Monday, April 12, 2021
Who Led You to the Lord?
Celia van Maarth
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
As a kid, I remember our family (all 10 of us) filing into the pew for church every Sunday morning. We would even stay after church for additional classes…but I don’t remember learning much about the Bible or Jesus. In the summer of 8th grade, I went to church camp and some of the counselors were born-again believers that shared the Good News! I remember wanting to know more, and wrote the name of Jesus in my journal when I got home…but that hunger was not fed. I entered high-school and boys became my focus. Years later, when I left home for college, I believed I was finally free to follow my desires… and the lusts of the world. After working my restaurant shift on the weekends, I also found time to party. In my last semester of college, there were students of many faiths in my philosophy class including Buddhist, New Age (me) and Christians. During small group discussions, I struggled to have answers for what I believed...and why. I was impressed with how the Christians calmly and firmly stated Who they believed in and why. About this time, my younger brother had become a believer, and would write long letters to me with Scripture emphasizing how much Jesus loved me.
When I graduated from college, I wasn’t ready to settle into a full-time job, so I decided to follow a dream and enroll in a one-year commercial music program. Well, God had another reason for directing me to the music school! It happened that a LOT of Christians had enrolled in the program that semester (not typical for a school located near Hollywood). The first day I met Elizabeth, she came right out and asked me if I was a born again Christian. I said no, I loved my lifestyle too much. (John 3:19). She said she understood, admitting for a season, she too followed that path, but it had left her feeling empty and she recently turned back to the Lord.
During the first semester, I would joined Elizabeth and others at the coffee shop where the music theory study group often switched the topic of conversation to the Lord and the Bible. Each of these women were from a different state and were a different denomination. I could not deny how they reflected God’s love in unique ways. Several months later, one night, alone in my bedroom…I just knew that I had could not deny the truth of who Jesus was any longer. I got on my knees and accepted God’s forgiveness for my sins…I will NEVER forget that night! I also remember the next morning…wondering if I had the personal strength to really be a Christian and follow Jesus. Thankfully, Elizabeth and I found an amazing church where people sang and praised God with joy and the pastor preached from the Bible! I was baptized and I think Elizabeth and I listened to almost every Bible study the church had on cassette tape (ha, yup…early 80’s). I will always be grateful that God chose people like Elizabeth, my brother and other believers to share the Good News all those years ago!
Thank you, Lord that You pursue us, and through Your amazing grace we can be set free from the power of sin. Help us not be afraid and to share the Good News with the people that we encounter today, and even with those that we have known for a long time. Encourage us to continue to pray for those that are believing the lies of the enemy, that You would open their ears today to hear Your truth. Thank you, Jesus that You came that we may have life and have it abundantly. Amen
Romans 12:2; 2 Cor 12:9; 2 Peter 2-4; Ephesians 1:13