Why Jesus Is Awesome & Right For You Too
Yeah, I said it. Where do I begin?
Let’s see, it was November 1994 and I was rehearsing with the high school choir at my Christian high school. The director told us that we were going to sing at a nursing home the day before Thanksgiving. (This was before schools closed for Thanksgiving week. Really, schools? A whole week? No wonder American schools are far behind the world.) She requested that two students give their testimonies about how they became Christians. I volunteered and was selected to speak at the event in two days.
I had no idea what to say the night before. I knelt at my bedside and prayed for the words to say. Now, prior to this night I had a bad emotional relationship with my father. I prayed for his death often. I never enjoyed reading the Bible privately. It bored me, no matter the version or fanciness of the Bible. I even had trouble with a study guide. I felt a gaping void in my heart. I had called a suicide hotline, which proved to be no help to me. I often felt hopeless internally, but externally I was the perfect Christian (albeit quietly rebellious teenager) preacher’s kid at church and at school, but had gotten into trouble for cheating and fighting more than once.
While praying, I heard a voice say, “You’re not saved.” I replied, “What?”
“You’re not saved.”
“Wait, what? Yes I am.”
“No, you’re not.”
“Yes, I am! I go to church. I’m an acolyte. I’m a junior usher. I’m a member of the teen choir (heck, I started the choir)!”
“But you’re not saved. Most saved people have joy in their lives at any time. You have no joy in your life. All Christians typically enjoy reading the Bible and don’t get bored with it. They understand what they read. You don’t do that. You get bored reading it and can’t figure out what you’re supposed to get out of it. Also, you hate your father. That’s breaking a commandment and you disobey your parents often. That’s also against the Bible.”
“If you’re saved, when did it happen?”
“When I was…I…hmm.”
So, I confessed that I was a sinner and asked Jesus to come into my heart. Immediately, I felt this warmth filling up a hole in my chest (no exaggeration or hyperbole). I stopped disobeying and quietly rebelling against my parents. Ever since then, I’ve been on an amazing journey of faith and growth in Jesus. Who else would talk to me to let me know that I wasn’t what I thought I had been all along?
So, let’s just see what He’s done for the world: Gave up being God in Heaven to come to earth and live as a poor human; connected with people on a deeply personal level, taking care of their needs (physical, mental, emotional, Spiritual); willingly died for the sins of mankind, past, present, and future; overcame the finality of death by rising from the grave; offers a simple free gift of salvation through faith and not any kind of works or “proving” to Him that you’re worthy – the gift just requires acceptance; He offers growth as well, so you only have to worry about being caught (as a fish), He’ll clean you up.
For me: He took someone who was (and still is) a hot mess and saved him by grace. Life has been a series of ups and downs for me; faith growth, restrictions and more growth; unconditional love even if I get everything “wrong” in my life; unconditional acceptance of me and all that I am, no matter what I was taught about myself growing up (I’m not Hell-bound as has been so wrongly stated in church, especially Black churches); a love that I still cannot fully express in words or accurate descriptions even though it’s been since November 22, 1994.
I want everyone to know this love. Once you’ve had it, you’ll never go back to anything else. I guarantee it. Who else would give up so much to die for people but stay humble about it at the same time? No other founders of religions were willing to die for others. Oh, and none of them conquered death and offered eternal life, either.
Jesus is just that awesome. All. Day. Long. Plus, the Creator of the Universe (and ALL that comprises) wants to know you and love you personally. It’s a simple answer – yes. Even living the life of thankfulness afterward, while not always easy, comes with Help from the Holy Spirit. I stumble every freakin’ day. I curse, I’ve been drunk about 5 times in my life (I know, I’m a lightweight), and I’ve had sex outside of marriage. However, I am forgiven, I’m not loved any less, and I’m chastened into living right, so there is help available. I’d say choose the non-chastened route, but it’s not always going to be that way. I don’t go out and do whatever I want just because, though. You’re loved and viewed as being right with God if you have Jesus, so you’re good. And there’s a LOT more freedom living this way than critics seem to think. Trust me.
“Whether gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered life,” Jesus is the right track, baby, He’ll make you born (again) to survive! (No, that wasn’t a plea to change your sexuality. I have a different view on that than what you hear from most Christians. Bottom line, some will stop and some won’t stop, but no one changes. I just want you in Heaven with me and it’s a simple answer “yes” to the free salvation gift offer. That’s it. Really.)
That’s it. Jesus is awesome. He is love, unconditionally. Take my word for it and then tell others based on your word for it. 🙂