Jacob is a second year student at UCLA studying Chemical Engineering. Some of the things he enjoys doing are playing basketball, trying new foods, and more recently, dancing. Jacob always enjoys meeting new people so hit him up if you ever want to talk.
I was born into a Christian family, and for as long as I can remember I went to church every week for Friday night fellowship and Sunday morning service, but for all the wrong reasons. I went to church to hang out with friends, not because of any personal convictions that I actually had about Christianity. I realize now that the danger of growing up in a Christian home is making the assumption that you are saved because you go to church, which is exactly what I did. In essence, I adopted my parent’s faith and pretended to be a Christian. I thought of myself as a decently well-behaved boy growing up, and I didn’t see the need for a Savior because I didn’t understand the magnitude of my own sin. At church I would try to make myself look good in front of adults and parents, and at school I would surround myself with non-Christians and hide my faith. This was my life and I saw no problem with it.
The church that I grew up at had a high view of Scripture and education of doctrine. For that reason I took Sunday school classes on the basics of Calvinism and other religious worldviews starting as early as middle school. Over time I began to grow prideful in my knowledge of doctrines, and I would always try to answer all of the hard questions in Sunday school to puff myself up. At this time I was blind to my idolatry of theology and knowledge, and I didn’t understand that knowing ABOUT God was so different than actually having a relationship with Him.
In my freshmen year of high school my church started a Sunday youth worship service. High schoolers would join and lead different ministry teams, and at the start of it all I began serving on the hospitality/ushering team just because some Auntie at church forced me to. However, serving in this way eventually grew my pride. I would tell myself that other people weren’t as qualified to serve as I was because of the amount of theological knowledge that I knew, or because I had been going to this church longer.
At that time my church wasn’t too sure how to choose ministry team leaders, so they hosted an annual election to decide. After a year of serving I was nominated to lead the hospitality/ushering team and won, again boosting my pride. However, after I served for about another year, I grew interested in serving on sound team because I wanted to learn all of the technology behind it. I had only been serving on sound team for about a month when it came time again for the annual election. For some reason I was nominated to lead sound team even though I had little experience with the actual ministry. I eventually won and boosted my pride yet again, but that’s when God finally decided to humble me.
Here I was in a position of leadership for a ministry team that I had no idea how to operate. A huge responsibility was laid on me and that’s when I finally realized how stuck up I really was. I used service in church as a way to lift and glorify myself rather than the almighty God who is deserving of all praise and worship. At this time in my life the Holy Spirit pushed me to understand just how sinful and depraved I was. I had dethroned God as the priority in my life and had replaced him with my sinful self. I began to question my own salvation and the reasons why I even attended church. It was obvious that I wasn’t saved, and the fear of eternal damnation and separation from God haunted me. Over time I began to truly reflect upon the sinful motives I had in my life and the priorities that I placed before me. God was so gracious to me by placing me in a Christian family surrounded with loving people, but I took all of it for granted. I didn’t appreciate the strong doctrine that my church had or the opportunities there were to serve. Instead I grew up using all of it to build my own ego and worship myself.
Around the beginning of my junior year I became saved. After listening to more sermons and having a more serious view of my own sin, I knew that there was nothing I could do on my own to save my soul from hell. I recommitted my life to honoring Christ and being appreciative of the gift of grace that God granted me, and I am happy to say that today I have no doubts about my salvation and look forward to the glory that is to be revealed to us in the next age.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Thank you for reading and I pray that this will challenge you in some way to either remind yourself of the grace that God has given to you or to draw you to Him.