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Performed by Celtic Woman
A Christian hymn published in 1779
Words written by John Newton in 1772
Near the end of John Newton's life he wrote,
My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things:
That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior.
When I was in college, my college professors taught me that I had evolved from some type of primeval soup where life was accidentally created as a result of a mysterious explosion in the universe billions of years ago. I figured they must know what they're talking about because, after all, they are college professors. Now, I suppose that some people I know would have no trouble believing that I had evolved from some type of primeval soup, but that is another story.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but
to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the Where is the wise man?
intelligent I will frustrate.
Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher
of this age? Has not God made foolish
the wisdom of the world?
1 Corinthians 1:18 - 20
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow
and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human
tradition and the basic principles of this
world rather than on Christ.
I occasionally attended church when I was a kid, so I knew a little about God, heaven and hell. I figured that God would probably let me into heaven because I did more good things than bad. Furthermore, I was told that he was a good God and I considered myself an ok person. Not only did I go to church but I would even bring with me a little money to place in the offering plate! I was a lot better then most people, I thought.
For all have sinned and fall short
of the glory of God.
All of us have become like one who is
unclean, and our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
It was in my college years when I seriously began questioning what life was all about.
Could it be possible that I evolved from nothing? What happens when I die? What am I doing here?
If there is a God, why then does he allow so much pain and suffering in the world? I couldn't figure it out!
I would often gaze at the stars at night and wonder about these things.
Isn't there anyone who knows what life is all about?
In my frustration, I cried out to God,
If you exist, reveal yourself to me!
Not long after this a new employee started working with me at my after school job.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Now this new employee was a Christian woman who proceeded to tell me that God loved me so much that he sent Jesus, his one and only son, to earth to pay the penalty for my sins by suffering a horrible death on a wooden cross. He did this because sin separated us from a holy God and Jesus was the only way to bridge that gap. She told me that because of what Jesus did for me, I could have peace and a personal relationship with the God who created me. However, I needed to respond by asking God to forgive me for my many sins and to surrender my life to Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. She also said that salvation is a gift from God. I don't deserve it and that there is nothing I can do to earn it!
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
I am the way and the truth and
the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Salvation is not found in no one else, for there
is no other name under heaven given to
men by which we must be saved.
It is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this
not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by
works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8 - 9
At first, I thought she was some kind of nut but then she began showing me that what she was saying came right from the Bible.
Now, I did not even own a Bible at the time but I was so
interested in what she was saying that I went out and bought one. I was deeply moved by what I read in the Bible.
I kept saying to this woman
This is the Bible? I never read this before!
I never heard these things in church before!
I began to realize that God was speaking to me through His Word.
Although I considered myself a failure in many ways the Bible says that God cares about me and that I
am valuable to Him.
Imagine that...I would say to myself.
What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?
2 Samuel 9:8
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:10
I began to ask her many questions. We even began discussing the Bible with each other on the telephone. God's Word says that God is love and the source of all love. He is also a friend that sticks closer than a brother. But he is also a God who does not lie, and he says that our sin results in our eternal death and separation from a holy God. Jesus was sent to the earth to defeat death for us by taking our punishment upon himself. If we reject Jesus we have no hope and are doomed to everlasting destruction and total separation from him. But God is patient with us not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to have everlasting life. Jesus died and paid the penalty for our sins so that we would not have to. God is love! We send ourselves to hell when we reject Jesus. And another thing, it is not enough to believe in the exsistence of God because the Bible clearly warns us; You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder. [ James 2:19 ]. You must surrender your life to Him and make Him the Lord of your life. God is good and he wants the very best for your life. It was time for me to make a decision.
On April 25, 1979, this Christian woman needed a ride home after work so I offered to take her home. That night, right in my car, this woman led me in a prayer where I invited Jesus to come into my life to be my Lord and Savior. The prayer went something like this:
Lord Jesus, I am a sinner, I believe you died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins and rose again from the dead to give me eternal life, and a home in heaven. Come into my heart Lord Jesus, forgive my sins. Be my Lord and Savior.
It is not enough just to say the words you must believe them from deep within your heart. You must believe that you are a sinner, heading for hell, and that Jesus is the only one that can save you.
