I can remember it like it was only yesterday. Yet it happened many, many years ago—the day I ask Jesus to come into my heart.
Birds tweeted their spring melodies. Azaleas and Dogwood trees blossomed. That meant revival time for our little church. When we were growing up, our church always had a revival twice a year— once in the spring and once in the fall. This meant that another preacher from a different church would come to our church and passionately share a message.
Although most of our revival preachers were loud and fist pounding, I usually liked them. They were so intense about the Bible.
So on that day, the preacher’s message that every person has sinned was not a surprise to me. I’d heard it many times before along with the verse. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 (MSG).
One of the first Bible verses I memorized was John 3:16. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV) So from a young age, I knew that Jesus died on the cross for me and for everybody if we believed in Him.
But as the revival preacher hammered his message home, he said that if we were old enough to know right from wrong, that we would be held accountable.
Wait, let’s back up for a moment. That was a new word for me. I knew right from wrong—not to steal, not to lie, treat others with respect etc. But now about this accountable word.
The preacher continued as though talking only to us younger people. “I tell you youngsters that if you’re old enough to know right from wrong and you have done wrong, you will be held accountable. You are responsible for your actions.
There’s that word again. I get it. It means that I’m responsible for what I do.
He continued. “Young people, I’ll remind you that we all—every single one of us has done wrong and it’s called sin. That’s what can separate us from God when we pass away.
But Jesus died on the cross for us and if we ask Him to come into our hearts, He will, and He will be with us forever. When we pass from this life, we will go to Heaven to be with Him.”
OK so I knew the story. And I know right from wrong so this means I am accountable for what I do.
Sunday afternoons our family would sometimes go for a drive. On this particular Sunday, Mom and Daddy had promised to take Connie and me to see some miniature horses.
On the way over, Connie was her usual giggly and bubbly self about going to see the little horses. I couldn’t keep my mind on the horses. I kept thinking about what the preacher said.
I wanted to ask but I was nervous even to ask my parents about how to ask Jesus to come into my heart.
We parked the car. Daddy talked to the man who owned these cute little miniature horses. We all walked around and looked at them.
Back in the car, Connie looked at me and said “Donna if we tried to ride that ‘littlest’ horse, I think he’d go flat.” That hilarious statement, at least to my sister and me, made us laugh. We giggled until tears ran from our eyes and we had to hold our hurting cheeks with our fingers.
But then I was right back to my thoughts of sin, Jesus, Heaven, and accountability. How is it done? How does a person ask Jesus to come into her heart?
Finally I blurted it out: “So how does a person ask Jesus to come into their heart?”
I think I kind of shocked my parents. Mom looked at me and said “Well you know the way people walk down the aisle at the end of the service when they sing, that’s when they tell the preacher what they want to do. He talks with them and prays with them.”
So are you saying I have to walk down the aisle and tell the preacher I want to ask Jesus into my heart?
Mom assured me that is what I needed to do.
When I got to church that night I immediately walked down to the second row and sat down. I figured if I was going to walk the aisle in front of people, I’d have to be close or I’d “chicken out.”I listened once again to what the pastor had to say but God was already working in my heart. And it was beating…It was beating so fast and hard, I thought it was going to thump out of my chest. When we sang, I was holding on tight to the pew in front of me
As he concluded his sermon, the pastor said, “Now is the time to ask Jesus to come into your heart. Don’t be afraid and don’t wait. When you take the first step, Jesus will help you take the rest.”
With wobbly knees, I took that first step. Jesus really did help me—I didn’t remember the next steps.
I walked down the aisle and told the pastor I wanted Jesus to come into my heart. Then he talked with me and we prayed. I ask Jesus to come into my heart.
A strange feeling came over me. I knew instantly it had happened. I never heard anyone describe their experience like mine. As a 9 year old child, I felt a wonderful feeling of warmness flow through my body. I felt a unique type of peace and happiness that I’d never experienced.
Since I was a child, there were not a lot of dramatic changes in my life at that time. My life still included attending church every week with my family, taking Sunday afternoon drives and giggling daily with my sister.
But one dramatic change did occur. I knew without any doubt that Jesus had entered my heart and soul.
As I continued to grow-up I knew that Jesus was with me.
From that day to this, I’ve always known that
If you want to know more about inviting Jesus into your heart check out the following link http://www.sowerministries.org/?page_id=64
To find out more about sharing your stories of Faith with those you love, check out Donna’s Kindle e-book available of Amazon.