Every believer has a unique story of encountering Christ. Ann, a receptionist at RBC Ministries, told me that she has kept a journal for much of her life. She treasures the account she recorded about her conversion when she was 15. Here is an excerpt. “[I] went to see Billy Graham. I got saved! I’m very happy. . . . When I got saved I felt warmth in my heart.”
Years ago, in a personal evangelism course I taught, I asked the students to write out their story of how they came to faith in Christ. It struck me how different each journey was. Some were saved out of a life of drugs and immorality. Others were church attenders who came to Christ after years of biblical instruction.
Conversions vary. The apostle Paul had a crisis encounter with the Savior that turned him from a persecutor into a preacher of the gospel (Acts 26). In contrast, Timothy was quietly nurtured in the Scriptures from early childhood, resulting in his salvation experience (2 Tim. 3:14-15). No two faith journeys are identical. But each has the common element of turning to the Lord Jesus in faith to be saved from sin and to receive a new heart.
Can you retrace the steps that God helped you take in coming to Christ? What’s your story?
We once were held by Satan’s chains,
Imprisoned by our sin;
Then Jesus Christ delivered us
And made us new within. —Sper
We need more than a new start—we need a new heart!