Friday, November 21, 2008

My Testimony

When I was 4 years old I remember staying at home from church one Sunday with my dad and my older sister. I think we were getting over an illness and my dad stayed with us in order to allow my mom to get out. (Yes, he was a good man!) As we sat around our kitchen table talking, my sister began asking questions about Jesus. "Why did Jesus die on the cross?" "What does it mean that He rose from the dead?" She believed that she was a sinner-that she had done bad things, and she wanted to receive Christ's gift of salvation.

My dad was so excited to be having this conversation with his daughter and he asked her if she wanted to pray right then and there. She said, "Yes!" and they prayed together. I remember watching the whole thing thinking, "Wow, my dad is so happy!" When they finished, he looked at me and asked if I too, would like to receive Jesus Christ as my savior. I remember saying, "Yes!" but not knowing exactly what that meant. As we prayed (he led and I repeated) I began sliding further and further down in my chair until just my eyes could be seen above the table. I knew that whatever I was doing; my dad was taking it seriously and was extremely excited. Later that day, he told just about everyone that BOTH of his daughters had prayed to receive Christ! If you are a Christian parent, you will surely understand his enthusiasm.

Throughout the next several years, I call them the "thumping years"; pastors, speakers, and missionaries would clearly present the Gospel and give invitations to receive Jesus Christ. My heart would beat so loudly I was sure others could hear it, but because so many people already thought I was "saved," I would talk myself out of responding to the invitation. After all, ...maybe I was saved, I would reason. But I was plagued with doubts.

When I was 16, our youth group was watching the "Thief in the Night" movies. After the first movie, I remember going to the bathroom with my best friend. I asked her, "If you died tonight, do you know FOR SURE that you would go to heaven?" She simply responded, "You don't?" She went with me to talk to our youth pastor at the time and he walked me through the "plan of Salvation." (See below for more details) He asked if I would like to pray with him. I truly did want to "be saved" to have the peace and joy that others seemed to have. We prayed together.

When we were finished he looked at me and said, "How do you feel?" Not being one to mince words, I let him know that I didn't "feel" any different. I didn't think that "it" had worked...he told me he would continue to pray for me and I drove home. You see, I had all of the knowledge in my head, but I was holding it at bay from reaching my heart. We lived about 20 minutes from the church and I had a good amount of time to think on the way home.

Somewhere along the drive it hit me, really hit me that Jesus loved me. That He died for me -for my sins. I was in tears by the time I reached home. I went inside, knelt down beside my bed all alone, and prayed. I confessed that I was a sinner in need of a savior and I thanked Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins. I told Him that I accepted His death as payment for my sins and that I believed that He did not stay dead, but rose again. I asked that He would be preparing a place for me. Afterward, I was crying and felt a freedom and peace that I truly had never experienced before. I knew that it was real and that Jesus was my Savior!

I was a little hesitant to tell my dad. I didn't want him to feel badly that I had waited all of those years and had not accepted the Lord with him. But he was genuinely thrilled.

If you do not know what would happen to you if you were to die today, I implore you to continue reading the verses listed out below with brief explanations. You can pray at anytime, anywhere. You don't have to pray with someone else. You can cry out to God and confess that you are a sinner in need of a savior and He will meet you in that moment. I would be happy to communicate with you further if you have any questions or would like to speak with someone about it. E-mail me at www.ateachableheart@gmail.com



Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
We all have sin in our hearts. We all were born with sin.
We were born under the power of sin's control.
- Admit that you are a sinner.

Romans 6:23a "...The wages of sin is death..."
Sin has an ending. It results in death. We all face physical death, which is a result of sin. But a worse death is spiritual death that alienates us from God, and will last for all eternity. The Bible teaches that there is a place called the Lake of Fire where lost people will be in torment forever. It is the place where people who are spiritually dead will remain.
- Understand that you deserve death for your sin.

Romans 6:23b "...But the gift of God is eternal
life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Salvation is a free gift from God to you! You can't
earn this gift, but you must reach out and receive it.
- Ask God to forgive you and save you.

Romans 5:8, "God demonstrates His own love for us, in
that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!"
When Jesus died on the cross He paid sin's penalty. He paid the price for all sin, and when He took all the sins of the world on Himself on the cross, He bought us out of slavery to sin and death! The only condition is that we believe in Him and what He has done for us, understanding that we are now joined with Him, and that He is our life. He did all this because He loved us and gave Himself for us!
- Give your life to God... His love poured out in Jesus on the cross is your only hope to have forgiveness and change. His love bought you out of being a slave to sin. His love is what saves you -- not religion, or church membership. God loves you!

Romans 10:13 "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved!"
- Call out to God in the name of Jesus!

Romans 10:9,10 "...If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
- If you know that God is knocking on your heart's door,
ask Him to come into your heart.

Jesus said,
Revelation 3:20a "Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him..."
- Is Jesus knocking on your heart's door?

If you have responded and prayed to accept Christ today, please let me know-I'd love to rejoice with you! www.ateachableheart@gmail.com or you can comment below.

10 comments:

Melanie said...

What a beautiful and honest testimony! Bless you for sharing with all of us during this special week of Giving Thanks!

Giving Thanks said...

How precious!

Thank you so much for sharing your testimony! I know many (prayerfully 1000's) will be reached by your sharing!

God is so awesome isn't He?! I love how He draws each of us to Him in our own special ways at just the right time. So as we understand His sacrifice and recieve what He has done for us. Ohh I just love Him!!

With A Grateful Heart,
Heather Twitchell
"The Host"

Tammy said...

Thank you for your willingness to share how the Lord worked in your life. I wonder how many kids growing up in church say the prayer and then later in life realize they didn't really believe...Praise God you listened to His voice and were able to admit you didn't know.

Lynette said...

How lovely to come visit you from SITS Sunday Shout Out and to read such a strong testimony. Thank you.

Queenie Jeannie said...

What a beautiful post!!!! I'm crying happy tears!

It's nice to meet you Sister!

Shanda said...

Mom I LOOOOOve the verses! Have a good Thanksgiving lots a love Alexis

momof3darlings said...

What a BEAUTIFUL testimony!! I think of that a lot with my girls at church in our youth dept. We talk frankly about the importance of knowing FOR SURE and that I am no better myself. I've been there and I still struggle with stuff even now, an "old Christian lady". I want them to feel comfortable talking to me. And through the years, it's worked.

rhemashope said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony. So glad you did not rest until you were sure. Thank God for His amazing saving grace and its power to transform lives.

Daveda said...

Shanda, I love your testimony. I would imagine that there are many who feel the pressure like you did, And then wonder. Thanks for your honesty and always "keepin' it real"
Love you ~ Lets Talk soon ~ Daveda

Denise said...

Such a lovely testimony sweetie.