An Evangelist once told me, one of the most effective ways to Witness to someone is to share your testimony. It’s simply sharing your story of how you’ve come to receive JESUS’ Gift of Salvation and how the LORD has been working in your life afterwards. So, I guess this is a good time to share mine.
For forty-two years, I carried a lot of anger, pain, and hatred in my heart. I was an unbelievably selfish man, who only cared about three people…me, myself, and I. I went to church most of my life and the majority of it was spent in the Catholic church. Then, I moved on to the Baptist church. But it didn’t make any difference which church I sat in. I was still a broken, angry man. Close to the end of May, in 2018, I was attending a week long Tent Revival. On Thursday, May 24th, I sat through a service and listened to a Pastor preach about the time when JESUS visited Jericho.
Just to summarize…In the city of Jericho, lived a man named Zacchaeus, who heard JESUS was on HIS way. Zacchaeus wanted to see JESUS. But because he was a small man and the streets were filled with people, it was impossible for Zacchaeus to get through the crowds. So, he decided to climb up into a nearby Sycamore tree and wait for JESUS to pass by. But JESUS saw Zacchaeus in the tree and called for him to come down so HE could stay at his house. Then, Zacchaeus talked with JESUS, repented and accepted HIM as his LORD and SAVIOR.
After that message, the Pastor offered an invitation and asked the question, “ Are you one-hundred percent sure that, if you died today, you will go to Heaven? If so, raise your hand.” It hit me like a ton of bricks and for the first time, I wasn’t sure. About that time, I felt a tugging on my heart. I tried to ignore it, but it wouldn’t go away. Then, I thought about Zacchaeus. What if he decided to not go out and look for JESUS? What if he decided to wait for another time to see JESUS? See, I don’t believe the Bible has any further record of Jesus ever returning to Jericho. Zacchaeus would have missed his chance to be SAVED.
So, as service ended, I went and sat in the Activity Building by myself. I kept feeling that tugging on my heart and felt like I was running out of time. A few minutes later Trish, my wife, came in and asked me “what’s wrong” and I told her, "I don’t think I’m Saved." She said...”let’s go home and talk about it.” I didn’t even say a word. I just looked at her, got up, and walked out. I found my Pastor and asked if we could talk. In his office, he asked me what’s wrong and I told him the same thing, that I don’t think I’m Saved. I told him I carried all of this pain, anger, and trust issues and before I could finish, I was crying like a baby. He looked at me, and said, “you hid it well.” My heart broke even more. Once again, there I was, hurting someone else I liked. That was the story of my life.
So, Pastor came over, sat by me, and put his arm around me. He said, “we can take care of this right now.” He walked me through the plan of Salvation and then he prayed. Then, I prayed, asking JESUS to forgive me and at 9:13 on May 24th 2018, I received JESUS as my LORD and SAVIOR. After I finished praying, Pastor removed his arm, but it felt like the hug was still there. It was as if God was now putting His arms around me. I felt different; it was more than a peace inside.
When we left his office, the Pastor took me around to tell a few others. I was embarrassed. See, a lot of people play church and only you and theLORD truly know what’s inside your heart. I was a church player.
Before we went home, we found Pastor’s wife and I told her that I got SAVED. And right there, she sang to me “There’s a New Name Written Down in Glory.” It was beautiful. That was the first song I heard with the LORD in my heart. I’m tearing up just writing this.
Now, it makes sense to me, when people say, being …“born again”, or “you’re a new creature in CHRIST,” because you change from the inside out. Because you’re really given a new life. It’s like hitting the reset button, or getting a second chance to live. All is forgiven. You’re set free. And, the LORD will take you just as you are. He’ll clean you up. I don’t deserve any of it, none of us do. But, JESUS loves ALL of us more than we can possibly imagine. We are all HIS creation and HE wants us all to become HIS children.
My life has dramatically changed. Since I got SAVED back in May of 2018, the anger and pain that I carried for forty plus years is gone and hasn’t come back. My heart has changed. I no longer have hatred. Instead, love and compassion fill my heart. Since I’ve been SAVED, I’ve never been alone. HE’s close to me, HE watches over me, HE speaks to my heart, and HE wakes me up in the middle of the night and gives me HIS messages to share with our Teen Youth Group.
Within the last year, I’ve dedicated my life to serving the LORD. I went from being a self-centered person to a selfless person. People are now drawn to me. Before they would avoid me. At work, people tell me that they see JESUS in me, the LORD is with me, and I glow.
See… this isn’t just for me; it’s for anyone who chooses to receive JESUS’ gift of Salvation. Too many people just know of JESUS, but don’t have that relationship with HIM. It’s like someone asking you if you know someone famous. Yes, I know of someone famous, but I don’t have a relationship with them. Maybe you feel a tugging on your heart as you read this. Maybe you want to change. You can. You can be set free. Just pray with me, JESUS, I believe you are the son of GOD who died and rose again. You paid my sin debt in full. LORD I want and need your forgiveness. Please forgive me. JESUS I invite you into my heart, and I confess that you are the LORD and SAVIOR of my life. If you Prayed this prayer, please let us know.