Robert L’s Story

sf_Reborn_0004_Group 1 copy 5 (Custom)What was your life like before meeting Christ? Before I met Christ, my life was one of self-reliance. I depended on my own abilities to deal with the issues of life. If I had a problem, I would figure out a solution. If I wanted something, I would get it. If I wanted a position, I would work hard to achieve it.

The only time I would talk to God about it was if I got into serious trouble, and for the everyday challenges of life, I was the man! I would figure it out! I was not only self-reliant, but I was also selfish. Nearly everything I did was for me. Sometimes I would sugar-coat it to appear to be for others, but deep down, there was usually a selfish motive behind it all. My life was also filled with sin. Although most people would say I was a pretty good person, I really was not. I would not hesitate to satisfy my natural wants, desires and cravings. I would go to church week-after-week with a smile and a spit-shine. I learned all the words a Christian should say. I could give a Bible lesson, or work in Children’s Church, or sing in the choir with the best of them. But it was all just for outward show to make everyone think I was alright with God. I thought that if everyone thought I was a Christian, then I was a Christian.

How did you come to Christ? When I was 47 years old, God came looking for me. I was not looking for him, but he was looking for me, and he found me in the church pew. Through some solid preaching of his Word, the Holy Spirit of God began to deal with my heart. I kept hearing two things that really got through to me. First, the pastor kept saying, “be honest.” Second, I kept hearing about how Jesus changes lives. These things kind of stuck in my mind, and I thought about it a lot. And a third thing that I considered a lot was the fact that I had felt certain emotions during church services and song services. I often cried or wanted to cry, and I concluded that this must be God in my heart, and I must be his child. Over a period of 6 weeks or so, I realized I was relying on self-effort, just like I did for everything to be right with God. I was trying to be good enough, but I knew I was falling short. God helped me to be honest with myself about this. He helped me to see that my life had never changed because of him. I was the same selfish person I had always been. He helped me to see that my emotional feelings were just that – emotions. And he let me see a glimpse of how good it must be to surrender one’s life to Jesus Christ and follow him. All of this led me to pray and to tell God I was sick and tired of my way of doing things, and I really wanted to go his way. I told him I was sorry for my whole life of sin and refusal to let him be God. I asked him to forgive me. I believed in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and his resurrection. I knew Jesus was alive and that he was wooing me to follow him. I gave him the keys to the car and said that I would ride in the back from now on. I gave up my self-reliance and submitted myself to Christ.

What is your life like now in Christ? It took a couple of days, but I then realized I was different. I knew that something had changed, and it seemed to have changed from the inside-out. My wants and desires were different. I began to want to talk with God and study his Word. I soon was feasting on his Word, keeping a journal, and dealing with real life situations by seeking God and his will and guidance. I began to share my story with others, and my whole life purpose became clear. Now it’s all about following Jesus and carrying out his purposes for me. Everything else falls into place under this. I have true peace, true joy, love for others, and it’s all because of Jesus. He sought me out, forgave me, and changed my life. Thank you God!