So what’s your story? Have you placed your faith in the son God? I invite you to tell your story in the comment box below. You may encourage someone. You may say something that may help someone else understand what God has done for us, and, all the world.
Here’s my story: As a very young man in my early 20’s I began to realize that my life needed to change. I was working in a restaurant as a cook at the time. A new lady was hired as the breakfast cook. She would be finishing up as I came in to begin preparation for the lunch rush. I would always hear her talking to others about Jesus. It always seemed like she had had coffee with Him that morning before coming to work. That always intrigued me. So much so that I developed a hunger to know him myself if that were possible.
I began to read the bible and quickly consumed the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These are written accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry. I was stunned and amazed at the things He was able to do. He healed the sick, made the deaf hear, made blind men see, raised the dead, and claimed to be the son God. I was believing every word I read. My heart was wide open and ready for this message because of one lady’s testimony.
As I continued to read I learned that he was here to save me, but, from what? And how would he save me? As I kept reading I began to desire to be saved because I began to understand that he was here to save me from my sin. No one had to convince me that I was a sinner. I knew. I still commit sin today. I’m not perfect. How was he going to save me?
I eventually learned that the horrible crucifixion death he suffered on the cross was on my behalf. It was for my sin. He was dead for three days, then he rose up from the dead. God became a man with the express purpose of paying the price for sin, which is death. (Rom 6:23) This was his plan. Through his death he saved me. All I had to do was believe it, repent, and live out of the life he has given me. Believing this truth changed me on the inside. The life he provides inside of me gives me a new desire to live right. I later learned from scripture that I had been born again. I learned that God’s Spirit now lived inside of me. That’s where the new desires were coming from. I was changed.
To finish the story, during that time I worked at the restaurant, my Mom invited me to a church service one Friday night. The church was having revival services that week. She may have been surprised when I agreed. She was probably more surprised when I brought two of my friends with me. They also worked at the restaurant and heard the stories the breakfast lady spoke. That night at church, when the time came for the altar call, all three of us went down to publically acknowledge our faith in Jesus as our savior and Lord.
I was 10, living in Wenatchee Washington, when my parents had suggested I go to a John Wesley White crusade, similar to the Billy Graham crusades of the 1970’s. I attended, and remember quite vividly being bored out of my mind. I also remember that at the end, when the altar call came, I felt a very powerful compulsion to go up front. I didn’t know why, but I knew I wanted to go so terribly bad. There was a hole in my life, and Christ was calling me to be refilled. I remember standing there, being embarrassed at the thought of walking up in front of so many people and professing myself to honor and follow Him. I remember crying so terribly, shaking in my shoes, wanting to go, but pride, and fear stood in my way. I didn’t go forward.
Cut to the next night, when my sheer determination said that no matter what I was going to go forward. At the time of the altar call, I rose, walked down the stairs, and towards the front of the auditorium. There must have been near 5000 people in that room that night.
I remember standing down there, looking up at the pulpit, and seeing a man staring down at me. He told me to pray, and openly profess my faith, and to follow The Lord. As I started to pray, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned to see another man there, praying with me. I realize now that he was a person there to help encourage me, and to know that I wasn’t alone… that there were others…. that there were many others who would stand amidst adversity to follow the Christian ideal.
A few hours later, driving home, I distinctly remember bragging to my brother that I was saved, and that someday I’d go to Heaven. How God must have laughed at my young heart!
Years later, I’d slipped terribly, and really started failing in all of my life choices. I’d been a poor husband to my wife…. I’d been a terrible father….I’d been a pretty disobedient “Christian,” if I could even call myself that… Overall, I’d lost the fire, and my heart was hurting, and my faith was destroyed.
My wife decided to file for divorce from me, and my world fell apart. I will never forget a good friend, and pastor, friend of mine who said the following: “Just remember that God allows us to have free will. Whether we follow his words faithfully or not, He allows us to have free will. We are sinners. This we cannot escape, but Jesus blood covers us. God will let you walk to the edge of the abyss, but He’ll never let you fall in.”
I rededicated my life to The Lord at that moment. Yes, I still fail, but with Him, I can do many things. I hope my story, and sordid past and failings, will help others realize that The Lord is there for them. No matter what. He is YOUR Father. Not just in Heaven. Everywhere. Trust in Him.
I think I was about five or six. I remember one Sunday in church I listened to the minister give the invitation and I felt very nervous and I sat glued to my seat. When church was dismissed I ran up to Rev.Langston, grabbed his coat tail, and told him I want to be baptized. He stopped every one from leaving and I went on and I gave my life to Christ. I’ve been a believer sense then.
