Thank you for taking the time to read my personal story. We live in a busy world. Often we hear “Time is money”, and “Nothing is for free”. That may be true for many things, but what about the free gift? Have you not heard about the free gift?
On March 9, 1999 I received this gift for myself. The Bible says: “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23); “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).
Let me briefly tell you what happened:
I was brought up Roman Catholic. For many years I was a member of the church youth group and helped as an altar server. I recall a time when I had questions on my mind who God really was and what life was all about. I found no answers at that time and chose not to let these things bother me.
Years later, in 1996, I came in contact with a young man who talked to me about God. He told me that he was saved; he had received the gift of God. I was curious to learn more about this. I decided that I would read the Bible for myself. It took me a long time to make progress in my reading, because the initial interest wore off quickly, and the cares of this life took hold of me.
In February 1999, a series of special gospel meetings was held in Sydney, NS, where I was living at the time. I received an invitation to come along to listen to the gospel message clearly preached from the Bible. I kindly refused at first, but then I was really curious to find out what these meetings were about. The free gift had sparked my interest.
I attended meetings and heard much about God, sin, and judgment for sin. The Bible clearly says that “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The Lord Jesus said: “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment” (Matthew 25:46). I realized that I, too, was a sinner before God, that my sin deserved punishment in Hell, and that I could not go to Heaven with my sin. I also heard about God’s tremendous love, and about His Son, Jesus Christ. “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief” (I Ti 1:15).
But what about that free gift?
One night, at home, I read in the gospel according to John chapter 3 verse 16:
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish,
but have everlasting life”.
For the first time in my life I fully understood why the Lord Jesus Christ suffered on the cross – there He paid for my sins with His precious blood. He suffered and died for me so that I need not perish in Hell but could have a home in Heaven. I trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour.
Since that night, I enjoy everlasting life as a free gift received from God. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” (John 3:36).
This gift was a gift for me, completely free of charge, but it cost God tremendously. He gave His Son to the death of the cross to be punished in my stead. I couldn’t possibly do anything to save myself. God says: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
I am happy to be able to claim like many others, “Saved by the grace of God!” How about you? Would you not like to receive God’s gift for yourself? Receive it by faith today! A searching soul once was told “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
If you would like to contact Holger Verlage you can write him at:
1035 Hwy 206 Site 9-1
West Arichat NS B0E 3J0