By Ed Wittlif
“She will bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21 ESV).
I didn’t grow up in a family that was godly. What I knew about Jesus I learned by watching Christmas specials on TV. I grew up a “spoiled rotten” kid, who always got what he wanted. As a result, I was very self-centered, and everything was for my wants and pleasures. I had done a lot of stuff by age twenty that I knew was wrong.
I was looking forward to the freedom that came with reaching twenty-one. At the same time, I was beginning to realize that there might be more to life. Just what that was, I didn’t know.
When two of my good friends got married, I started talking with the minister, which led to a series of studies. He introduced me to Jesus, and I discovered what was missing in life. I learned that I was a sinner and what that meant, and that Jesus took my punishment for me. I gratefully accepted His gift when I believed and rose from my baptism into a new life.
By God’s grace, I am saved from the eternal consequences of my sins. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh by faith in the Son of God, who gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Like Paul, I have striven to live for Christ and to serve Him in His mission of reconciliation. Knowing what I was before, I am grateful and blessed to be His. I encourage you to do the same and remember what you were before you were redeemed. Never forget the cost paid for your salvation.