A Testimony of God’s Grace

Tim Challies has encouraged Christian bloggers to post their testimonies this Tuesday.  I thought it was a good idea, so here is mine:

The Lord saved me by His grace on December 19, 1993. Here is how it happened.

I grew up in what I consider a typical American middle class home. My family attended church regularly, but that was about the extent of our Christianity. Apart from an hour on Sunday, there was very little discussion of who Jesus was or what place God should have in our lives.

As I headed off to college, I rapidly jettisoned any involvement with the Christian faith. I went to the University of Southern California. I was aware of groups like Campus Crusade and even had some friends who tried to get me involved. Unfortunately, I also had some friends who were involved with a cult, the Los Angeles Church of Christ. Because the cult claimed to be Christian I associated everything about Christianity with the cult that was destroying my friends and wanted nothing to do with Jesus. So, I spent my college years studying and having fun, but with no real spiritual input.

In 1993 I graduated from USC. Since I was an Air Force ROTC student, I had a four year commitment to the Air Force. However, they could not take me immediately, so I went to graduate school in Ohio for a year. My goal was to eventually become a History professor at the Air Force Academy or the Air War College.

It was while I was in Ohio that God began to move in my life. I started going to church because I thought that was what Air Force Officers did. I began to read the Bible a little, just to know what it said. Little did I know that God was preparing me for a Christmas visit with my family. My Uncle Jack is an accomplished officer and committed Christian. All of my extended family members who follow the Lord trace their conversion back to his witness. In the providence of God, I headed to his house a week before the rest of the family to do research in the National Archives.

On December 19, 1993 the first Sunday I was there, Jack took me to church with his family. In the discussion afterward, he recognized that I did not understand the gospel or have a relationship with Jesus; although I would have claimed to be a Christian. Jack took the time to share the truth of the gospel with me. God in His mercy decided to open my eyes to the truth and save me. That afternoon I could not deny the simple truth of the gospel. God gave me faith and I committed my life to the Lord Jesus Christ.

As I headed back to Ohio, my Uncle encouraged me to go to a Bible-teaching church and look for an organization like Campus Crusade. I did. They took me under their wing, taught me the basics of my new faith and even gave me opportunities to serve. This pattern has continued throughout my life. Ultimately, God by His grace led me to get out of the Air Force, go to Seminary and serve the church as a pastor. My greatest joy in life is to see others find their satisfaction in Jesus and commit their lives to living for His glory.

As I consider what God has done in my life so far, I am amazed, humbled and grateful. I am truly an example of God’s grace. I was not looking for Him. I did not even realize I needed Him. I was successful and happy. But, I thank God that He put someone in my life that showed me the true nature of sin and grace. I give Him all the glory.

In Christ

Pastor Mike

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