(originally posted on January 22, 2015 on a previous blog)

I grew up in the hood in Philadelphia.  My parents became Christians when I was 1 and started attending a church in the neighborhood.  So essentially I grew up in the church.  As a child I was stoned by rocks, had a knife pulled on me and robbed at gun point.  I was always picked on but I would never change any of it.  I saw destruction and depravity growing up but I saw the Lord keep my family and I safe and he provided for our needs.

I remember one time when my family and I were in the drive thru at a Roy Roger’s fast food restaurant.  This guys comes out of no where and bangs on our window, tells us our car is on fire and to get out.  My dad rushes my family and I into the restaurant while this guys comes back with a fire extinguisher and my dad pops the hood and the guy puts out the fire.  My dad moves the car into a parking space and turns around to thank the gentleman and he is no where to be found.  I truly believe God sent an angel that day to save my family.

God has a way of always being there for me.  I had an envelope of money left in my mailbox one day when nobody knew how desperately we needed it.  but it is even simpler things.  I believe God has cause me to be late to certain events so I would miss an accident.  That is the things you can see.  I believe God has directed my decisions so that I would end up right where I am.  It is easy where I am, No.  It has been a really hard year.  But in this last year I have been able to grow and learn things that will make me a better person and will help me later in life, or even help someone else later in life.

Being a Christian doesn’t mean that everything is honky dorey.  It doesn’t mean you get everything that you want.  What being a Christian means – is that I realize that there is a God, and I am a sinner because I have not followed what he has told me to do.  I have sinned against him.  And He is holy, and my sin makes me unholy.  I also understand that what is holy can only be with what is holy.  (example if you have a clean shirt – it must stay clean to remain clean, if it comes into contact with one piece of dirt – it is no longer clean).  So me being unholy separates me from God.  And in eternity there are only two place heaven and hell.  If heaven is for those who are holy (God and angels), then hell is for all the unholy (Satan, demons and us).  But I also know that God who created us, loved us so much that he sent Jesus (His Son) to live a life we can not (which is holy) and he died in place for us and conquered death by raising himself (which no other person has ever done) from the dead.  And God has offered me and you His Son as a gift so that if we accept His Son as our gift while here, when we die and we face God to find out if we are holy or not, Jesus’s blood will cover our sin and we will be presented as holy before God.

Christianity isn’t what you can do, it is about what you can’t do.  It is having the perspective of what you truly are a sinner and unholy.  It is about knowing that God gave you the best Christmas present you ever could receive and I will tell you what is inside – His Son.  The question is do you want to open it.  God has given every single person this gift.  But it is up to you whether or not you want to open it.  Some will not accept it and they will blame him.  But the gift has always and will always be there.  It is your choice.  If you would like to open that gift today and have never opened it before, let me show you how.  Like every good present there is a card attached.  let us read it out loud together right now.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I understand that I am a sinner and I am unholy and unworthy to be with you.  But I hold in my hands the present of your Son.  I make him Lord and Saviour of my life today.  I accept this precious gift and thank you for saving my life.  I will tell others of this great gift that you have given to everyone.  In your name I pray.

Amen

The gift is now yours – welcome to the family.  I would love to see you comment below if you just accepted this gift.  Share the gift, it is for everyone and find a local community of believers, if you need help finding a local church – I will gladly assist you in that.

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