In the first three episodes of this podcast, I told the story of how I got started in children’s ministry.
I began at age 15 as a church volunteer leading Junior Church for kids in elementary school. Then at age 19, I served part-time as the Youth Director at two small churches simultaneously. When I was 22 years old, I ventured into full-time ministry with Children’s Ministries International, where I have served since 1980.
In this episode of the CHILDREN’S MINISTRY SEMINAR podcast, I want to share my Christian testimony with you. This is the story of how I came to Christ.
It was fifty-five years ago as of this writing, that my life was changed forever. On June 4, 1967, at the end of a Sunday morning worship service, I walked down the aisle of the church that I attended as a child in southern California and received Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. I was nine years old.
On that Sunday, around noon, there were no bells or whistles, no bright lights, or thundering noises, but Jesus transformed my life. All my sin (past, present, and future) was forgiven, removed, and transferred to Christ on the cross, and His righteousness was deposited into me!
In 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NASB) it says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Through the work of Christ at Calvary, I was justified before the Holy Triune God and adopted into His family.
After I made my public confession of faith in Christ before the congregation, I was immediately baptized by immersion and identified with my Savior and Lord in His death, burial, and resurrection.
I am undeserving of God’s grace and did nothing to earn it. My salvation is a gift from God.
As a Christian, I experience God’s unconditional love when I feel unworthy and His joy when my heart is broken. I know His peace during life’s raging storms and His hope in disappointment. I am guided by His Word and indwelling Holy Spirit when I need a personal GPS. Jesus meets every need. He brought meaning, purpose, and direction to my life when He rescued me on the cross from my sin and God’s wrath.
My next stop is Heaven!
Through Christ, I have the strength to stand up again when I stumble or get knocked down because I know Satan is defeated, victory over sin is guaranteed, and my future is secure with my Lord for eternity.
I am not perfect – just ask my wife! I am simply someone who was lost, and God found. I am grateful He came looking for me and reached out in love. I am glad I reached back by faith.
In Luke 15:32 (NASB) it says, “But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.”
Fast forward fifty-five years to 2022 when this episode of the CHILDREN’S MINISTRY SEMINAR was recorded, and today I am a children’s pastor with a global ministry, where I have served for the past 42 years.
I have learned from the Bible, and from my own experience, that God awakens His chosen ones (some during childhood) to understand the gospel, repent of sin, believe in Christ, and then to follow Him for the rest of their lives. Jesus did all the work to secure my salvation and I have received all of the benefits!
I celebrate Jesus today, to the glory of God the Father!
And that, my friend, is my Christian testimony.
FOR YOUR MINISTRY TOOLBOX
1) Please note the difference between a testimony and the Gospel. A testimony is simply an individual’s story of how they came to Christ. The Gospel is the story of Jesus; who He is, and what He has done, and how the benefits of what He has done may be appropriated by believers. Do not mistake a testimony for the Gospel, which you can find in your Bible.
2) Write down your testimony and review it once a year to remind yourself of the day when Jesus saved you. Then thank God and rejoice, as you celebrate His grace through Christ in your life.
TAGS: Luke 15:32; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Becoming a Christian; Gospel; Testimony.
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