Nearly 25 years ago, when I was 15, my Mom asked one of my favorite people, to this day, to please come and talk with me (aka 'fix me'). I was living a life that those who didn't know me then would never believe. It doesn't get a whole lot worse than the path I'd chosen. So, Russ Perry, my youth director, came (Thank God!) and in a nutshell, here's what he said.
I know that you do believe in Jesus for eternal life so I know that you're a Christian and a child of God, which will never change. But did you know that as a child of God that your decisions determine your quality of life, now, in the future and for all eternity? Did you know that the Bible, in James 1:25, promises that when we read the Bible, remember what it says and do it we'll be blessed in all that we do? And vice versa, when we either don't read it or just don't do what it says, we'll struggle, face increased trials and challenges, and forfeit the quality of life that God so wants for us. When we don't trust that God's word and His way are best, in an effort to help us and guide us, He disciplines us and even allows difficulty in our lives.
(Proverbs 13:12, Matthew 7:26-27)
It took a lot of those 'trials' before I turned around and started trying to live according to scripture, but God has been so faithful to bless my every effort, starting with that very first step of obedience. I was finally willing and asked Him to please lead me out of all that I'd sunk down into. And now, looking back 25 years later? That conversation, the simplicity, and the grace … it completely changed my life!
But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”James 1:25 (NKJV)