Did you grow up believing in Jesus, kind of like you did Santa and the Tooth Fairy, but discarded that belief as you got older? Did the stories of His loving nature and healing ability touch your child’s heart? What caused that child-like faith to falter? Why did you let go of the hand of the One whom you were told would always love you? Were you told things like, “be good or Jesus won’t love you” or “you won’t go to heaven if you …”. If so, you probably decided that, just as in human relationships, Jesus’ love was conditional and you could never match up to the perfection expected of you. At some point, maybe peer pressure convinced you that “churchy things” were childish, or that believing in God and Jesus WERE the same as believing in other childhood myths! And so, as you let go of that innocent belief in Jesus, you began doing things that you knew He wouldn’t have approved of; since, in your mind, He didn’t exist, He wasn’t there to judge the right or wrong of your actions! How far did you wander? Did you come to believe that you had gone so far the other direction that you would never be forgiven?

The world is so full of temptations. As teens, anything that our parents forbid seems more appealing. And if our friends recommend it, so much the better!  It’s all too easy to be pulled into a world of partying, smoking, drinking, even drugs, just to be part of the crowd. That desire for acceptance by our peers sometimes fades but, by that time, the behaviors have become habitual, weekly, even daily activities! Too often, that habit becomes an addiction, something we feel we cannot live without. Once we reach that point the only way to turn around and change is often through a tragedy or a crisis; something happens to make us realize that there’s more to life than getting high. Maybe a heart attack convinces you that smoking is not worth the risk! But our efforts to change seem useless, after all, every year that’s our resolution, and every crisis, we acknowledge the need. But within days, we fail and fall back on old habits! We often try to behave on our own efforts, but it isn’t until we find a Source greater than ourselves to help us reach our goal. That is one reason that Alcoholics Anonymous has “belief in a higher power” as one of its tenets. 

Accepting God as our Father, and Jesus Christ as Lord of your life, changes you completely. Jesus told His disciples: “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:11-13 CSB). The Father gave us the Son as a Redeemer to save us from all those sins that we can’t seem to let go of no matter how hard we try! We recognize our limitations when trying on our own, and must allow Him to take control. Scriptures tell us, “Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 GW). It doesn’t happen overnight, but through spending time with the Lord. Take time out each day to build that relationship and He will guide your path in this world and to the next!

My heart song was often used as an altar call at revivals:

“I’ve wandered far away from God, 

Now I’m coming home; 

The paths of sin too long I’ve trod, 

Lord, I’m coming home.


Coming home, coming home, 

Nevermore to roam, 

Open wide Thine arms of love, 

Lord, I’m coming home.

I’ve wasted many precious years, 

Now I’m coming home; 

I now repent with bitter tears, 

Lord, I’m coming home.

I’ve tired of sin and straying, Lord, 

Now I’m coming home; 

I’ll trust Thy love, believe Thy word, 

Lord, I’m coming home.

My soul is sick, my heart is sore, 

Now I’m coming home; 

My strength renew, my hope restore, 

Lord, I’m coming home.”

“So I beg you, brothers and sisters, because of the great mercy God has shown us, offer your lives[a] as a living sacrifice to him—an offering that is only for God and pleasing to him. Considering what he has done, it is only right that you should worship him in this way. Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2 ERV). Have a blessed day!