There is something special about these words I have written above. For as long as I can remember, I have called myself a Christian. The definition is someone who is a Christ-follower. There are millions of people who call themselves “christian.” But, do they truly know what they are saying? Do they really believe in their own stereotype? Do they realize that if they are Christ-followers, that they are rescued from the former things and now attain the free gift of salvation through acceptance? Do they know that Christ is not just a Savior, but He is also their Lord?
I can honestly say that I have known about the facts of Christianity since I was 5 years old. I do not remember my former life before Christ. Some people may say that I am lucky to have known about God since I was a young child. In my opinion, I have admired the people who accepted the knowledge and salvation of Christ when they became adults. They have the opportunity to be transformed and remember the day they said goodbye to the condemnation and guilt. What an experience it must be to ask for forgiveness, turn around, and become a new creation!
Although I cannot remember my turning point toward God, I know I struggled with condemnation and guilt for a long time. I believe that it is the vice of the adversary, the one thing that keeps my human perspective in the same realm as an unbeliever. The grip of its weight has been overbearing to the point of giving in and losing all hope. Guilt, fear, anger, depression, bitterness, unforgiveness, jealousy, and discontent are the total opposites of what Christ wants me to have.
As a human I struggle with the vast separation between earthly and heavenly virtues. The Holy Spirit is continually working on my heart through conviction to bring me back to my first love: Jesus. He wants me to experience the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. But, most of all, He wants me to know his grace.
Grace has been defined as receiving something that I do not deserve, but it has been freely given. How beautiful it is to know that I have been given something I did not earn, but I receive it because of the love of Christ.
As I approach the Easter holiday, I am reminded that the very foundation of Christianity is about forgiveness… forgiveness of past wrongs, and acceptance of grace. The birth of Christ was powerful yet humble, but the resurrection of Christ is the ultimate reason for hope. Without the cross, the empty tomb, and eyewitnesses to his ascent to heaven, we (christians) would be worshipping a dead god.
The tomb is empty, but my heart is now full. The cross carried my sin; it carried your sin. Jesus’ death on the cross was the payment for our sin. But, my Lord is not dead. He is alive and well, and he is waiting for you. He is offering grace to all who will believe. Will this Easter be the first time you turn from your past and face your future with hope? Will you accept the grace and salvation that is freely given?