The phone woke me up around 10 am on a Sunday. I was barely awake and the voice on the other end said, “…get your butt to church!” Her name was Angie and she had been working on me for a while to come to her church and hear about Jesus. I didn’t want to go. I was tired and hungover and didn’t even have enough time to clean up but she eventually persuaded me. I remember thinking on the way to church that I needed to get saved. I wasn’t sure how that worked or what I had to do. All I knew was, this man Jesus was the only one who could help me.
When I finally arrived, I stood at the back of the church. I was listening to something about the end of world, and I had no idea what he was talking about. All I knew is that I needed to talk to someone about getting saved. I felt anxious and impatient. Finally, when the preacher finished, he gave the invitation to receive Christ. I hesitated for a moment but finally made it to the front and confessed that Jesus was the Christ, the son of the living God. I was baptized soon after. That was over 25 years ago.
When some people share their story of salvation, it sounds as though they accepted Jesus and then everything was perfect and they lived happily ever after, with no problems. It didn’t work like that for me. Since the day I received Jesus Christ, I have had many ups and downs. I have suffered the loss of family and friendships. At times my faith in God was challenged beyond what I thought I could bear. There have been other times when I have stumbled and acted more like who I was before Christ, a miserable man doing miserable things. But despite this I can tell you that Jesus Christ is faithful and has been faithful to me the whole time. I am not accepted by God because I am perfectly faithful, but because Jesus is. He has never failed to have someone in my life, a brother or a sister in Christ to encourage me, and at least one brother who has stuck with me through everything constantly reminding of the Gospel and God’s love.
The longer I walk with him, the more Jesus renews in me a greater sense of purpose. I am more focused on the Bible, loving God and His people, and serving others at Redeeming Grace Church the way those brothers and sisters served me. Because of God’s grace and his faithfulness, I have more peace with the Lord and greater self-control. So, overall, I guess you could say this is a happy story after all. I know that Christ Jesus loved me and died for me on the cross. He is risen and I am forgiven. He promises eternal life to all those who will believe in Him. My prayer and hope are that whoever is reading this will come to Jesus and ask for forgiveness and life. Because he said, all that God gives me will come to me, and all that come to me I will not cast away. (Matthew 11:28, John 6:37)
Just like Jesus changed Newman, he can change you too!
Learn more about authentic life change (and experience it for yourself) by visiting our church this Sunday. We meet every Sunday at 10:30am at 15700 Leroy Street in Southgate, right across from Southgate Anderson High School. You can find directions here.
We'd love to have you to join us!
Here are some highlights of what you can expect when you visit with us:
1. A powerful and relevant message from the Bible that speaks to you wherever you are (by the way, you can check out previous messages here)
2. People who are friendly, loving, and approachable who really care about you, even if they’ve never met you before.
3. Your kids to be taken care of and learn about Jesus in a safe, clean, and fun environment
4. God-centered worship but designed so that every part of the service makes sense to you even if you’ve never been to church before.
Again, we meet at 10:30am at 15700 Leroy Street in Southgate Michigan.