Only four years after becoming a living, breathing human being, my small little hand couldn’t help but raise when an independent baptist preacher asked the congregation if anyone wanted to be saved. The man of God’s eyes somehow overlooked the little tyke trying to get his attention. The loving parents that brought me into the world noticed, though. They waited until we got home to have a discussion about salvation.
That Saturday evening in 1984 (or possibly 1985?), Dad sat me down and told me what it meant to be saved. He told me that everyone that had ever been born was a sinner. Even at the age of four, I was already a sinner and was on my way to a devil’s Hell. Dad asked me if I believed Jesus was God’s Son, that He died on the cross for my sins, and that He arose three days later. I had been in church services since I was a baby. I believed everything my parents told me. If they said Jesus was God’s Son, I knew that was the truth. Of course I believed! Dad led me through a prayer.
Together, we bowed our heads and closed our eyes. Dad said something like, “All you have to do is repeat this prayer. I will say a few words, and then you repeat them. ‘Dear God, I know I’m a sinner,'” then paused.
I repeated and Dad continued, “I believe Jesus is Your Son and He died for my sins;” I said the same.
That night, saying the words after my daddy, I asked Jesus Christ into my heart.
In elementary school, I took my King James Bible to school with me. Every time I took it, one of my classmates would undoubtedly ask what I was reading or why I read the same book every day. It was a great door opener – a way for me to discuss my faith with my peers.
Something changed – by the time I hit fifth or sixth grade, I had become quite the little hypocrite. I loved going to church and being around my Christian friends. However, at school I wanted to fit in. So I cursed and made fun of people and cheated on my school work.
Things only got worse in middle school. I began hanging around with people who smoked not only cigarettes, but even marijuana. A few of them drank beer. Some became sexually active. Somehow, even though I was hanging with the wrong crowd, God kept me pure. To this day, I have never tasted a drop of alcohol, my lips have never held a cigarette, and not a single illegal drug has made its way into my body. However, hanging around with the wrong crowd took me far away from God. So far, in fact, that inwardly I began to question my salvation. I stopped going to church, stopped reading my Bible, and stopped praying.
In high school, things changed even more. In 1996 I started working a job and made some close friends at work. One of those friends was a young, married female. I found myself flirting with her. I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway. I had friends at school that were somewhat of hate mongers. They couldn’t stand anyone who was different than they were. Before I knew it, I was sucked in and acting like a heathen.
One evening in 1997 or 1998, during my senior year of high school, I saw one of Mom’s books laying on a table next to the couch; it was about the rapture. I picked it up, knowing nothing about it, and began reading the back cover. That was unusual for me because I was not much of a reader at the time. Something about the book captured my interest. I flipped it open and before I knew what had happened, I had become engrossed.
As a result, I found myself alone in my bedroom, on my knees in front of a chair. That must have been a beautiful sight; a seventeen year old young man praying “Dear God, I don’t know if I got saved when I was a little boy or not. I know I haven’t been living like a Christian. If I got saved when I was little, I’m sorry for the way I’ve been living my life and I would like your forgiveness. But God… if I didn’t get saved as a little boy, will you please come into my heart and save me?”
That was the turning point in my life! I got back in church, started reading my Bible again, prayed like I had never prayed before, stopped cursing, stopped hanging out with the wrong people, and wow, did God ever shower me with blessings!
A couple of years later (somewhere around 2000 or 2001) I began teaching a Sunday School class. A few months into teaching, I also became an Awana leader. I loved every minute of it!
Later on, God had me move away to a different town and at the church I attended there, He allowed me to become a youth leader. It was there where I began to see The Master really speak through me. I often felt His power running through me when I taught and it was an incredible feeling.
Later, God called me to a mission field – reaching at-risk teenagers. Through the ministries The Almighty enabled me to work with in that field, I have witnessed miracles – too many to discuss in this introductory blog post.
One of them, however, must be mentioned here. That is the miracle of bringing me the most perfect help-meet I could have ever asked for. God allowed Hannah and I to meet at a missions conference in 2012. By the end of the week-long conference, I knew she was going to be my wife. God told me so! Hannah wasn’t so sure at first, but two months later she allowed me to place an engagement ring on her finger and in October of 2013, she became my wife (who is now the pianist at our church as well as a children’s Sunday School Teacher)!
A couple of years after Hannah and I became one flesh, God called me to preach and in January of this year, He enabled me to take on the role of an Assistant Pastor, Youth Director, and Music Director.
We serve an amazing God and I am honored that He has allowed me to be used of Him.
If you have not yet came to the place in your life where you have recognized that you are a sinner destined for an eternity in an everlasting lake of fire, I must ask – what are you waiting for? God loved you enough to send His only begotten Son to die for you. All you have to do is believe that and ask Him to save you. There is no greater day for salvation than today.