One of my most cherished childhood memories, when I was about four years old, is of me sitting on my Daddy’s knee at bedtime as he taught me the Lord’s Prayer. I am sure that must have contributed to a hunger that I have had to know God as far back as I can remember.
Though I am grateful for my Catholic roots for giving me a reverence and desire to know God, there were too many times as a child and growing up that I was so afraid of dying with a strong sense that I wasn’t good enough to go to heaven. Also, when I found the definition of my name Beth in a Bible stated as “House of God”, I was so sad that I didn’t know how to be a house of God.
Sadly, due to unrealistic unfulfilled teenage expectations, I was contemplating suicide at the end of my junior year of high school. Around that time I was invited to attend a summer Christian camp and was given a Bible for the first time. I was pointed to several verses that answered so many of my questions and changed the direction of my life.
1) 1 John 5:13 (NKJV) These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. When I read 1 John 5:13 I was thrilled to learn that there really was a way to KNOW that you have eternal life when you believe in Jesus.
2) Revelation 3:20 (NKJV) Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. This scripture in Revelation 3:20 showed me that it was Jesus that had been knocking on the door to my heart my whole life and that He was waiting for me to open the door to invite Him in.
3) John 10:10 (NKJV) The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. This scripture of John 10:10 clarified to me that I had an enemy out to destroy my life, but that Jesus was holding out the promise of an abundant life to me.
On August 18, 1970 I prayed a simple prayer asking Jesus to come into my heart, so that I might know His abundant life for me and to KNOW for sure I had eternal life in Him. The Biblical meaning for that word “know” is experiential knowledge. Later the following day I experienced the feeling of being emerged under a waterfall of God’s love for me that broke the chains of pain, rejection and disappointment off my heart. Regardless of the failures, heartbreaks and even God’s seasons of silence, I have never been able to doubt the reality of God and his love for me since then.
Do you KNOW Him? Maybe you are like I was for many years, believing in God and even believing Jesus is the Son of God, but have never asked Jesus to come in. Do you need to open the door of your heart and invite Him in? In your own words, just talk to God and ask Jesus to come in. Ask Him to reveal Himself and His love to you, forgive you of all your wrong choices and actions, set you free from the chains of sorrow and to set your feet on His path of abundant life with the peace of KNOWING you have eternal life in Him. May you experience the reality of His presence and the power of His great love for you!