The Best News I've Ever Heard
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 6
- Version: KJV
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“My Story of God's Grace” by Jordan Hillegass
My Name is Jordan Hillegass, and This is My Story
My family was what I would consider a typical middle-class family. I had a happy childhood with many good family memories. In my teen years, I began to make bad choices which quickly changed our happy home into a home filled with despair. The sparkle which once glimmered in my parents’ eyes was replaced with tears. Before the Good News, there was hopelessness.
The Bad News
Memories of my childhood, which was filled with smiles and laughter, flooded my mind as I—a miserable, alone, nineteen-year-old—sat in a parking lot. How things had changed so drastically, so quickly! I distinctly remember the deep sense of guilt and shame I had as I sat there. The phone calls home went from asking to be picked up from a friend’s house, to asking to be picked up from the Seven Eleven I walked to from the detention center I stayed at the previous night. I remembered the good instruction I was given as a child and how I decided I would live life my way. I was seeing the results of the choices I had made and began to realize my downward spiral. Reality was starting to set in: if something didn’t drastically change, my life would end in disaster. So what did I do? The same thing I always did—get my mind on something other than reality. I was much “happier” trying to escape by numbing my mind in order to forget the truth of reality. I was being controlled, instead of being in control. I looked for answers in all the wrong places. Instead of getting better, things continued to worsen.
The Good News
One day I found myself at the doorstep of an old, partying friend. He wasn’t what he used to be. I observed some very positive changes in his life. He kept giving God the credit. My friend began to ask me questions about God and the Bible. I thought, if there was a God, He was almighty, holy, and just. The thought of God wasn’t very appealing to me because I didn’t like the idea of being accountable to Him. I didn’t see myself as a person who would fare well at His judgment. I had pled “guilty with an explanation” in the court of law before, but before an all-knowing, all-seeing Judge, I would have to plead guilty as charged.
I didn’t know much about the Bible. I was scared of it, and it made me feel guilty. I didn’t know what I believed. He said “It [the Bible] is either all true, or not true at all. You either believe all of it, or none of it. You can’t pick and choose what pleases you.” Then he said something I will never forget, “Jordan, do you know Jesus loves you?” I thought, “How could He love me? Isn’t He holy and righteous?” My friend read John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” He told me about the nails that pierced Christ’s hands and feet and about the bloody cross on which He had hung for me. He did that for me? But I didn’t do anything to deserve that kind of loving sacrifice!
My friend told me that I could be forgiven of my sins by putting my trust in Jesus and in the payment for my sin that He had made on the cross. Is it really that simple? I thought, if that is true, that is the Best News I ever heard! He gave me a New Testament Bible and encouraged me to read it, and that is just what I did. I wanted to know all that the Bible had to say. Was it all true? Could I be forgiven? Could I stand at God’s judgment and be found not guilty? As I read, I saw scriptures like Ephesians 2:8- 9, “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.” A gift is not earned or bought; it is received with thanksgiving to the one who thoughtfully and personally paid for it.
One night, for the first time in my life, I humbly knelt before God and poured out my heart and asked God to forgive me of my sin. I told God that I believed that Jesus was my only Hope and that I was thankful to Him for loving me so much that He would give His life for me. I asked God to help me live my life in a way that would please Him and overcome the things in my life that did not please Him. The heavy burden of guilt I carried was lifted. God heard my prayer. I have found that He is faithful to hear and answer prayers. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, the Bible says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
God performed a miracle in me. He helped me to overcome all of the things which I struggled with and replaced the sinful things with good things. God took a hopeless, helpless life and transformed it into a life that is full of hope and joy. Most of all, God forgave me of my sins and promised me eternal life!
The Best News
The word “gospel” means “good news.” The best news is that the “good news” is for you. Friend, that same “good news” could change your life today. How? “…The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23b).
1. Recognize you’re a sinner. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
2. Repent of your sin. Repent simply means to change your mind and agree with God about Christ, your sin problem, and how to get to Heaven. “But God commendeth [proved] his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
3. Receive Christ as Savior. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12a).
My friend, why not trust Jesus now and receive the gift of eternal life. Do what I did, and speak to Him from your heart. It might sound something like this: “Dear Lord Jesus, I believe You suffered for me and died on the cross, shedding Your blood. I believe You were buried and rose again to pay for my sins. Please be merciful to me a sinner, and cleanse me with Your precious blood. I now place my faith totally in You alone as my Lord and Savior. Please save me from hell and give me the gift of eternal life. Thank you Lord Jesus for saving me. Amen.”