"To God be the glory, great things He hath done!"
I always knew that man didn't make the earth or trees - couldn't put a baby together, but I did not know the One responsible. I did not know the Lord. I knew I was looking for something to fill the void in my life, to give it meaning and purpose.
My son and his family bugged me to go to church with them, and I did go. There I was introduced to Jesus Christ and to His Word, the Bible. I was told that I needed to be saved, born again, if I was to go to Heaven, and I learned that the alternative was hell.
I felt I needed God and wanted nothing to do with the lake of fire, hell. I went to the front of the church one Sunday; I gave my heart and my life to the Savior. I knew I was a sinner, so I repented and asked forgiveness of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. Then, the best of my life began. I have become a different person.
I came to Joy Baptist Church, was baptized, was given a Bible and have learned to love the Lord. The people at Joy Baptist Church are a loving family; the preaching is the Word of God. The ”get togethers” for fellowship and food are just a bonus.
I was saved at 68 years of age - I have been changed. He, the Lord, has given me love of people and a joy in life that I never had before.
I was reborn later in life, however I did not grow in the Lord until the last four years. When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, I knew that He was real and I had a personal relationship with the Lord. I purchased a Bible and began to read and bought more Bibles and gave them out to family and friends. I shared my experience with a priest and I was told that I should not read the Bible because I was not inspired by God. I didn't agree with him because I knew in my heart that if I went to God in prayer before reading the Bible that He would give me understanding. I had read various verses in the Bible concerning this, one example is Job 32:8 "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." I tried various churches in the area but they never seemed to coincide with what I read in the Bible so I tried to do it on my own. I soon withered like a sapling and fell back into the world.
In 2001, I was invited to Joy Baptist Church by two of my clients and my son Jared. I accepted the invitation and on the first visit I knew this was where the Lord wanted me. They not only preached the Bible but they encouraged you to bring your Bible, study it and obey it. I will always remember what Pastor Beal said, "Hey, don't believe me, I am human, read it for yourselves." Since then I've been baptized and have joined the church. I have grown in the Lord and am learning to die daily to self. My whole life has changed and I am beginning to understand what it means to pick up your cross and walk daily.
God does not call us because we are good enough, because, nobody is good enough. God tells us, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). No one can get to heaven by church membership, baptism or "good works". If we could, there would have been no need for Jesus to come and die on the cross. I used to think that because I was baptized as a baby, I was a child of God. After I started reading the Bible I realized I had to accept Jesus for myself. My parents could not do it for me. That is what being reborn/saved is all about, accepting Jesus Christ as your Personal Savior.
I see now that the no's in the Bible are for our good and see them as positive. Before I would try and bend the no's to say okay at times and brought confusion in my life. Now I lean on Jesus to help me change, because on my own, I cannot change anything.
I am truly thankful for my salvation and looking forward to serving the Lord in the future along with my husband Robert. I realize it's not only about being saved but striving to keep a close fellowship with Jesus, so we can be a better testimony each day. What a great God we serve!
A brother in Christ said, he didn't want to be like a sapling, sprout and die quickly but he wanted to be like an oak and grow slow and strong. This is my prayer to God.