I want to thank God for presenting me with the opportunity of sharing this part of my life with those who will read this and for opening a door for me to share my testimony of how the gospel has positively affected my life while gaining work experience in my career field. I give all glory and honor to God for ordering my steps and opening doors for the benefit and advancement of the kingdom!
I’m currently in Raleigh doing research in meteorology and climate change at North Carolina State University. Throughout this internship I have been able to meet and befriend people from all backgrounds and walks of life. The diversity of this area is honestly one of the many things that I love about Raleigh and North Carolina in general. Another thing I love about being here is attending Summit Church – Blue Ridge. I am able to say how thankful I am for Mercy Hill; it has pushed me to be bold in my faith and sharing the gospel to others. If the gospel is as precious as I know it to be, then I should share it with others.
I constantly ask God in prayer that I would use my life experiences as a testimony that his grace is sufficient, and it is by that same grace that I am where I am today. One thing that God has planted in my spirit since the beginning of 2019 is that I’m only here by his grace. Everything that I’ve been able to experience is by his grace alone. I take no credit for the things that I’ve done or for where I am in my life. This internship opportunity is an example of his grace, and I am reminded that it was his divine hand that brought me here.
I am not here to only gain experience in meteorology. This internship is an opportunity to proclaim the good news of Christ and emphasize his grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 states that it is only by grace that I am saved, not by my works. This verse speaks to me in two ways: First, it is extremely easy to get caught up in the busyness of life in this world and forget the purpose of why we are here. Sure, gaining experience in the career field of my dreams is great, but that is not the entirety of my purpose on this earth. What’s more important is realizing that God’s will and his grace allowed me to be where I am, and I respond by giving him thanks for where I am. I must use my experiences to shape my testimony and then share that testimony with others.
Secondly, the same is true for my salvation and freedom in Christ. There is nothing that I have done to prove to God that I am worthy of such salvation. I literally had nothing to offer to God, but he chose to save me and call me his anyway. That, my friends, is nothing but grace. When I begin to think about God’s grace, it brings me unexplainable joy. God loves me so unconditionally and powerfully to the point of offering me reconciliation through his Son, Jesus Christ. I was dead in my sin, but God still saw fit to save me through his grace.
Realizing this encourages me to share this great news with others. My goal is to use the platform of my testimony to enlighten others and show how we all are here by grace alone; we did nothing to deserve anything we have in this life, and we did nothing to deserve salvation. So, with that being said, let’s take a moment and thank God not only for bringing us this far in life, but for our salvation in him through grace alone!
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
-Ashton Stepter (MH College Leader)