Kaleb Backen

What was life like before you met Jesus?

I let friends influence me and cared a lot about what other people thought. I thought I needed to impress others and do things to earn their respect, even when I knew it wasn’t right or respectful. I would try to make myself feel better with the approval of friends, but no matter what I did or what my friends said, I always felt empty. Now I realized that I needed Jesus and not the approval of the world.

How did you meet Jesus?

I always knew God but didn’t always act like I did and didn’t have a strong prayer life/relationship with him. I started going to youth group, and my knowledge of God started to grow. Then, I attended a summer youth camp. During the last day, there was a sermon that really hit home, and it made me realize I wanted to fully live for God and get more serious about my relationship with him. We were talking about the gospel and how we were created in God's image, that sin separates us, and the only way to be saved is to accept Jesus. I finally realized that sin separates me from having a relationship with God, and nothing I do can ever save me or wash away my sins. The only way that can happen is accepting Jesus, and living for him. From that point, I realized I wanted to be serious. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”” (John 14:6-7)

After being saved by Jesus, what is your life like now?

I do not try to get affirmation from my friends and try to impress them anymore. I have also found new friends who are involved in church that help me stay accountable, whether it's about my prayer life or my bible reading. My prayer life is getting better. Where it once was a task, it has become more fluid and is incorporated into my day-to-day schedule. I know that I am still a sinner, and I don't always live my life as I should, but I now find comfort in God, whether it's reading his word, praying, or just listening to the Christian radio station. I realized that the only way to be saved is to accept Christ into my life and live to glorify him in everything I do. I want to be baptized to make a public statement that I accept Jesus into my life and that the old way that I used to live is gone, and from then on, walking through life differently, knowing that I have faith in Jesus.

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 6:1-11)