My Testimony

 

keeps her vessel filledABOUT ME: One sultry summer afternoon in late August of 1976 I was Born Again when a Jewish college student named Wendy Abraham led me to Jesus Christ. She had come to the YWCA where I was living, asking residents what they thought about Jesus and if they would come to the beach house where her group, Campus Crusade For Christ evangelistic ministry, stayed for the summer. At first I was disdainful of the idea but God inspired one of the residents to urge me to go. At the group meetings we sang Christian songs and read the Bible. Sometimes just Wendy and I hung out together, and she would read to me from the Bible. The individual attention made me feel special. All of the students were nice to me, and seemed genuinely happy. 

I’ll never forget the moment Wendy invited me to pray with her to ‘receive Jesus Christ as my Savior.’ I said a very short, simple prayer in my own words, and instantly I knew something had changed deep down inside of me. For the first time in my life I felt peace, except when I heard a voice at age six telling me to obey my father, a voice which sounded familiar and made my spirit leap with joy, although at the time I didn’t realize whose voice it was. (What this suggests to me is the human spirit has the capability of hearing God’s voice even before Regeneration occurs). As Wendy took me around to the students, introducing me as their ‘new sister in Christ,’ I felt a kinship or bond with them I hadn’t felt before. I cried when it was time for her to return home for Fall classes, but God had a plan. Before long, I met other Christians and began attending a church where I grew in the Lord, and was baptized by full immersion in water. A few years later I was baptized in the Holy Spirit with attending Charisma. Wendy, I’ll always remember what you did for me, and I’ll always love you! Never doubt that you’re a good Christian and a faithful witness for Jesus. I’ll ever be grateful for your obedience to his command,“Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” – Mark 16:15. Shalom to you dear sister until we meet again!

The battle for my soul before I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior was intense and very real, but Jesus won that battle, and my heart! Choosing him was undoubtedly the best choice I ever made. A better friend, supporter, and guide you cannot find. The more I get to know him and what it cost him to become Man’s Redeemer, the more I love him. He is the Logos, the living Word who became flesh – John 1:14. I might not be alive today if he had not rescued me from the self-destructive path I was on before I met him. Though raised Catholic, I saw little in that religion or in my home that would make anyone want God. In fact, after I asked Jesus into my life I told two of my aunts about what had happened to me because I was so excited, I wanted to tell everyone. Sadly, my aunts weren’t at all happy for me and told me that I was in a “cult” and should get out of it! Their comments hurt but didn’t persuade me to stop being a Born Again Christian. I kept going to a Protestant Church, kept praying to Jesus, and kept reading the Bible. You too may find that some family and friends may not accept your new faith and may tell you you’re crazy, or you’ve joined a cult, or in other ways make you feel you’ve done something terrible! DON’T BELIEVE WHAT THEY SAY, but keep believing what your heart tells you, keep talking to God and keep reading His holy Word no matter what anyone says or does to you to try to make you abandon your commitment to Jesus and to His Father. Your spiritual life and salvation depends upon your staying IN Christ – Joh 15:4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. Joh 15:6  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. Joh 15:7  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. As believers in Christ we are to expect to be persecuted at times – Joh 15:19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Joh 15:20  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; Mar 13:13  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Therefore, don’t be surprised when people abuse, persecute, and/or reject you because you belong to God and to Jesus Christ His Son, but REJOICE in that you share in Christ’s sufferings so that you may also be GLORIFIED WITH HIM hereafter!!!– Rom 8:17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Php 1:29  For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake… 

As a child I often asked God if I would ever be happy. As a teenager, I questioned if he existed, and if he did, what was he like and why was I born. As a young adult, I had much anger and bitterness towards him for the terrible things I had witnessed and experienced growing up. In spite of the walls I had erected thinking they would protect me from further hurt, God was able to break through them, and reveal himself to me. 

The question, ‘Does God exist?’ has been absolutely and undeniably answered for me through the ‘New Birth,’ and his abiding indwelling presence. There is but one, true God, and he is Yahweh. The great “I AM,” the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End is who he says he is! – Exodus 3:14. His Word, the Bible, contains his plan for the Redemption of Mankind, and is a reliable history of Man’s beginning, fall, and the eventual restoration of those who enter by the Door – John 10:7. His words are truly the words of Life for he is the “Way, the Truth, and the Life,” John 6:63, John 14:6. Without Jesus, I would still be lost but now I’m found – Luke 15:32. Jesus is my hero! If you have never asked him to reveal himself to you, there’s no better time than the present, for Behold now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation – 2 Corinthians 6:2.

If you want your sins washed away, and you want to change your life’s course for the better, then don’t wait, call upon him this very moment. Ask him to reveal himself to you so you may know that he is God, and that you may be given the power to become one of his sons. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God” – John 1:2. You could pray something like, Dear Jesus, I realize that I’m a sinner and can’t save myself. Please cleanse me of all my sins and be my savior and Lord. Fill me with your Spirit and lead me into all truth. Help me to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and my neighbor as myself.

If you prayed this prayer with sincere faith, God heard it, and he will answer you. Not all of your problems will disappear overnight, but if you continue to sincerely, humbly and patiently seek him, your life will improve over time – Matthew 7:7, Luke 11:9, Romans 2:7 & James 5:8.

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