Hi! I’m Nicole Lisa Maria.
When I was seventeen I heard the voice of Jesus for the first time. A youth pastor read these verses from I John 4:
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (NIV)
It was then I heard Jesus say in my head/heart, “I love you, Nicole. I died for you. I accept you. Receive my love.” Jesus’ love washed over me—it was a warm rush, a relief.
The pastor, as if on cue, asked us to pray silently if the Lord was prompting us to respond to his love and accept his sacrifice on our behalf, reconciling us to God through his death and resurrection. I repeated his prayer in my heart and received Jesus as my Savior.
Tears came and I wiped them away and looked around to see if anyone noticed. I was transformed that night.
That was over forty years ago. Jesus forgave me once and for all but sin has strongholds and I still fall into temptation. As I grow in my understanding of who God is—what Jesus did on my behalf—I am humbled. I confess my sin and repent, again and again. God is gentle, loving, and merciful. He doesn’t condemn. (Romans 8:1) His love makes me want to love others the same way.
11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. I John 4 (NIV)
God’s love and the words of Jesus sustain me. The Holy Spirit indwelling me comforts and guides me.
My experience is not unique. God, in Jesus Christ, extends a lifeline to us all. He paid the price for all of us on the cross. Won’t you go to him today and lay your burden of sin at his feet?
He took the burden at the cross and in exchange extends freedom and life with God. I pray you will.