Praise God – Today marks 16 years that I’ve been saved! I’m so thankful that God didn’t quit dealing with my heart. The first time I remember hearing about the gospel was as a teenager and I rejected it. I decided that I would work to be “good enough” to go to Heaven. God was gracious in that He dealt with my heart again. And again. And again.
This morning in my devotions I read across Romans 2:4 and it brought to mind God’s goodness and graciousness in bringing me to the place of repentance. The verse says, “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” God was so good and gracious to me in leading me to that saving point in my life.
I have done many things in life that I regret. I’m sure there are regrets that I’ve forgotten. Some I still sadly remember to this day, wanting to somehow take back the wrong action, word, or thought. But one thing I’ve never forgotten OR regretted is the day I got saved.
Below is my testimony:
I didn’t grow up in church, but I did grow up with morals, knowing right and wrong. I started attending church services faithfully as a teen on Oct 31st, 1999 at the Harvest Festival of Maranatha Baptist Church of Corinth, MS. It was a short few weeks later that God dealt with my heart about getting saved during the invitation time at the end of a service. I remember standing there and in my heart deciding I would prove the pastor and others wrong by living a life good enough to earn my own salvation.
I decided to change myself to look the part of a Christian. I cut my long hair, got a Bible, started wearing dress shirts and ties to services. I made up a good testimony, but it wasn’t real. I got baptized. I started preaching. I even went off to a Bible college to learn to be a better Christian and preacher. But I was lost.
I’m so grateful that God kept working in my heart. I had been married only a few weeks when I called in “sick” to work and went to church that Wednesday night with Masey. The pastor was gone but a lay preacher preached from 1 Cor 15 on being settled. He swing by Psalm 40 and read about being lifted up out of a miry pit. He commented that if you never remember being lifted up out of that pit of sin, you should be concerned about your soul. That cut me to my heart. I had been around the Gospel long enough to know it, but I still hadn’t turned to God from my sin. I knew I was in trouble with God if things didn’t change.
I went home that night bothered and pondering the message. It felt like a great decision was before me. Do I continue on in my pride as a lost preacher? Or do I humble myself and turn to God with a repentant heart accepting His salvation? What would others say? Would they believe me or mock me? I still clearly remember, 16 years ago, knelling on my bed in my apartment in Walls, MS at 12:30 in the morning and asking Christ to save me. And He did!
That is a day that I hope to never forget. I am thankful for all that God has given me in life. I have been able to lead my wife and two of my children to accepting Christ as Saviour. Masey was able to lead the other one. God has allowed me to lead others to Him, as well as travel preaching the Gospel in many places. I’m so thankful that His goodness to me lead me to that place of repentance.
If you are unsure about your soul, please contact me and I would be glad to tell you of the Saviour that saved me. God bless!