Tonight my mom found and gave me the Bible and certificate I was presented when I accepted Christ and was baptized.
I was saved by grace on July 23, 1999 at the First Baptist Church of Pilot Knob during their annual Vacation Bible School program. I was just seven years old, but I still remember that moment as if it were yesterday.
In the office of the small-town church, I sat across from the pastor, who looked over his glasses at the small, red-headed boy I was. He kindly but firmly asked if I understood what Jesus Christ did for us when he died on the cross. I was fairly reserved as a child, but I could hardly contain myself at the time. I was so excited to become a Christian.
And I will never forget how I felt when I prayed that fateful prayer. The sensation of the presence of the Holy Spirit is not something that is easily describable — at least not by words. But at that moment, I felt a sense of joy and relief that I may never be able to replicate.
Salvation is not achieved by possessing a Bible or certificate or even by being baptized. It’s simply about choosing to be a participant in the kingdom and grand scheme of Almighty God. I want to emphasize that. In fact, becoming a Christian, or “Little Christ” is not something that is achievable at all. It is something that is mercifully bestowed upon us by the very One who spoke the very universe into existence.
All we have to do is accept it.
I’m by no means perfect and have been guilty of a multitude of sins throughout the course of my life. I have strayed, backslidden, and roiled in pits I thought I would never return from. But yet, here I am writing this post. By the grace of God, I have been redeemed.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving — a time of reflection and recognition of the things for which we are most grateful. I am most grateful that, 18 years ago, I accepted Jesus Christ. I can honestly say my life was forever changed that day. I was put on a path that has been far from easy. But it’s a path that is at the very least heading in the right direction.
I am so thankful for these reminders of grace. I may never fully understand why God called me to be among His chosen.
But I’m so glad He did.