From an early age I was encouraged to go to St Mark’s Church with my family where I was christened and attended Sunday School. Then from the age of 10 we moved house, so we started attending St Anne’s Stanley on Prescot Road where I was confirmed. When I was 16 I helped in the Sunday school and later, to the amusement of my friends to boost the numbers I joined the church choir (as I cannot hold a tune). At the time I felt I was living a good life, but there was something missing in my life and I didn’t feel at peace. When I said my prayers it was usually me bargaining with God that if I did something in the church or a good deed then He would do something nice for me. I began reading books in search of God but as they mentioned things like sin and judgement I felt uncomfortable. When I was 18 I started nursing and more questions kept coming to my mind, one of these questions was, “Was I really good enough to go to Heaven?”
A friend invited me to go along to her church where they had a series of meetings for young people throughout the week, but I kept making excuses not to go. At this time I was going out a lot to pubs and clubs most evenings and my mum was getting worried about me and so encouraged me to go along with my friend to these meetings. I went along to keep my mum happy but was amazed at how many young people there were and also how friendly and welcoming everyone was. The sermons were longer than I had been used too and the pastor who spoke, mentioned that we are all sinners (that meant me!), but even though we were sinners, God had promised to forgive the sins of those who were really sorry for the wrong things they have done and who would put their trust in Christ.
For months after this I would think about what was said and realised that for all the years of attending church and doing good works, none of this made me good enough to be accepted by God. I kept thinking of my future, career, marriage, children etc but I never thought about what would happen to me when I died. It was something I didn’t like to think about, but with nursing, death was very real and at the time a few of my relatives had died. It was then that I realised he was talking about me, I was a sinner, I would go to hell if I died and so that night I asked God to forgive me and to help me trust in Him.
Since becoming a Christian I have had peace in my heart knowing that when I leave this life, I will go to be with God in Heaven. There have been difficulties but no matter how hard life is Christ has always been there. He gives me the strength to cope, all I need to do is ask. God does not promise us an easy life but does promise, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”, I have to admit this is not always easy to do as I fail God, BUT HE will not fail me.
God is real to me and can be to you, do you know Him in a personal way? If not why not think about what He has done in coming to die on the cross for sinners like us.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
|Steve T Fr|
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