What was the problem that Caroline faced?
I became a believer in Jesus because I realised that just being a good person wasn’t good enough. As a child, I knew a little about God—I believed that he was there, and he was powerful, and I would pray to him occasionally—but I didn’t have a relationship with him. When I was in primary school, my mother was diagnosed with cancer again, and over the next year or so of her illness, I particularly saw my parents living out their faith in Jesus. Mum died when I was 10, and I know that she is, and will be, living with Jesus forever.
A couple of years later, when I started high school, I went along to the youth group at the local church. As the youth minister taught from the Bible each week, I came to understand the problem that I faced: every single one of us has rejected God. Whether we’ve actively rejected him and followed another god, or whether we’ve just ignored him and gone our own way, we all face God’s judgment as a consequence.
I was a good and obedient child, but I realised that just being good wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t earn my way to God, or impress him with my obedience. The only way to have a relationship with the one true God was to trust in Jesus. He took my place, dying the death that I deserved.
‘Ephesians 2:4-7 is a passage that has always been a favourite of mine: “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
It was quite a few years ago that I responded to this great news of God’s grace in Christ. I am thankful to God for the way I was discipled as a young Christian, as various people opened the Bible with me, and helped me to understand what it means to live as a Christian. And I’m also thankful to the various Bible study leaders and pastors over the years who challenged me to consider how to best use my life and my gifts for God and his Kingdom.
I know from the Bible that God is completely faithful, and in control. I have certainly experienced that in my life, through the good times and difficult times. I know he is with me, by his Spirit, maturing me in the faith, and equipping me to use my gifts to serve, and to point others to him.
Do you know the one and true God, who is rich in mercy, and has saved us by grace?’