What does salvation mean to you?
To me, it’s held very different meanings over the years. I was raised in a Christian home where there was no question whether or not you would be at the local Baptist church on Sunday morning. It was a given! Sunday night service and Wednesday for dinner and prayer meeting, yep, those too! Summers were no exception as I spent a good amount of time with my dad’s parents, who lived right outside of Mobile. My papaw served as a deacon and my grandmother held every role from church secretary to THE flower committee and pretty much everything in between at their small, country church just down the road from their home where everyone knew and loved them both. I also attended a private, Christian school from kindergarten through my eighth grade year. Are you getting the picture that I had LOTS of exposure to the Lord growing up?
While I was saved at a young age, it wasn’t until well into my adult life that I began to realize the true depth of what salvation really means. Sadly, for much of my formative years, I honestly thought getting saved meant you were handed your get-out-of-hell card. I’d confessed my sins, invited Jesus into my heart, and was attending church every time the doors were opened. That was enough, right? Well it certainly was enough to secure my place in heaven, but receiving the Lord’s salvation is so much more than that!
My awakening into a true relationship with the Lord didn’t happen until I was well into my 30s. I was placed at a church that truly showed me the love of Christ by accepting me for who I was and not judging me when, as we all do, I fell short of a bar that, sadly, some in Christian leadership today have set so high that even the most devout Christian could never reach!
My marriage of 16 years was ending and I was literally at the end of my rope! Devastated and all alone, I cried out to the Lord and He, as always, was right there. I began to learn, through that season, what it meant to have a true relationship with the Lord … to walk with Him, depend on Him, lean into Him, and trust Him with, quite literally, getting me from one day to the next! He lovingly grew and molded me through those very hard years, even when I would turn away and act not very Christ like!
I remarried in October of 2011 to an amazing man that, no doubt, is a gift directly from God. We made a decision early in our marriage that we would find a church home together and commit to serving the Lord as a family. God led us to Church of the Highlands, and to say that my salvation came alive when I began to grow and serve Him fully is an understatement!
For the first time in my life, I began to understand that my God is a loving Father, not a harsh judge. He wants to bless me with every good and perfect gift from above, and He longs to have me crawl up in His lap and talk for a while! As I began to get more and more involved in church through serving and attending small groups, I began to fully understand that the gift of salvation truly is my freedom! True relationship with Christ through salvation allows me to walk freely in the confidence of knowing that no matter what this life brings, it’s not the end! I have a secure home in heaven with my Heavenly Father, who loves me and always, always, always has my best interest at heart. My salvation has set me free and he’s a good, good Father!
If the Son gives you freedom, you are free! ~ John 8:36 (CEV)
If you have a hole in your heart that nothing seems to fill, seek Him … He will set you free and fill you with more joy, hope and love than you ever thought possible. Salvation is a free gift … all you have to do is receive! Amen and amen!
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Amber Edwards began Blessing Bag Ministry, affording her numerous opportunities to share her love for the Lord with many lost and hurting. A native of Birmingham and Huffman High School, Amber is happily married with two teens and working as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal. She enjoys leading women’s small groups and serving as Captain of the Events Team at her church. Her true passion is for others. Read Ambers BoP biohere.