I didn’t grow up in church. My parents and grandparents were not in church. Although my parents did not attend church they did not mind me attending a VBS or going to church with a friend. When I was 13 I began attending church with a friend, occasionally. At the close of one service several of the other teens walked forward and I thought that I should too. I did what ever it was the pastor told me to do and was baptized the following Sunday. There was never a change of heart, but I thought I was fine.
Matthew 7:21-22 says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’”. I said many times “I go to church”, “I prayed a prayer”, “I went to youth camp”, “I was baptized”, etc. Those were things I had done…God hadn’t done anything. I had no desire for the things of God.
When I was 19 years old I went through some tough things that caused me to do some searching. To prove to myself and everyone else that I was “OK” I began attending church where my grandparents had recently started attending. For four weeks I went on Sunday morning only to service and had convinced myself that I was fine and didn’t need to worry about anything. Then the fifth week as I set there and listened to the preacher, God was removing the blinders from my eyes. I began to clearly see my sin and that the life I was living was not pleasing to God. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I was broken that Jesus had paid the price for me and I was NOT glorifying God. I was dead in my sin and Jesus was the only one who could raise this dead body to life. Jesus was my ONLY hope.
That day God took out my heart of stone and gave me a new heart. (Ezekiel 36:26-27 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”)
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” God through Jesus had made me a new creation. The sin that I use to do made me sick. When I fail or sin now I have a heavy conviction, I repent, and run the other way. I now have a desire for the things of God- for reading His Word, knowing His word and living it, for prayer, for leading others to Him, for being a part of and being faithful to a church family, serving God, telling others about Him and how He has changed my life, and a hunger and thirst for righteousness.
There has been a radical change in my life, a miracle has taken place. May God be glorified in my life as I try to live each day to please Him! The song All I Have Is Christ sums it up best…
I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still
But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross
And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life
Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You
I long to see God change hearts of others around me. This is something that I want to pass on to my children and grandchildren. I would like to challenge you to write (or type) out your testimony (how God has changed your life) and share it with others. You are very special to me and I am thankful that God placed you in my life!!