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Steps to Freedom in Christ

      We are all born with a void within us and we all try different ways to fill that emptiness.  Some of the ways I have tried is through sex, money, career, drugs, alcohol, my kids, religion, and a variety of other unsuccessful ways.  It was like trying to put a square peg in a round hole; it just didn't work no matter how hard I tried.  

     When I made the decision to ask Jesus into my heart to be my Lord and Savior on November 2, 1993, that void was filled and I've never experienced since.  The guilt, shame and condemnation that had haunted me for almost twenty-six years evaporated and I felt freedom and peace unlike I could have ever imagined.  I also had hope for my future for the first time.  

     There were three promises in the Bible that stood out to me at the time.  The first is found in 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says,  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"  That means that when you give your heart to Jesus you are no longer the person you were (dead in your sin - described as that empty void), but are new in His eyes (clean by the blood of Christ that He shed on the cross for you)!  

     The next verse is Romans 8:1 which says: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..."  This verse means that when you become born-again, God will never look down at you like the world may and see you as the sin you have committed. Instead, He see's you covered with the blood of Christ and a child of God. 

     And my most favorite verse, and the one I've seen come full-circle in my life in so many ways is Joel 2:25, which promises, "So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten..."  God has restored all the evil that was done in my life and all the sin that I have done in my life and made something beautiful out it as promised.  He has blessed me beyond what I could have ever imagined.  

     Okay, okay, I have to share ONE more verse.  It's Romans says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose."    So, you know all that guilt and shame from all the stuff you've done wrong? Well, when Jesus died on the cross for your sins, He took all that on Himself too, so you don't have to carry it any longer.  In fact, this verse shows us that God wants to take those mistakes (notice the words "all things" ) and work them together for good.  Look, I know what you're thinking.  I thought it too.  God can't....  Well, get those two words out of your mind and mouth because believe me when I humbly admit there isn't much in life I haven't done (or hasn't been done to me) and God's used every single bit of it for His glory at one time or another in the last 26 years whether I was ministering in a group setting or individually.   I was a Chaplain in the prison system and worked with both males and females and I've seen God turn lives around that were once deviate and deprived for His glory.  He can do all things.  ALL.  

     A lot of times, people of faith can give us the impression that when you become born-again life is perfect; unicorns, balloons, and rainbows for the rest of your life, but the truth is  everyone has their ups and downs in life.  The difference between for me over the last twenty-six years is knowing I've never been alone, I've always had hope, and as I've clung to God's promises and walked in faith, I've seen miracle after miracle occur in my life (No, really).  Further, I've seen Him restore and bless my life beyond measure.  He will do the same for you, I promise, if you cling to Him and His promises.  

Aren't you tired of running from God?  It's time to run to Him. These are the steps to find the peace you've always been looking for.  

Step 1 – God loves you and has a plan for you!

The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”—a complete life full of purpose (John 10:10).

But here’s the problem:

Step 2 – Man is sinful and separated from God.

We have all done, thought or said bad things, which the Bible calls “sin.” The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

The result of sin is death, spiritual separation from God (Romans 6:23).

The good news?

Step 3 – God sent His Son to die for your sins!

Jesus died in our place so we could have a relationship with God and be with Him forever.

“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

But it didn’t end with His death on the cross. He rose again and still lives!

“Christ died for our sins. … He was buried. … He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).

Step 4 – Would you like to receive God’s forgiveness?

We can’t earn salvation; we are saved by God’s grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is believe you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness. Then turn from your sins—that’s called repentance. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart, your honesty. 

We suggest praying the following prayer to accept Christ as your Savior:

"Dear God,

I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness.

I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died

for my sin and that you raised Him to life.

I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord,

from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will.

I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen."

Did you pray this prayer?

If so, I'd like to personally welcome you to the family of Christ!  And I'd love for you to let us know of your decision through out 'Contact Us' page so we can send you some information about how to walk in your newfound relationship with Christ.  Please know we are praying for you during this time of spiritual transition and growth! 

Love, Leslie 

*The four steps outlined were written by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Shared with permission.