MY STORY

I have good news for you. Please take a minute to read my story. You’ll be glad you did…

Growing up I had a pretty normal life. I had parents that provided for me materially; I had a good group of friends, a nice house, and cool stuff. I pretty much had everything I thought I needed. I thought I was a pretty good person too; and most people would agree!

Despite living what I thought was “the good life,” I felt a void that I can remember was always there since I was a child. I kept trying to fill it with “stuff” but it never seemed to be enough. I even went to the college of my dreams; but still, I was not fulfilled.

I ventured into my mid 20s with a wonderful wife and a new baby daughter. What else could I ever need, right?! But still the void in my heart kept getting larger. I became depressed. I wondered what my purpose in life was. I started to ask questions like: Why was I here? Certainly my purpose wasn’t just to get up and go to work, come home, go to bed, get up the next day and do it all over again day after day…

The hole in my heart kept getting bigger and I actually became so depressed that I was suicidal. What was wrong with me?! I had everything I needed so why did I feel this way? My wife had been telling me about Jesus but I ignored her. I didn’t want a “crutch.” I kept saying that I wasn’t religious and I didn’t need God. I was the captain of my ship; I was the master of my life. Look where that attitude was getting me: Depressed and at a dead-end and searching for answers. I was a prideful man. I didn’t want any help. I was going to figure this out myself. Remember I was the captain of my ship and I was the master of my life.

After more struggling and wrestling with questions I finally came to realize that my life was nothing without God.

You see when you try to live life without the LIFE MAKER it leads to a dead-end; no matter how many good things you have on earth. What would happen if I were to die? Being suicidal got me thinking. If I was really to end it where would I go? Would I ever see my family again?

Life is so short. None of us know when our time is up here on earth so knowing where you’re going after you die is a pretty big deal isn’t it? It bothered me that I didn’t know for sure where I was going. Finally I broke. I just couldn’t do it with out God anymore. Whoever He was; I needed Him to reveal Himself to me.

I didn’t know much about God but what I soon found out was that the road led straight to Jesus Christ. The Bible says that Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven.

I found that out personally; here’s how:

As I started reading the Bible, I read Romans 3:23 which states: “ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
I confessed that I was a part of the “ALL” noted in this verse.

You see, we’re all born with this thing called sin. Sin means we want our own way instead of God’s way. Being honest I had to confess that I was a sinner. I wanted to be the boss of my life and go with my plan.

Here’s a little quiz to see if you’re a sinner like me:

1. Have you ever told (1) lie in your life? It doesn’t matter how big or small.

2. Have you ever been angry with someone for selfish reasons? (Be honest!!!)

3. Have you ever thought about a member of the opposite sex with lust in your heart?

These are just 3 of God’s 10 commandments found in Exodus 20. Something tells me I don’t need to go on with the other 7. If you’re like me the answer to all of the above is YES. That means both you and I have broken God’s standard of perfection. That means that we can’t stand before a Holy God and expect to be let into His heaven.

The only human who could ever say the answer was NO to all of the above questions was Jesus Christ. We’ll get into that in a minute.

We’re all guilty of sin; especially me. Because of sin we are separated from God in our natural state. Ever realize that you never have to train a child to disobey? They come like that! You train them to obey… they already know how to cause trouble. That’s the ’ole sin nature that we’re all born with.

Here’s the Good News!

John 3:16 says: God so loved the world (that’s you and me) that He gave His One and only Son (Jesus Christ), so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. God sent Jesus to earth to fill the ‘sin gap’ which separates all of us from God. Jesus willingly died a brutal death on the cross for you and me. His death was sufficient payment for all the sins of the world because Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life that we could not live. Therefore His death was the perfect sacrifice which atoned for our sins.

You’ve got to be crazy to not get in on this! You are not reading this by coincidence. God is Sovereign and He is speaking to your heart right now. He knows all things at all times and knew you were going to read this at this exact time and place before He even created the universe. Again, there are no accidents. You are reading this for a reason.

Salvation is not some magic formula. A beam of light is not going to come down and teleport you up into the air and fairy dust is not going to sprinkle around you. If you truly become saved however what till happen is a changed life.

Again, there is no magic formula but you can pray to God with all your heart something like this:

“Lord God, I’m sorry for sinning against You. I want to change with all my heart and follow you; not myself anymore. I thank you that you sent Your Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay for my sins. Please save me and come into my life right now. In Jesus Name, Amen.”

It’s a free gift and it assures our place in heaven. Who wouldn’t take a free gift??? Especially if that gift has the power to save your soul for all eternity! Life is not about “whoever dies with the most toys wins.” No, it’s about living life with our Maker and God for all eternity. It’s about while we’re on this earth getting to know the God of the universe and looking forward to living forever with Him for eternity after we leave this earth.

I’m not perfect and I still struggle with things since I met Jesus; after all I am still human. However the difference now is that Jesus has forgiven my imperfections and He’s changing me more like Him day by day. I have a new life in Jesus Christ! A fresh start! A breath of fresh air in a suffocating world of negativity and “not good enough.”

You can have a personal relationship with ALL MIGHTY GOD. Think about that! God made Himself known to us via His Son Jesus Christ. We can actually know the One Who made us.

Don’t you want a sure thing in these unsure times? JESUS is that only sure thing. Jesus was the only One in history to ever claim to be THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE.

Whether you believe it or not; historical, secular, and Biblical evidence all confirm that Jesus came to earth, died on the cross and was risen from the dead. The truth can not be changed. The truth is THE TRUTH. And Jesus did it all for YOU and I. There’s no other Name in heaven or earth by which we can be saved.

No one is guaranteed tomorrow so don’t put off salvation today.

Authored by: Jonathan Barrett

Jonathan Barrett 

Class of 2013 SeminaryMasters in Theological Studies Lynchburg, Virginia
Currently studying Masters in Theological Studies (Pastoral) at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia (class of 2014).  Jonathan has served as fill-in Preacher at Neriah Baptist Church in Buena Vista, VA in 2012.  He is a graduate of the University of Alabama with Bachelor of Science in Communications and lives in Lynchburg, Virginia with his wife Sarah and two daughters, Katelyn and Rebecca. Jonathan is Doreen’s brother.

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