Here's my story, to give God glory, for what He has done!
I have been saved. I have been set free from the bondage of sin. I have been given mercy. The Lord knows I desperately needed it. I could not do it for myself, though I tried and tried. I had no power to change my addiction. It had me in chains, and although I wanted out, I was a slave to its power over me.
Romans 6:16- Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.
I was brought to a Harvest Crusade by my cousins. I was under the impression that it was a concert. I didn't know it was an evangelistic crusade. I didn't even know that anything like that even existed.
I was raised in a Roman Catholic background. I really never understood God, Jesus, or the Bible before. I remember going to church Christmas & Easter and occasional Sundays with my grandpa when I was younger. It mostly frightened me, because I didn't understand it. The more confusing part was not seeing or hearing about Jesus outside of those church experiences. What I did see was my family struggling with alcohol, drugs, gambling, anger, broken relationships, and on and on. Life just seemed to be an endless cycle of regret.
Well, at this Crusade, there were so many people praising God. The bible was being taught in a way that was understandable. I saw people really connecting with God and for the first time I realized I was too. I learned that I had lost my connection with God down my tattered road. He tells us in Isaiah 59:2-
It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.
I needed forgiveness for my sins so that my relationship with God could be restored. There was nothing I could do on my own that could accomplish this. All I needed to do was receive the free gift that was being offered by Jesus Christ. He paid it all. I am very grateful that He showed me my true condition and offered me a way out. He saved me from myself, and also gave me a gift!
Ephesians 2:13 says-
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.
What an amazing gift! The gift comes with power, because now I could say no to the ungodly things of the world and not do them anymore. I was able to put down drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, sexual relationships, and cursing almost immediately. I suddenly had no desire for these things. Whereas, before I could not control my desire for those things. I just did it and suffered the consequences after.
He teaches me to come to Him daily. I need to be reminded constantly that He loves me, has mercy on me, is using all things that come into my life for good. He is literally taking me through my life for the second time. I am now learning those important life lessons that I sped by thinking I already knew. I am learning integrity and character. I am learning to have relationships with others where forgiveness rules. He is so amazing! He has restored my relationship with my parents and brought them into a relationship with Him as well.
The bible is where I get to know the character of God, what He's like, what He's not. I more readily go to Him now because I know I can trust Him. I am more responsive to what He is saying to me when I read His word. It's not easy. It is in fact impossible to do the things He asks without His strength. But, He gives it. So, I have no excuse.
I really wanted to share this in hopes of bringing encouragement to someone today that is looking for hope. I don't think I've already attained, but I press on. My desire is to see others come into a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved from the power of sin. It is possible. It is available. There is proof that God is alive and actively working in the lives of others.
Thank you for letting me share.
Felicia Jimenez- Christ's child