God did a miracle in my heart

My name is Jim Appelman, and this is my story:

When I was three years old I got hit by a car and as a result spent 63 days in traction in the hospital. Although I was critically injured, I survived to adulthood where I went through a couple of failed marriages and three heart attacks by the age of forty-two.

Well, here we are at fifty years old, and I start to evaluate my life. Why am I here? Why am I still alive? Where am I going? What direction do I go to get where I am going?

The answers, my friend, are in the Bible, God’s Word. The Bible says that we are created to please God and be in a right relationship with him. I tried years ago at age nineteen to be right with God. The problem was that it was me trying, and trying. Trying to be good is hard for all of us, for we are not good in God’s eyes. We may look good to other people, but God sees our hearts, both the secrets and the evil thoughts.

Between the ages of twenty and fifty, I continued to go to church on Sundays to please my family (and perhaps please God a bit in the process), but through the week I continued to please myself by doing whatever I wanted to do.

The church I have been attending through the years is a Bible teaching and preaching church, and those Sunday mornings I spent there were not wasted. For one thing I learned that religion is what man does for God, but salvation is what God does for man. I had been trying to do things for God, but I began to see that God wanted to do something wonderful for me. I learned that God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for me—that God Himself took the punishment for every sinful thought, secret, and deed I ever did. I began to realize that in order for me to be right with God I needed to repent of my sins and accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour.

Please listen. Repentance is not stopping your sins. I already found out that I could not do that. Repentance is in the heart. Repentance is being sorry enough for your sin and being so tired of living your sinful life that you want to be rescued from it.

While I was in church on Sunday morning on September 16, 2001, I heard the pastor preach a message from the Bible, and I realized I was completely sick of the life I had been living; I wanted to be rescued; I wanted the Lord to give me new life. (I had to come to the point where I wanted Christ more than I wanted my sin.) There in my seat, I surrendered my will and yielded my heart completely to Jesus Christ as my new Master. It was a quiet moment between God and me. That moment God did a miracle in my heart. That very instant God miraculously washed my sins away in the blood of Christ and gave me a new heart and new desires.

I immediately knew something was different. I received such a peace and joy in my heart that I cannot explain it to you except through Bible verses. Ever since then, I have had a strong desire to serve the Lord, and I have no desire for my old life. I didn’t “get religion”; instead I found Jesus Christ. I am no longer bound for hell but am on my way to heaven. Christ has done a wonderful thing in my life, and I can never thank Him enough.

I don’t do the things I used to, because the Lord miraculously changed me to the point where I don’t enjoy them. I love the Lord more than anything this whole world can offer. I want others to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, too! He is the only way to heaven.

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10) Regardless of church affiliation, we all are guilty of sin, because we are descendants of Adam and Eve. We are born with a sin nature and need the Lord to give us a new nature.

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…” (Titus 3:5) Works of righteousness such as church membership, baptism, giving money to the church, and other good deeds can not save us.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father, but by me.” (John 14:6) Folks, Jesus said that he is the way, not a way. He is the only way!

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) There is salvation in none other than Jesus Christ: not Mohammed, not Buddha, not the church, not any religion, not the preacher, or the priest, not the pope or the bishop, not Mary; no other but Jesus Christ can save.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) We are not saved by the good things we do; we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

“And ye shall seek me and find me when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) You can be saved when you come to the point in your life where you want Christ with all your heart and are willing to yield completely to Him as your Lord and Master.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17) When Christ saves you, he will change your heart’s desires; you will no longer like your old sinful lifestyle; you’ll have a new lifestyle!

“For God, who commandeth the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (II Corinthians 4:6) God did a miracle in my heart!