Do you remember the day that God spoke to you & called you to redemption? I was at a little country church in Tennessee. I don't remember the evangelist's name; and to be real honest, I couldn't tell you what his sermon was about. All I remember was the invitation. Everyone was singing "Just As I Am". That is a popular hymnal that the Baptist use during invitation. It has a powerful message and it's LONG! It gives sinners plenty of time to get to the front of the church before the closing prayer. I remember this overwhelming feeling, it was like all my sinfulness had landed right on top of me; and for the first time, I knew that I needed Jesus. I was a shy girl and the idea of walking to the front of the building with all those people watching was not something I could do. But that night, all I knew was I had to go down to the front of that church and give myself to God. That burden of sin was more than I could stand. I needed relief and Jesus was going to take that burden from me and make me clean. To anyone who has never felt that awful burden and has never turned to Jesus for salvation, I'm sure this sounds kind of odd.
Have you ever had a time when your spirit was in complete turmoil? When you were so ill at ease that nothing you did gave you peace or relief? Intensify it and that was the feeling I had. The tears began. At first I thought, "why am I crying?", and then the flood gates opened. I was crying so hard that I could hardly see as I made my way down the isle. I sorta remember seeing others headed that way too, but I didn't give them a second thought. The only thing I was concerned with was finding Jesus. Someone prayed with me. I don't know what I expected; but it was all so simple. The amazing thing was that the weight was gone. I had peace.
Later, when I looked in the mirror, I expected to 'look' different. I felt so different on the inside, I just knew that my outside had to be changed too. But, I was still the same girl that walked into the church that night. (Truthfully? I was a little disappointed. I was secretly hoping for a mark or something on me to identify me as belonging to God.)
I'm not like some folks. I don't remember the exact day and all the details of the revival; but I do remember one thing ... My Mama described it best when she talked about the time she accepted Jesus as her Savior ... she said that everything "looked" different. The world around her appeared clearer, brighter, and new. The happiness of falling in love for the first time is pale compared to the complete joy that comes with salvation. Do you remember your first love, and how it made you feel so warm knowing that "someone loves you"? When I gave my life to Jesus ... I felt that love.
Over the years, as in all relationships, my relationship with God ebbed & flowed. I was like a wayward child. One day I was close to God and the next I was wandering off getting into all kinds of mischief. In previous posts, I've talked about the time when I came back to Jesus and made Him my Lord. That's when I completely sold out to God and said, "not my will, but thine be done". He's led me on some pretty amazing adventures; but since then my life has been happier than it had ever been before. I have found "peace". For someone like me ~ that's saying alot.
What about you? Have you found Jesus? If so, are you willing to tell others about your journey? Jesus said, "No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light." Luke 8:16
I was talking to my youngest son the other day. He was telling me about the time he had read "The Voice of the Martyrs". He said that the book really touched him; and in his prayer time with the Lord he said that although the accounts of the martyrs was incredible, he wanted to know how they came to the Lord in the first place. All Christians have a story. In pondering this, he went a step further ... he bought a notebook and started asking others to write their story of Salvation in it. In his travels, he collected about 40 testimonies. He was hoping to put them together in a book to share with others. Again in his travels, he lost the original book; but the idea stuck with him. As I heard him talk, my spirit got all excited! What a wonderful project! Before he could finish, I told him that I wanted in on this. So here I am asking for your help. Will you tell your story? How did God reach you? Everyone's story is as different as their finger print. If your story can reach just one lost soul for the Kingdom of God, wouldn't it be worth it? Someone who doesn't know the Lord may find Him in your story. Your love relationship with God will live on long after you and I are gone. Your testimony is your legacy.
If you are interested in contributing to this project, simply tell how the Lord called you to Him and send it either by email or regular mail. You can send it to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write "My Story" in the subject line of the email. (spammers & virus makers have become creative and I don't open anything that I can't identify.) If you prefer regular mail, please email me for my address. I'd rather not post it in cyberspace. We are hoping to gather at least 200 testimonies.
Your first name, state and/or country, and an email address in case I have questions or need to clarify any details.
God is so very good and He loves us so much ... I get all excited when I get an opportunity to tell folks about Him. I'm kind of like a teenage girl in love. You know how young girls in love are ~ you can't get anywhere around them without hearing yet one more time how the love of their life is the best. They look for opportunities to tell someone. That love is a wonderful feeling, and Jesus is my first love. I hope He's yours too.
May the Lord bless you.