Church going was very important to Lucia Espina, as she presumed this was the best way to be in God’s good books, but then she discovered she could have a love relationship with God better than she had dreamed of.
Beginning to attend church at a very young age, she recalls thinking that “my faithfulness to church and its activities will place me in a position of good standing before God.”
Then when she was 12 years old, her Sunday school teacher presented her with an interesting question: “How would you respond if God asked you why He should allow you into heaven when you die?”
“He is going to have to let me enter heaven,” Lucia replied, “because I had been going to church all my life and I have behaved correctly for the most part.”
To Lucia’s surprise, her teacher said she was mistaken for thinking this.
“She showed me that the issue of my sins had never been addressed and that I had never surrendered my heart and life over to God.
“That morning I understood that bad things I had done, no matter how many or how few, separated me from God because He is perfect and holy and could never allow me into heaven with those sins in my heart.
“I also learned that no matter how many good things I did, I would never be able to erase or eliminate those sins that caused that separation between me and God.”
Her Sunday school teacher then explained what God had done about this great problem that separated man from God.
“She told me that my problem with sin and its consequence was the reason why Jesus came to this earth, lived a perfect and sinless life, died on the cross, rose from the grave and offered me the gift of forgiveness for my sins and the possibility of going to heaven.”
Lucia realized that this gift of forgiveness is what she had wanted all along, and it was available only by confessing her sins to God and deciding to turn away from practicing them.
Lucia adds: “It was as simple as believing that when Jesus died on the cross, He was taking my place and paying my debt of sins by shedding His blood on my behalf.
“He did that for me and for anyone who would admit their sins, would believe He died in the place of all of mankind and who receive, by faith, His gift of eternal life He offers us all.”
Suddenly, Lucia understood the great sacrifice that Jesus went through, “and it was because of His love for me — a love that began before I was ever born,” she adds excitedly.
Having being made spiritually new through Jesus Christ, Lucia now has a daily relationship with God that she never had before.
“Jesus not only loved me enough to die for me and save me, but He walks with me every day, giving me strength and fulfilling every one of the promises He makes to His people, in His Word, the Bible.
“Since that morning, my desire to know my Saviour that loved me so compassionately and gave me such an abundant life has grown deeper and deeper.
“It's like a fire inside of me, and my prayer is that I will never grow tired of pursuing to know Him and serve Him every day of my life.”