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About Courtney Stanford

Courtney Stanford is a passionate follower of Jesus and the writer of her blog, Let Every Heart.  She is the wife of a worship pastor and the mommy of three little men. Courtney is an elementary school teacher on hiatus, while she is currently a stay-at-home Mommy and the keeper of a joyful (yet slightly noisy) home that she lovingly refers to as her "frat house."  Whether she is leading a Bible study for women, teaching her adult Sunday School class, or writing for her blog, Courtney is an enthusiastic encourager of Christ followers, especially women and children. You can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!  
 

How Can I Become a Follower of Jesus?

Courtney Stanford
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Courtney Stanford is a passionate follower of Jesus and the writer of her blog, Let Every Heart.  She is the wife of a worship pastor and the mommy of three little men. Courtney is an elementary school teacher on hiatus, while she is currently a stay-at-home Mommy and the keeper of a joyful (yet slightly noisy) home that she lovingly refers to as her "frat house."  Whether she is leading a Bible study for women, teaching her adult Sunday School class, or writing for her blog, Courtney is an enthusiastic encourager of Christ followers, especially women and children. You can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!  
 
#faith #eternity #Christian

  
Hello again, sweet reader friends!  The day before yesterday, I shared May I Introduce You to Jesus?, a post I wrote to simply tell the basics of who Jesus is.   That post must have met people in many different stages of life.  Maybe it spoke right to your heart.  Perhaps it didn’t.  It could be that it was old news to you.  Yet, the story of Jesus is the greatest news and is so worthy of being repeated.  Amen?  

The Gospel is such good news.  As a follower of Jesus, I often paint a different picture of the Gospel by accident, of course.  Really, it is undoubtedly the very best news ever.  That isn’t even an exaggeration! {Usually, if I tell my husband that I have the very best news ever, he expects me to say that one of our children is improving his letter recognition.) This time, I am so serious.  Best, best news!  Ever, ever!

In that post about Jesus, I promised to write the next day {which should have been yesterday} on how to become a follower of Christ.  By now you know…that didn’t pan out.  Life happened and I wasn’t able to write yesterday.  (I’m truly sorry if you were waiting on me.)  Here we go!  Today is the day!!!

May I tell you how you can become a follower of Jesus?  {I’m going to have to assume that you are either nodding your head, cheering me on, or closing out of the page for today.  All of that is quite alright.  We’ll move forward!} I am praying for each of you before I write this.  …by “each of you,” I mean that I am praying for the hearts of every reader.  Sometimes technology is so weird, but we’ll do the best we can.

You can become a follower of Jesus.  His arms are wide open and nothing can keep you from His love.  Run to Him!  No matter where you are, what you think of yourself, or what you have done: Jesus loves YOU and knows your heart.  Do you feel the Holy Spirit welcoming you to Him?  You can be free from the bondage of sin in Jesus.  

What saves us?  Ephesians 2:8 tell us: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”  Sweet friends, it isn’t our own doing or good works that saves us.  We are saved by the grace of Jesus when we put our faith in Him.  

By grace: Jesus paid the penalty for our sins.  We all sin.  All sin is worthy of death.  Yet, we don’t have to have an eternal death, separated from God in Hell.  We can have eternal life!!!!  The price for our sins was paid by Jesus when He died on a cross.  We can live eternally with Jesus in Heaven.    His grace has offered us a way out of eternal death. We don’t have to suffer for our sins.  He suffered for a debt He didn’t owe, for you and for me.  This saves us.  This is grace.  

Through faith: You can trust Him.  You can surrender your life to His will.  You can accept Him as the Lord of your life, meaning that we hand over the reigns to Him.  This is faith. 

Then, how do we accept this gift that Ephesians 2:8 speaks of?  The grace part has happened.  How do I put faith in Jesus?  Friends, it is so simple and free to each of us.  It is what God wants for us.

Admit that you are a sinner.  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” ~Romans 3:23  We are all sinners, but you may believe that you’ve behaved well enough and perhaps you have done wonderful things for others, but I promise you: you sin.  I sin.  We have to own up to that realization first.

Repent of your sin. “Repent, then, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, and times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” ~Acts 3:19   To repent means to literally turn away from sin.  Sure, you will still sin but repentance means that we won’t be complacent with a life of sin.  We will be quick to repent (sort of like a sincere and meaningful apology to God.) It means that we will feel remorse for sin and will truly strive to discontinue in the destructive sins we are stuck in.  Living in complacency of sin is the opposite of repentance.  

Believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God and that He was raised from the dead. “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” ~Romans 10:9  Maybe you don’t have it all figured out.  Neither do I.  It isn’t my place to “figure out” everything about the Creator of the Universe, but I have a deep and real faith in Him.  I believe His word with all of my heart.  I know that Jesus sent His son and my faith is reinforced by verses such as John 3:16.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” 

Confess your faith in Jesus as Your personal Savior (one who saved you by His grace) and Lord (in control of your life from here forward) forever! See Romans 10:9 again, precious friends.  This simply means that you have decided to follow Jesus and you are telling others!  Tell your family or your friends.  If you are attending a church, tell them!  Baptism is a way that you can show others that you have decided to follow Jesus.  If you don’t have another Christian to share the excitement with, I will be happy to chat with you and to cheer you on!  Everyone needs someone to celebrate their salvation!  

My prayer is that you will come to know the perfect love of Jesus.  I pray that you will experience the fullness of His grace and His mercy for you.  May your life be made new as you begin a relationship with Jesus and start a new life fully surrendered to Him.  Life will still get messy.  Hard and tragic things will still happen in this imperfect world, but with Jesus, you will never be alone ever again.  One day, we will see His perfection face to face.  One day, we will join our Savior for eternity.  My deepest desire is for all people to know Him.  I have prayed for you today, sweet reader.  Jesus is waiting.

From the depths of my heart to yours, ~Courtney

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