I grew up in a Christian home with parents living the most God-honoring marriage that anyone could have seen. At the young age of 8 or 9, I decided to submit my life to God. The memory is very vague as I was such a little girl, but I do remember sitting down on my bed with my mom right after I threw a fit. I heard about God through my parents and we had just started going back to church again, but I didn’t fully understand who He was and that I needed Him.
I was a little girl who threw temper tantrums practically everyday. I was disobedient and disrespectful. I didn’t realize how damaging my behavior could be. After every temper tantrum, my mom would sit me on my bed and talk with me about what had happened. She would help me come to the conclusion that I what I was doing was wrong and that it made God sad. Usually, I would agree that my behavior was bad, but I never really felt guilty about making God sad. I didn’t understand why it would make God sad and why it mattered. However, this day was different.
Only Christ’s death and substitution in my place could mark me ‘Not Guilty.'”
For the first time, I felt guilty for hurting Mommy and Daddy and for disobeying God. My mom explained to me that whenever I acted the way I did, I was sinning. She told me that my sin made God sad. She told me that just like I got in trouble with mommy and daddy, I could get in trouble with God. But then she proceeded to tell me that I didn’t have to get in trouble because Jesus came to earth to die so that I wouldn’t have to get in trouble. I don’t know how many times my mom told me this before, but this was the first time I recall understanding the principal of sin and the punishment I deserved and that I needed Jesus to save me. I felt bad for my actions and that I displeased God, I prayed with my mommy, asked God for forgiveness, and thanked Him that He loved me enough to send Jesus.
After that, I was much more aware of my actions and I wanted to please God. I understood that I stood condemned for my sin and that Jesus Christ loved me enough to die for me, granting me salvation. I definitely didn’t become a perfect child that always obeyed my parents. In fact, it has been something I’ve struggled my whole life with. My parents and I have the closest relationship any child could have with their parents and I love them with all my heart; however, I can be very stubborn at times. 🙂 As I grew older, going into middle and high school, God helped shape me into a more loving, obedient daughter and helped me mature. I wanted to please God by pleasing my parents, and every year became easier.
Every day is a brand new day in God’s eyes and I am so thankful for that.”
There were times where I became so discouraged because I just couldn’t seem to escape from my sin and I talked to my parents, questioning my salvation. But God was right there with me assuring me that He still loved me regardless of how many times I disobeyed Him. I had already submitted my life to Him, thanking Him that He died and rose again for me, and there wasn’t any way I could win over my salvation. He had already paid for it and there was nothing I could do to lose His gift of salvation. I began to understand that basing my salvation on whether or not I was obeying God was just like being a Pharisee who only thought salvation was obtained through works. No amount of works could redeem myself, only Christ’s death and substitution in my place could mark me “Not Guilty.”
But God was right there with me assuring me that He still loved me regardless of how many times I disobeyed Him.”
Every day is a brand new day in God’s eyes and I am so thankful for that. If I had to gain my salvation and an eternity with Christ, life would be exhausting. I wouldn’t have absolute confidence of whether or not I was forgiven or good enough to go into heaven. No one can be righteous enough to get into heaven. Everyone except Christ has sinned and we all are condemned. Only if we turn to Christ trusting that He died and rose again burdening all of our unrighteousness and turning us into righteous creatures can we be granted an eternity with the Creator who came to earth.