If you confess with your mouth,
Jesus is Lord, and believe in your
heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For
it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and
it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him
will never be put to shame." For there is no
difference between Jew and Gentile-the
same Lord is Lord of all and richly
blesses all who call on him, for
Everyone who calls on the
name of the Lord
will be saved.
Romans 10:9 - 13
I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.
Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved...
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become children of God--children born
not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a
husband's will, but born of God.
John 1:12 - 13
Even though I did not understand much, I had a peace and joy that
I have never experienced before. Not only that, but my interests
and desires were changing. I no longer wanted to do the things
I once did. However, soon after I invited Jesus into my life, this woman's
two-year-old son was involved in a terrible automobile fire. He was so badly burned
that he nearly died. I was devastated and confused over why God allowed this to happen.
And because of this terrible accident, my Christian friend needed to
immediately quit her job to spend time caring for her son.
I was also surprised to discover that some of my friends and family thought that I was a fool for trying to live the Christian life.
With all this occurring, I'm sorry to say that it did not take long before I drifted
away from my relationship with Christ. You see, as a new Christian, I didn't have much knowledge of the Bible nor
did I attend a church. All these things contributed to my
giving up on God.
But God never gave up on me.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and
lean not on your own understanding...
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!
I have overcome the world.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If
you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.
As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have
chosen you out of the world. That is why
the world hates you.
John 15:18 - 19
For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans
choose to do--living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies,
carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that
you do not plunge with them into the same flood of
dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But
they will have to give an account to him
who is ready to judge the living
and the dead.
1 Peter 4:3 - 5
...My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit
of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all
the more as you see the Day approaching.
Turning my back on the LORD, my best friend, made me miserable. I tried to fill
the void in my heart by keeping busy with the things of this
world but this just seemed to make me more and more miserable. I kept telling myself that I
get right with the Lord soon. After all, I was only in
my early twenties. I still had plenty of time left.
However, as time went on I became more and more distant from God. I needed help.
Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2
He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish,
but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9
If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they
are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would
have been better for them not to have known the way of
righteousness, than to have known it and then to
turn their backs on the sacred command that
was passed on to them. Of them the
proverbs are true:
A dog returns to and,
A sow that is
washed goes back to her
wallowing in the mud.
2 Peter 2:20 - 22
About twenty years had passed when I met a guy that I hadn't seen in many years. After we got togther a few times he learned that I was once a Christian, so he invited me to attend his church with him and his wife some Sunday. At first, I was hesitant, I just didn't feel like playing church, you know, going through the motions. However, I must admit that I did have a strong desire to go to their church. Therefore, on the first Sunday in January of 2001, I went by myself to a Sunday night church service. I remember sitting in the balcony that night so I would not be noticed. The pastor taught from the Bible and there was a sincerity and a no nonsense way in which he preached. I liked that. I was hungry for the truth! After that night I attended church services whenever one was held. I also started reading my Bible again with a renewed passion.
Then one night in April of 2001, I got serious with God and repented of my sins and asked Jesus back into my life as Lord and Savior. That night God's Holy Spirit came upon me in an awesome and powerful way. My life has never been the same since that night. I can tell you much more but you might not believe me. I know without a doubt that there is a God and he is now resident in my heart.
Don't take my word on any of this. Check it out for yourself. Are you interested in knowing the truth? Then I suggest that you start by reading your Bible. If you don't have one then go buy one. It's that important! Let God speak to you his truth. Also, check out the various links throughout this web site. Hey, what do you have to lose?
But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose
for yourselves this day whom you will serve... But as for
me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is
the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through
it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that
leads to life, and only a few find it.
Matthew 7:13 - 14
Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be
as white as snow; though they are red like
crimson, they shall become like wool.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and
I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:28 - 29
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
Oh and one more thing, on May 13, 2001, I was baptized in water during a Sunday night church service. Just before it was my turn to be baptized, I mentioned the woman's name that first introduced me to the Lord over twenty years earlier. After the service, someone came up to me and told me that she knew her and that she lived only 5 minutes from the church. We had a very joyful reunion.
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