Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Saved By Jesus

Big Cross Christianity Mark
photo by imagesbuddy.com

"Would you like to come to a revival service with us tonight?" my classmate asked. I was seventeen, searching for meaning and purpose, and overcome with shame and guilt over some things I'd done. My high school had a few students who curiously carried Bibles, and I wondered if they had any answers.

Salvation Testimony

Overcoming my pride and embarrassment, I ventured some questions. "How do you know God exists?" And then, "Would He really care about me?" I felt so insignificant in the cosmos. 

I agreed to go, but the service that night wasn't the Billy Graham experience I'd expected. It was in a small church attended by only a handful of people with a speaker from Tennessee. His dramatic sermon about Jesus' death on the cross hit me squarely, and I felt my spirit stirring. At the close, the congregation sang, "Just as I am without one plea, but that your blood was shed for me, and that you bid'st me come to you, O Lamb of God, I come, I come," An appeal was made to the audience: "If anyone wants to know how they can go to heaven someday, please come forward and there will be someone for you to talk to." 

I felt awkward but compelled to learn more, so I left my seat and walked down the aisle, where the preacher's wife took me aside to answer my questions. She showed me sentences in the Bible but had to decipher them because the ideas were so foreign. I wondered if God would truly accept me as I was or if He would require me to clean up my life first. I was resistant to change though I desperately needed it. "Do I have to quit drinking?" I asked.

That elegant woman, who I later learned had never touched a drop of liquor, assured me, "No, you come to Jesus as you are." Jesus has already done everything on the cross, so all I had to do was lay my sin at His feet and accept the salvation He freely offered. There was nothing I could do to make Him love me more, and nothing I could do to make Him love me less. I didn't know how to pray a non-repetitious prayer, so in my head I spoke my thoughts. "God, I want what this lady is talking about."

Immediately I felt as though someone had wiped my soul clean. The burdens I'd been carrying were lifted, and I could feel it in my heart. Then I remembered something a nun had taught me years earlier, that all the angels in heaven rejoiced when a baby was baptized.

It occurred to me that the kind, well-meaning sister probably had it wrong. It probably wasn't when a baby was baptized, but when someone was doing what I was doing right at that moment. Thus my first encounter with Jesus was followed with the realization that angels in heaven were rejoicing. Over me. Though in the universe I may have been smaller than an ant, the God of creation did notice me, and He did care for me.

My life has never been the same.

Read more: Remember The Cross


  1. I remember that story very well. :-) Much love!!!