How It All Happened
Every since I was born on May 14, 1993, I have always been in church. You could pretty much say I was born in the church based on how often my parents had my brother and myself going. My father currently is the Sunday School director for my home church, and my mother is a former Sunday School teacher. All in all, in my youth, I was definitely exposed to the Christian religion.
However, even though I was exposed to Christianity, I knew nothing about who God was, what Jesus had done for me, and why I should respond and accept the gift of salvation. Basically, from the time that I was around seven years old until I accepted Christ into my life on February 28, 2005, when I was twelve years old I was living my life in denial. I fell into the trap that many kids that were raised in the church have fallen into. One feels that the faith that one's parent, grandparents, maybe even one's friends builds the right standing between us and God, but that's not true. If one doesn't think this way, one feels that the good works that are performed will grant one entrance to Heaven after death, but that's not true either, for the Bible clearly states that there is none good, no not one (Romans 3:10-18). Everyone is held accountable for their own sins (Romans 1:20, also see my post titled "Are You Ashamed?"). In comparing my life, full of sin, to the uncomprehending degree of holiness that God contains, I was definitely not meeting the marks for going to Heaven.
So, I'm left in a dilemma: either that God is holy, righteous, Creator of the universe, the punisher of sin, yet compassionate & merciful to forgive, or continue living the lie of a life that I had been living.
It wasn't until February 28, 2005, when I was twelve years old that the message of Jesus' mission on earth became clear to me. God didn't send Jesus to earth just to die as a political insurrectionist or a weak, broken man that was punished wrongly. Jesus, the Son of God, was on earth with His fully divine attributes as being the Holy and Supreme God, but He was also fully human, capable of feeling the same emotions that we all go through daily. Embodying these two traits of being fully God and human, God allowed Jesus to come to earth to die for my sins and for the sins of the rest of the world. In Jesus' death and resurrection, I was given His righteousness, and in exchange, He took the punishment that I deserve. Through Him and only Him am I able to be forgiven of my sins? After understanding this fully, I responded to the Gospel and gave my life to Jesus.
I had no idea when I said yes to Jesus what that meant for me, and even now I'm still learning. One thing I know for sure is that because of this, my responsibility now is to live my life completely for Him, allowing Him to do as His will in my life. You may think that this is a dictatorship or cruelty, but in light of Jesus giving me the grace and faith to believe in Him, I live my life in submission to Him. It's not that I don't make mistakes or still sin, but through Jesus, all my sins have been forgiven and repentance and grace are freely given (Romans 8:1; 1 John 1:9).
I just wanted to share the story of how Jesus pursued me even at a young age, and even now of soon turning twenty years old in a few days.