Jeff Carter

Jeff Carter

My Personal Relationship with Christ

I grew up in a home where I was surrounded by Christians as far back as I can remember. My father, my uncles, and my Grandfathers on both sides were pastors or missionaries. Christianity is all I have ever known. In situations like this it is sometimes difficult to come up with a distinctive moment when the decision is made to follow Christ. I do remember a particular time when I was ten years old when I decided to get baptized and publicly profess my faith. Throughout my life there has been a constant inward searching as to whether my faith is genuine; along with a desire to constantly commit my life to Him.

As to what this trusting in Christ and receiving eternal life really entails, that is fairly easy—and yet incredibly profound. We must come to the point where we believe there is a God. We must realize that we are separated from Him by sin, and that if there is nothing done to remedy this situation we will be separated from Him for all eternity. We must understand that this is the just punishment for our sin. We must acknowledge that there is nothing we ourselves can do about this problem. We must accept and embrace the fact that Jesus Christ, as God in human flesh, paid that penalty for our sin by dying on the cross, and that He offers us forgiveness for our sin as an absolutely free gift. We must accept that gift and put our trust in Him; that this paying of our penalty is all that is needed to reconcile us back with God. From all this we can be assured that we need not fear death. Death is no longer our enemy. It is simply the moment when we transition from this life, with all its pains and frustrations, to the next life, which promises nothing but unending happiness and joy. We can be assured that we will raised from the dead and our old corruptible bodies will be changed to incorruptible, perfect bodies which are well-suited for us to spend all eternity with our Lord. I believe this with all my heart. I am staking my eternity on this fact. The Lord Jesus is the savior and I trust Him as my savior and I love Him and desire to serve Him every moment of my life. I believe that is why we were created.

My life has been characterized to some extent by selfishness and egocentricity. Yet, it has also been characterized by the Lord molding, shaping and forming me into the image of His Son. The process has been slow and difficult because of my stubbornness, my unwillingness to change, and my inability to learn the lessons He has for me the first time around. But He has been so faithful. Through the process of painfully chipping away the old self, the Lord is doing what He promised—to change me and sanctify me—and reveal the new person He has created in me. I have a long way to go, but over the years I have seen progress, which is heartwarming. I am still selfish, but less so now. My eyes are still focused on me, but less now than they used to be. I pray every day that He will continue to transform me. God be praised!

The reason we were created is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Every part of our life should reflect that goal. He created us in His image and has given us the charge to reflect that image to the world. Everything we do should be done to the praise and glory of His grace. That is the theme of my life. I do not always succeed but every time I fail, God picks me up again and sets me back on that road—striving to serve Him, glorify Him, praise Him, and magnify Him in all that I do.

I have so many abundant blessings, they are hard to enumerate. I am blessed with an amazing family. I get to live in beautiful Southern California where the weather is almost always perfect. I have two children attending Christian universities, and another child in high school. I have been married for 26 years to an amazing woman. I fall in love with my Lord more and more every day. He teaches me more about Himself and myself each day and I long to serve Him with everything I have and am. Soli Deo Gloria!