Back in 1982, I was on a high school band trip in Europe with kids from all over the U. S. I started hanging around this one kid who I really admired. He was different from a lot of the other kids , including me. He got along with everyone. He was very humble. He seemed to have a real inner strength and peace of mind that I just didn’t see in the other kids. I asked him what made him that way. He told me he had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, his Saviour. He asked me if I wanted to know Jesus. That night I prayed with him and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. That night I knew somehow that my life would never be the same because I belonged to Him and I had been released from the penalty for my sins. I never forgot that night or that high school kid who prayed with me.
Unfortunately, when I went back home, I didn’t study the Bible or go to church regularly. I wasn’t living the Christian life. I went off to college and into the Navy. Life was pretty good but I knew there was an emptiness in my heart. Two good friends of mine in the Navy , Tony Tate and Dave Thomas, ministered to me and got me reading the Bible, praying, and going to church. I started to learn God’s Word and that’s when I really started to develop a relationship with Christ. I do believe He saved me way back in 1982, but I didn’t really get to know Him till years later, maybe 1994. I started to realize there is real power in His Word to change your life for the better. I also began to realize how deep His love for me was, despite my many faults.
God has blessed me with a wonderful life!! I’ve been through some personal storms and some great times, too. Through it all, God has always been there. He has never left me or forsaken me. He is not like man. He never throws my past back in my face. He is a merciful and loving God. I know I deserve hell, but God sent His only Son to take my punishment on the Cross. That’s real love. He didn’t deserve to die. He did it for me! He can do the same for anyone who accepts Him as their Lord and Saviour! Thank you, Jesus! He is the best thing that has ever happened to me!!
I was brought up in the Baptist church so when I was 9 years old I started getting convicted by the Holy Spirit about needing to be saved(born again). Every Sunday they would have the alter call and I would want to go up to the front and accept Jesus as my Savior but I would chicken out. I don’t know why,my friends were getting saved but I was too afraid to go up. Looking back now with the understanding that I have now I could have done it alone by myself , I could have saved myself a lot of worry and grief( No pun intended). But being young and not knowing this, I would hold out I was in “The White Knuckle Club”. So this went on for three weeks and it’s funny how God know what motivates us. The Saturday night before I made the leap of faith I had a dream. I saw the Rapture taking place before my eyes. There was Jesus on His white Horse coming threw the clouds and all the people who were saved were rising up to meet Him. My mother and sister and brother . I woke up with all the motivation I needed! That Sunday at the first alter call I stepped out and walked up to the alter. I can tell you the first step was the hardest but it was like I was floating the rest of the way. I gave my heart to Jesus and I can tell you without a doubt He took it.
LaShaun Chaney Jackson
Personal Statement of Faith
I was baptized at the age of 7. I received Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, as my personal Savior and Lord at the age of 17 and the Baptisms of the Holy Spirit in the year 2003. I believe that the bible is God’s inspired Word to us. My desire is to live my life for His glory, to obey God’s moral and spiritual laws, and to honor Him by using my gifts and talents as musical evangelization that restores, up lift and bring about “life change” to His people.
Salvation Experience and Desire for Christian Service,
January 31, 2001, I stood in the hospital at my grandmother’s bedside and prayed over her lifeless body. My grandmother always talked about standing on the promises of God and she often said this to comfort me. And at that very moment I finally understood what those words truly meant. That day, I learned a lesson that changed my life forever.
Life is a hyphen locked between two dates. And what you do between those two dates makes a difference as to how you will finish the race that God has set before you. As I held my grandmother’s lifeless arm and prayed the Lord is My Shepherd, images of my grandmother’s life flooded my heart. And in every one of those images, I saw her doing what God had called her to do.
That day, I prayed to God and surrendered all to Him. I asked Him to not let my living be in vain and to allow my grandmother’s desires for my life to come to pass. God got His glory that day amid my tears. And as my grandmother, the Reverend Celestine Denman surrendered her soul to Her Lord and Savior, I surrendered my all to Him.
As a growing child of God, I know this to be true. We should use our time, talents and treasures diligently in order to serve God completely. We must not make excuses to avoid doing what God has called us to do. Our time, abilities, and money don’t belong to us, we are merely the caretakers. When we ignore, squander, or abuse what God has given, we are rebellious and we will miss our blessings. And for a long time I was rebellious and it took the death of someone I loved to open my eyes to my purpose. So, I consider myself Saved 2 Serve with a personal mission of Reconciliation, to encourage the people of God to make good use of their gifts and talents for His Glory and the building up of His Kingdom.