I just finished filling out the last of our Show Hope application. One question asked for a statement of faith from each parent, and as I typed mine I realized I hadn't shared it with you. How does this relate to adoption, you ask? Because I'm adopted. If you are a child of God, you are adopted too. God has picked us to be his children. We were once strangers and rebels, and he brought us into his Kingdom home to be his children. Wow. Seriously, let that sink in.
There is nothing, not one thing, that we can do to earn God's love and favor. We cannot work our way into his heart or into Heaven. We can't pray enough or read the Bible enough or be good enough to be His. 1 John 4:19: “We love Him because He first loved us.” If it were up to me to initiate this relationship, I never would have done it. I'm human, made to crave the things of this world. God is holy. Why would I want that if the world offers things to tantalize my figurative taste buds? Why have broccoli when there's cookies? The things of God are not a natural craving; God places that desire in us.
Ok, so here's my story in a nutshell...
I became aware of my salvation in 7th grade at a Disciple Now weekend my church hosted. I say I became aware because in Jeremiah 1:5 the bible teaches, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." I believe I’ve been saved and set apart from before I was born but I came to fully understand that at the age of 12ish.
However, I have known since I was young that there’s a God, that’s He’s real, and that I’m something to Him. I didn’t know how I fit into all that, but I did have a basic understanding of it. I remember being 7 or 8 and trying to sit still enough in my house so that I could audibly hear God because someone told me that God talks to us.
God used my youth minister a lot leading up to my “salvation experience.” He constantly shared with us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God” (Romans 3:10-18). The truth of the matter was that I thought being a good person was all I needed in my Christian walk and my pride kept telling me that I wasn’t as bad as those other people. The fact is that I AM that bad, and WORSE! God gave me a clear view of who I really am, not who America tried to tell me I was. At that moment I knew I needed a Savior. Someone perfect that would take the wrap for me. Enter, Jesus. My life verse has become “Since my youth, oh God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds," Psalm 71:17.
I still struggle with anger, pride, selfishness, greed, just to name a few, but the good news is that God is showing me my sin and refining me through the sanctification process. I’m no longer blind to my sin, no longer think I’ve got it all figured out. I’m a sinner and God is telling me that on a daily basis. Thank God for Jesus!
Let me tell you that NOTHING you have done or can ever do is too bad for God. He takes the worst of the worst into his arms and makes us his children. I may not have been saved from drug addiction or prostitution, but I was saved from myself. I can tell you that that is a miracle!