A LIVING TESTIMONY, A EXPERIENCE THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING, A MIRACLE OF DIVINE GRACE AND MERCY!
A Testimony! A CHANGED LIFE!
When I was a young person in my teens (late), I had no thoughts or concerns at all about God! I was just caught up in daily living, normal things that take place in most all teenagers of that day. (1950’s)! Joining the USAF at 18 started an adventure for me since I had never been out of the area where I grew up and never had left the State at all.
I will have to say I did go to Sunday School, as it was called back then, from time to time, not regularly, but some off and on from early childhood. I am sure I heard the Gospel but had no idea what it was all about, until I was about 12 and thought I grasped some of it but was not sure and later just left it all on the table so to speak. However, I did make a profession of faith and certainly was emotionally and very aware of my need of the Savior Jesus Christ. I was immersed in a lake after that profession and was a active member of the Keystone Heights Baptist Church in Keystone Heights, Florida.
Having joined the Military, getting away from my parents and their control and then having the Military controlling me in terms of what to do etc., but yet, having more allowances to do things that I would not have chosen to do while at my home, I got involved in many affairs which were not wise to be involved in at all. Engaged in what the peer group was engaged in at that time, which was sinful acts for sure.
That, however, thank God, did not last too long, in fact, after about 1-year things changed. Not due to my own making, or purpose, but rather, because God came to me and changed me. His goodness was running after me. The hound of Heaven found me.
I was going through some deep troubles emotionally and did not know why! After about 2 weeks of that, one evening I fell on my knees and cried out to God to forgive me and help me, and at the same time I was having a vision of a “person hanging on a cross and the person looked terrible, not a joyful scene, a person who looked beaten and bruised and was just hanging there.
Suddenly, I knew it was Jesus Christ the Lord, and I trusted in Him because of this revelation to my innermost heart and soul He forgave me of my sins and set me on a different road and journey of life.
Besides the Bible which I read as much as possible per day after being off duty, I also read as my first novel the book called Ben Hur.
I began to read the scriptures, and I had no minister nor any Church nor any mentor at the time. It was just God and Christ and the Holy Spirit with His word that directed me and my thoughts and gave me direction. It was not long that I considered that God was calling me into service for Him, that is to preach and teach the word of God to others. That I began to do and began to prepare for my future education and college etc.! Looking forward to getting out of service and going to school was now my objective and God allowed me to do just that.
As I read the scriptures, I began to understand that Christ came into my innermost heart and being along with the Holy Ghost and our Father. I knew I was saved, and sought His word daily, praying, of course, not really knowing much of what to say to Him but knowing He was with me, and I had joy in my soul. I laid aside, because He delivered me from many personal sinful activities, certain popular sins of the day and also my language cleaned up quickly. My speech changed. My desires to engage in holy affairs; Church attendance, reading the word, laying aside many things that I considered were worldly and not good for me to engage in, such as drinking alcoholic beverages, even spending a lot of time reading the Comics in the Newspapers was something I had to lay down, because I had previously made that my habit to do every Weekend in the Sunday papers. For me at least, that was a waste of time now!
Colossians 2: 9-10 was what had taken place: “In Christ ALL the fulness of the Deity Lives in bodily form, and In Christ YOU have been brought to FULLNESS. He is the head over every power and authority” This matter of fullness means we are NOT missing any part of the person of God and Christ and the Holy Spirit. In Christ we have what we need for LIFE and godliness – 2 Peter 1:3. That is, In Christ we find everything we need for normal, everyday life. God knows the resources needed for life here on this earth, and it’s all included in the life we possess through Christ Jesus. 2 Peter 1:3 reads, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life throughout knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”
So, it is more than just a ticket to heaven, it has to do with our daily living, i.e., every moment of everyday living! I think many misinterpret all of this. At no time are we told to live an upright life IN ORDER to GARNER a more righteous standing or to collect Prizes in heaven! Quite the opposite!! We are urged to grasp an important spiritual truth: when we come to Jesus Christ, as He has called and we responded to Him, we RECEIVE LIFE Everlasting, that is forever! Through our experience, we express our faith and trust in Him alone and we find total Fulfillment!! A spiritual union has taken place. It is, Christ in us, the hope of glory and the ONE who is working in and through us and we too move in the Spirit and work out our own salvation with fear and trembling knowing that it is God working in us both to will and do of His good pleasure!! Both of us work, but HE is the major One doing the work enabling us to do our part!
This is how it is now in my life and all Christians lives, or how it should be!! This is the will of God for us all:
……that none of us should perish but all of us believe (trust, confide in and rely upon) God alone – 1 Timothy 2: 4; 2 Peter 3:92………. that salvation has come to both Jews and Gentiles – Ephesians 1:5-2:223. …………that we present our bodies to Him every day and night – Romans 12:1-24…………. that we bear much fruit – John 15:8; Colossians 1: 9-125. ……….that we pray throughout our lives – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-186. ………….that “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, ………..that you abstain from sexual immorality.
God’s will is essentially, that Jesus Christ lives IN US, and expresses Himself Through us, as we are Transparent before Him. We certainly can allow our fallen flesh to disobey God, but in doing so, we feel and sense it right away and ask God to help us be delivered from the power of the flesh and sin as we seek to worship and walk with Him in the Spirit each day. We have now a new identity, we are saints, we are priests unto God, we are the bride of Christ, we are pure, holy, sanctified and are new creatures in Christ Jesus! Let us walk like it, talk like it, think like it, engage in life affairs like it! May others see Jesus in us! Christ Jesus the Lord Changes Everything! Amen!