I had always known as a child that God did exist, but I did not know that He could and would forgive and that Jesus Christ was the way, the truth, and the life. Then someone took the time to lovingly show me the truth from God’s Word.
This is the truth: God forgives and forgets.
I John 1:9:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
I never knew these scriptures or even where they were in the Bible. I was taught as a child to obey and that God punishes those who do not obey. I was taught that only by begging God for forgiveness could I be forgiven. A footnote to that teaching was that God never forgets my disobedience.
Being shown from God’s Word the truth that He is love and there is no darkness in Him at all, I was able to let go of past sins, failures, condemnation, and feelings of inadequacy. And most of all, I was shown that God only wanted me to live a life that was more than abundant.
I Finally Accepted the Word
The most significant event that I am grateful for is, literally, getting born again.
Growing up, my parents never attempted to influence their children’s views concerning God. I was an agnostic through much of my childhood, and I had participated in church on occasion, but I didn’t get much out of it. During my years in college, I received an education in “religion,” including a variety of Christian faiths: Roman Catholicism, Lutheranism, and Calvinism, among others. I also received an education in some Eastern philosophies, including Buddhism and Daoism. By the time I completed this “education,” I determined that as messed up as the world was, if there was a God, He would have straightened it out long before now. I decided at that time that I was an atheist and remained so for the following three years. At that time some followers of The Way witnessed to me and began instilling in me an understanding of the Word and (more importantly) the integrity of it. Through some longsuffering on their part, I finally accepted the Word for what it is: revelation of God’s will for us. I was not just told why the world was the way it was, but I was shown in the Word the reasons why. I was also shown many other things that established my new Biblical convictions and beliefs.
One evening at fellowship, I was asked to pray during directed prayer (until that moment I had refused to pray because I was coming to fellowship for purely academic reasons), and I had to make a decision. So I decided that the Word has integrity and that I could place my trust in it and God. At that moment, I was born again. I became a child of God with the promise of eternal life, and I looked forward to seeing what other treasures awaited me in my new station of life. One of my earliest lessons was in the joy of giving, and I have continued to give as much as I can ever since.