“That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins”—John 8:24 (TLB).
What would you say if someone asked you why you believe in Jesus? I recently posted this question on a social media website and was immediately inundated with replies.
Those replies ranged from simple statements like “He saved my life,” to more detailed answers, including someone who shared her miracle stories after praying for healing from pain. After struggling on her own, and refusing to take pain medication, she said, “I finally gave it to the Lord and I have felt better than I have in a long time.”
She added, “I was raised to believe. When I pray, I always thank the Lord for blessing me and my family, for those in need of prayer but never ask for anything for myself except those two times. He answered both times. It gives me peace of mind to talk to him! He is there!”
Were You Raised to Believe?
I don’t recall my parents, who were both raised in church, talking about their faith. But God, yes God, in His usual amazing way, placed our family in a new home that was a block from a small Methodist church in southwestern Louisiana.
My parents didn’t attend but my sister and I were invited by others to walk each week to attend Sunday school and church services. I even have pins for perfect attendance. Eventually, our mother joined us.
But it’s not just church attendance that leads to belief. Although I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus until my mid-forties, God had paved the way. Before then I knew of Him, but I didn’t know Him personally. I couldn’t have explained my belief in Jesus until God sought me out. Since then, I’ve never turned back.
No Turning Back Once You’ve Surrendered
I believe if you’ve truly experienced God’s grace, seen Him at work in your life, and continue to seek His face in studying His Word, praying, attending church and having Christian friends to lean on, you’ll never turn back. That doesn’t mean some haven’t.
It’s a daily dying to self, which requires a turning away from the things of this world that would separate us from God. It’s our sin nature that trips us up. That’s why the above things are so important.
I’ve come to believe we must also surrender our will to His by being aware of our mistakes and asking for forgiveness. I struggle, like most, with being judgmental. The Holy Spirit has convicted me of this, time and again. Once I realize I’ve judged someone, I stop immediately and ask for His forgiveness.
Only God Can Draw in New Believers
We can’t. Only God can. Here is Evangelist Billy Graham’s answer: “No matter how hard we try or how many arguments we present, ultimately only God can persuade a person that the Gospel is true. Jesus said, ‘No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him’” (John 6:44).
The most important thing we can do is pray for those who don’t believe. We must also ask God to help us be a witness to others by the way we live, including the way we react when things don’t go our way. Said Graham, “Anyone can be at peace when things are going well – but how do you react when things turn against you? The Bible says, ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness’ (Galatians 5:22). Are these evident in your life?”
One respondent to my question summed it best. “I wanted what I saw in some lovely Christian people.” Let your life draw others to Christ.
I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts, or visit my blog for more inspiration at www.carolaround.com. If you need a speaker or workshop leader, you can contact me at the above e-mail or through my website. I’d be delighted to hear from you.
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