My name is Marsha Stephens and here is my story of God’s grace in my life…
Nobody’s Perfect, Not Even Me
How I was saved from a life of crime…
Stealing (cookies from a cookie jar)… defiance (disobeying my parents)…and relentlessly terrorizing my sister. Yes, at the age of four I was bad to the bone and I knew it! I knew that it was wrong to take what is not mine, not just because my parents said so but because God says it, “Thou shalt not steal.” Exodus 20:15 I also knew that it was wrong to disobey my parents, “Honor thy Father and Mother” Exodus 20:12 and “Children obey your parents” Ephesians 6:1. And as much fun as it was to terrorize my sister…”Be kind to one another” Ephesians 4:32 Get the picture? Now, you might be thinking these aren’t really that horrible of offenses, no jury would find me guilty of grand theft for a cookie. But breaking a law is still breaking a law and these are God’s laws. Go ahead and look closely at them and you might realize that you’ve broken them too.
After all, nobody’s perfect. Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28 says “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’will be liable to the hell of fire.” “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
When I was only four I over heard my mom talking to my sister about why Jesus died on the cross. God requires a payment for breaking His laws… “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins”. That’s why He sent Jesus, His perfect Son, to pay the price for me. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus died for me, He shed His blood for me, He gave up His life for me, He took my place. With childlike faith, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and turned (repented) from my sins. This doesn’t make me perfect, I never will be perfect. I still sin, everyday. But Jesus is always forgiving. The price is already paid. In His eyes I’ve been made perfect.
Titus 3:3-7 “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
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