Family faith didn’t bring security

Lina Lungu
Lina Lungu

Fortunate to have a comfortable upbringing in a loving family, Lina Lungu was surprised to discover she had been ignorant to the grave danger she was actually in.

"I felt comfortable where I was in life and I thought I had it all figured out but I was wrong," Lina says.

Born in Zambia, Lina moved to South Africa at a young age and was raised by parents who had a strong faith in God.

She was taught all about the Bible and what Jesus had done for her on the cross but assumed that because her parents were Christians, that automatically made her one too.

"I was 15 years old when I felt the Holy Spirit saying, 'wake-up, where you are going isn't right, you aren't saved from hell by your parents' faith!'" she recalls.

Lina remembers being in church the day she realised she had always been dependent on her parents' salvation and had not developed her own personal relationship with Jesus.

"I remember feeling deeply convicted by the scripture that was preached from John chapter 1," she says.

The pastor talked about how God came down in human form as Jesus to die and rise again so that she could know God and be forgiven for her sins through Him.

"I realised that it's not about community and family, it's not an inherited thing, you have to choose it for yourself," she says.

"I remember crying after the service as the pastor explained more and I told him that I wanted to make my own decision to follow Jesus."

They prayed together and Lina says from that point onward her faith in God became more real to her.

"I stopped thinking about being a Christian as a lifestyle or religion and more as a relationship with God," she explains.

"It changed the reason why I do things. I no longer feel obligated to read the Bible and pray, instead I wanted to so I could know more about God."

Lina saw her relationship with her friends and her sisters change as she started to see changes in her own character and attitude.

"Since making my own decision to follow Jesus my focus in life has completely changed and I feel free," she says with a smile.

"All the desires and material things I wanted before are no longer important to me.

"Now I am happy whether I get these things or not and I am ready to give up anything for Jesus because he gave up His very life for me."

Lina was amazed to grasp the truth that it was not her good works or family's beliefs that guaranteed her eternal life in heaven.

A verse that continues to remind her of this is from Ephesians chapter 2 verses 4 and 5 which says, "But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were spiritually dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. It is only by God's grace – His undeserved kindness – that you have been saved."

"It's actually so much more simple than I had thought before. I am just living my life in response to what Jesus Christ has already done for me," she explains.

Lina is now living as an international student in Australia but says God has continued to show her His love by bringing people into her life to encourage and support her away from her family and friends.

"Jesus is always with me and I know God will take care of me no matter where I am," she concludes.

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