Joan Sabbato

All of us have a “Christian” journey. It is the blessing from the Holy Spirit placed in us to be used to help us become more like Christ as we go merrily along in this world. Personally, it turns out that, just like the Israelites, I seem to be a “stiff-necked” person who has had to be repeatedly shown and taught by so many believers more intuitive than I to finally grasp the grandeur of the sacrifices Christ made for us.

It is good to be raised by a solid group of Christians: parents, grandparents, Sunday School teachers, aunts, uncles and cousins, etc., who all believed without question that God loves us and Christ redeemed us from our sins. The empirical side of me debated the actuality of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and what that really meant to me. As I said, “stiff-necked.”

I have to share with you that for 15 or 20 years I was just floating along doing what came naturally and thinking I was a pretty nice person. I didn’t intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings, let alone actually do physical harm to anyone; so what was the big deal?—I wasn’t really a sinner. THEN IT HAPPENED! When God gets fed up with our lack of respect and feels we are ready to be shaped for his purpose, HE TAKES CHARGE!

I seem to be a “stiff necked” person who had to be repeatedly shown and taught by many believers before I was finally be able to grasp the grandeur of the sacrifices Christ made for us.

I had joined Mary Kay Cosmetics and was well aware that it was totally based on Christian principles: God first, Family second, and Career third. I was working hard to become an independent director with the company by recruiting new consultants. A woman named Debbie convinced me she couldn’t become a consultant because she was deeply involved with a Bible Study that required a great deal of her free time. For some reason, I felt the Lord tapping me on the shoulder and saying, “COME ON BACK!”

I joined Debbie’s Bible study and stayed there for over three years. It was amazing to wake up and realize that when the time is right, things move in God’s direction and toward His plan for the future of each one of us. I am no longer in touch with Debbie, but I will always have a warm and thankful spot in my heart, because she appeared in my life at just the right time. That was my first lesson! God’s plan will be fulfilled through the hands of fellow Christian believers. He just works that way!

I seem to be a “stiff necked” person who had to be repeatedly shown and taught by many believers before I was finally be able to grasp the grandeur of the sacrifices Christ made for us.

Soon, I felt it was necessary to get closer to Jesus, and I still didn’t understand completely this great need! One morning I decided to jump in the car and find a church again. God turned my direction to a small church near my home. Finding this family of believers and adding personal discipline to actually LEARNING more about Jesus has led to an indescribable JOY FOR LIFE! I understand the need to grow and become as much like Jesus as I can.

Jesus is worthy of my respect, love, and devotion, and I work daily to become worthy of Him. I love Jesus because He never gave up on me, and I know He is teaching me every day. My goal is to become a “Debbie” to someone else, especially my own family, so that they can enjoy this most extreme feeling of wellbeing and GREAT JOY for living.

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