Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Salvation Testimony

In order to apply for Christian adoption grants, Randy and I were asked to pen our salvation testimonies. I am sharing mine with you now as a testament to our Father's enduring faithfulness and mercy and love for His children. God is revealing to me in my life right now that He has always loved me, and through His Healing and Sanctifying Love, I am learning to love others with His agape love, to care more for their souls than their pocket books or their high esteem of me as a person. I am learning that speaking the Truth in love is a priceless demonstration of our true love for others.

We are called as Christians to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to the four corners of the earth and thus to minister to a lost and dying world. Let us be "salt and light" now to our neighbors, friends, associates, loved ones and even our enemies for the purpose of glorifying our Father in Heaven whose ultimate joy comes in blessing His children in their obedience to Him!

The following, then, is the submission of my Christian testimony to the adoption grant process:

For many years, I thought I knew Jesus. I thought I knew the real Jesus who loves everyone no matter what their beliefs. I was partially right in that Jesus loves everyone no matter what, but I simply could not comprehend that the way we believe could kill us - by causing eternal separation from God our Father in a place called hell. Back then, I was completely misinformed about what true salvation looks like or even feels like. That is because I did not know the bible – at all. I did not know God’s Word. I did not know that Jesus is the Word and that the Word is Living.

Because of my lack of biblical knowledge and understanding, I was prone to poor judgment involving the character of others and hence trusting people who were untrustworthy. Because the Word was not LIVING in me I would fall victim many times over to the deceptions and half-truths of man, for I had turned to man and not to God for the truth.

It was in November of 2009 when I experienced a shattering realization about how far “good” people can stray from God’s will without ever knowing it. My husband Randy and I had made a decision concerning our future that we thought was God’s good and perfect will for our little family. When we discovered that not only was our decision not God’s will for us but because of our faulty judgment we were standing completely outside of His will, I wept bitter tears. Never in my life had I experienced such sorrow of spirit. I felt complete humiliation, and a deep despair welled up within my very bones. I thought I had it “all figured out”, but it turns out I didn’t know a thing.

I can see now how God used that experience to draw me closer to Him because it was in the experiencing of humiliation that I was humbled. For the first time in my life, I fell down on my knees and repented of my every sin. I called out to the Lord to save me. It is then while I lay weeping and sobbing with my faced pressed up against the floor that the Lord spoke to me and said, “Learn my Word so that this may never happen to you again.”

It is then that I finally yielded myself to God completely and began the journey of understanding His Truth from His own mouth. And again I say, AMEN! It is then that I finally understood that when I am walking close to the Lord I will feel the warning of the Holy Spirit and hence avoid the snares of the adversary, and in this be able to sing All Glory, Honor and Praise to God my Father. Amen! “Acknowledge God in all your ways, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

In December of that same year, the Lord led me to search for a church that would preach the Truth of the Word in its entirety and fullness. I covered much ground, and felt disappointment time and again when I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit lacking within the walls of so many churches I visited. Or I might find a church loving and kind yet when comparing their doctrine to the Holy Bible it would not match up with the Word. I almost gave up until it dawned on me that if God told me that my family and I belonged in church, then God already had a church picked out for us.

I once again opened up the yellow pages, and saw for the first time an advertisement for a Southern Baptist church located twenty minutes from our home. I promptly called the church office to find out their position on abortion and marriage and discovered they hold a biblical worldview. What’s more, I found out the Preacher was willing to speak the Truth from the pulpit regarding such relevant issues. I decided then and there to pay Waynedale Baptist Church a visit, along with my then six year old daughter, Sonya, to their bible study held that very evening. I learned that night that we had found our home.

Since attending Waynedale Baptist church, I have learned that the only thing which assures us of our eternal salvation is Jesus Christ alone. As the Preacher likes to point out, church membership, tithing, baptism, etc. will not save us. Jesus Christ alone through His atoning blood will.

On July 11th, 2010 Randy, Sonya, and I were immersed together in the baptismal waters, not so that we could boast that by doing so we would gain a free pass into heaven, but that by doing so, we could testify before the body that Christ alone is our Lord and Savior and that in dying to ourselves we can live in Him. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! “Thank you, Jesus, for dying for our sins so that we may live!”

At Waynedale Baptist Church, I have also learned through studying the Word together in church and in Sunday school that I am a sinner and will forever fall short of the glory of God. Absolutely nothing I will of my own accord will get me into Heaven. Through Jesus Christ alone I am blood-bought, born-again and kingdom-bound, and as a natural extension of my salvation through Jesus I have become a new creature and behold old things have passed away.

Through this new birth spiritual works will manifest through us, only to show God’s Glory, and how He can work mightily through us and in us. Yet I fully recognize and attest that works will never ever pay for my debt and wipe away my sins! Only Jesus can do that!

It is important I share a bit more regarding my salvation experience and the wondrous and mighty Hand of God at work in my life and in the life of my family. It was about three years ago that the Holy Spirit began “building a fire underneath me” for my husband Randy and I to renew our vows. Simply explained, Randy and I were not wed in a Christian church, and the Holy Bible was not at all utilized in the wedding ceremony. I had been for a while feeling deep regret over this, and hidden within my heart was the painful recognition that Randy and I were not fully married.

Well-intentioned Christian friends would tell me that God still honored our vows, but I knew they were in error. I knew that once I found a church that really loved the Lord and practiced true Christian love and forgiveness that Randy and I needed to walk down the aisle and be joined in Christian marriage by a true Christian pastor who believed in the inerrancy and infallibility of the Holy Bible and who was willing to preach the Word from the pulpit. I knew that our renewal would rid me of the nagging feeling that our marriage was still outside God’s Ultimate Plan for us as a married couple.

On Saturday, October 2, 2010 Randy and I renewed our commitment to one another as husband and wife with the Word of the Lord as our Anchor. As we stood at the alter facing one another and as Preacher quoted at length from Colossians, a miracle happened.

Suddenly I felt below us as if someone behind me took a very wide board and slid it below our feet. I felt as though in one moment we were standing on soft ground and then in the next solid ground was placed beneath our feet. Then above us descending from the heavens I sensed or felt a covering placed first over our heads and then draped over our entire bodies. We were completely covered from head to toe standing together underneath this covering, and at that moment, at that exact moment, and for the very first time in my marriage, I felt truly married to my husband.

I believe it is in that precise moment when God sealed our marriage and set us apart from the world. Standing on the foundation of Jesus Christ - our Most Honored Guest - covered by His Atoning Blood, God supernaturally gifted us. No mortal words will ever describe my deep gratitude to My Father for never giving up on me or turning His back on me so that he could ultimately bring us to this place to bless our marriage in this way. All Praise and Honor and Glory be to God our Father, Jesus His Son and God the Holy Spirit forever and ever!

Since November of 2009 I have learned through countless experiences that when we choose to yield our will to the Will of God and obey Him with perfect obedience, He will bless us exceedingly and abundantly beyond the scope of our wildest hopes and dreams.

Our renewal of wedding vows took place in October of 2010, and I can’t wait to share what happened next! Please read our adoption testimony to find out what God was planning for us all along when we obeyed Him through the renewal of our vows…

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