far more then they deserve. Imagine these people have disobeyed and left you again and again, returning on knees when their rebellion brought them trouble. Imagine that these were pepole you had every cause to feel nothing but contempt for. Imagine these people have never had a bath in their entire life..they are FILTHY beyond BELIEF.
Now, imagine there was only one way to make these people clean. It was by taking all that dirt upon yourself. Imagine it was by DYING, a horrible death. Imagine it was by leaving a position as ruler of the universe to be a humble carpenter's son, knowing from day one that you were born to die. Got that picture in your head? Good. And you still can't imagine the depth and breadth of Jesus Christ's sacrifice. The Ruler of the UNIVERSE, the maker of ALL mankind, confined himself to the most humble and unremarkable of packagesand submitted to a horrible death...and he defeated death, pain, and sin.
Jesus has SAVED us, and all that remains for us is to take advantage of that greatest of all gifts. We ALL need God...Romans says "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." If you are not PERFECT--and NOONE is perfect, no one is without one white lie or dirty thought on their conscience--then you need God to save you from Hell and take you to his home, beautiful and wonderful beyond our capacity to imagine. It's so ridiculously easy,many people have a hard time believing it..is it possible that a simple "Lord Jesus, I need you. I am helpless and a sinner without you. Make me whole, take away my sin, cleanse me with your blood..make me into the person you want me to be, and when I die bring me home to you" prayer can erase every bad thing we've done in our life and make us pure and untarnished in God's sight? Is it possible the Son of God really died for US!?
It is. It is not only possible, it is true,and to believe that is to know peace and faith and hope and love no one else can understand.
Oh Lord, what love is this
That pays so dearly
That I, the guilty one
May go free?
Oh, what sacrifice
The son of God
Given for me
My debt He paid
and my debt He died
That I might live
That I might live!
And so they watched Him die
But oh, the blood He gave
Flowed for me!
And now, this love of Christ's
Shall flow like rivers
Come wash your guilt away
"Rock of Ages"
Rock of ages, cleft for me
Let me find myself in thee
Let the water and the blood
From thy riven side that flowed
Be of sin the double cure
Cleanse me from its guilt and power!
Not the labors of my hands
Can fulfill thy law's demands
Should my zeal no respite now
Should my tears forever flow
All for sin would not atone
Thou must save and thou alone.
Nothing in my hands I bring
Simply to thy cross I cling
Naked, come to thee for dress
Helpless, look to thee for grace
Foul, I to the fountain fly
Wash me, Savior, or I die
As I draw this fleeting breath
When my eyelids close in death
When I soar to worlds unknown
See thee on thy judgement throne
Rock of ages, cleft for me
Let me hide myself in thee.
Those are two of my favorite hymns, both of whom I forget the authors of..I'll check that soon. Beautiful, beautiful, TRUE words!!
E-text of The Bible(read John or Luke for the narrative of the events I listed)
My Committment as a Christian A short passage that expresses my commitment as a Christian far clearer then I ever could.
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