I was raised Roman Catholic and I always believed in God. After many years of attending the Roman Catholic Church, something began not feeling and seeming right to me in the way they had led me to believe. But I was forced to go every Sunday and continued to attend for many years after that, with that feeling still convicting me. Finally I ended up leaving and didn’t go to any church for that matter, for some time.
As time went on I began going through many problems in life. One of the problems I went through was a failed business, which was the catalyst that opened my eyes. That’s when I asked God is this what life is all about, failing and then dying. It was that moment that I realized I was living in a hopeless and unsaved way and for the first time in my life I felt hope. It was that moment that God started my journey to the truth and my walk with him and led me to pick up the bible and guided me to a Christ centered bible teaching church.
When I began attending the new church I noticed that the congregation and church leaders were different. They weren’t filled with all the traditions, rituals, rules and regulations of religion, which I found out later through scripture, by given priority over them and following them negate the word of God. Instead they were praising and worshipping God with their hearts and with freedom and joy and also with words that seemed so honest and real. It seemed as if they had a genuine love for him. Even praising and worshipping him through the midst of their unfortunate circumstances. It was then that I realized it was God who was convicting my heart while attending the Roman Catholic Church and was showing me that the church is in opposition with the true word of God. It was then that he showed me that a religious organization, tradition and religious duties could not help me with my problems and circumstances or assure me of my salvation, and that a sincere personal relationship with Jesus Christ is what I needed.
The love of God had allowed me to financially hit rock bottom in my business so that I may open my eyes to the truth and come to a personal relationship with Him. I may have lost a lot of money and my business, but most importantly that’s when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and was now assured of the most precious gift of eternal life. The scriptures quote, “what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul.”
I began to grow spiritually and my heart was becoming new by reading and meditating on scripture and hearing encouraging and hopeful biblical sermons from the leaders of the church that I was attending, and fellowshipping with its member’s. My faith was growing and that led me to surrender my will to God and started trusting him to provide for me after my financial debacle, and he has provided ever since in every aspect of my life and has gotten me back on my feet. I started believing God was with me through all of my problems-that I no longer had to tackle them all alone through my own legalistic and self-defeating attempts at righteousness.
God is the one that makes hearts new and spiritually transforms people to holiness. He continues to make changes in me through my circumstances and through his liberating truth of his loving, healing and life changing super natural word. It’s been leading me to a closer and deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. He’s making me into his image, the person he’s always wanted me to be, the way it was supposed to be before the fall of mankind and has been strengthening me through this process as well, in order to help further his kingdom. It’s about doing God’s will and not mine because God knows what’s best for each one of us. Through Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit has been changing my desires and replacing them with God’s, to help me to be obedient and achieve his will.
Salvation cannot be earned. It’s a free gift given by God by his grace through having faith in the work that Jesus Christ has completed on the cross, and not by putting our trust in man’s religion or by putting our trust in any of our own works, or anything or anyone else, that we are redeemed and saved. God is not impressed with the holdings of traditions and religious duties in order to get near to him because they will not save us and spiritually transform us to bring us to true holiness. Jesus has already done all the work that needed to be done, in order to bridge the gap that was between man and God. We need to trust in that alone. Jesus is enough.
We receive God’s grace (His favor, His blessings) by resting in the work that Jesus Christ completed on the cross. The only work we need to focus on is the work that God truly requires of us. For it is not the works that we do that produce salvation, but it is salvation that changes us into the holy character of God that produces the good works, which God has already prepared for us to do once we are saved, are being sanctified and willing to do his will. True good works will only be established in us through God’s Holy Spirit once we have genuinely placed our faith in Jesus alone and have begun to be sanctified. I have now been serving God for six years and helping to further his kingdom through spirit led books that I’ve written, a motion picture screenplay, and Christian music.