To: All and Anyone
Re: My Testimony of Personal Experience of Salvation
Born and raised during the sixty's, seventies and eighties was quite a challenge for a generation of children to grow in the Lord. Many things changed in America to give Satan more power then ever before. Prayer was removed from schools; Abortion was made legal and Drugs and Alcohol became a part of life. Poverty rose and Family Values died.
I became a child of the world, leading strong in my views and beliefs. My morals were of the world. I recall a point in my teenage experiences of actually telling a Church Official, I did not believe in God. I fell into the clutches of the world and allowed it to be my god. As I grew, I assumed I knew everything, as with most teenagers. I sinned in many directions and was on the road of the unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18; 2 Thes:2:10). I did not have a clue of who God was. My heart always wanted to do the right thing but my flesh and my mouth would lead me astray. I rebelled very strongly against God without even knowing that is what I was doing.
One evening in my early twenties, my television was on with no one paying any attention to it as I washed the dinner dishes. Everyone was out busy and I was alone, or so I thought. Something within me drew my attention to the living room and to the television. On the screen I saw and heard a gentleman asking me if I wanted to ask Jesus to be my personal Savior. My background relating to God up to this point was weak and shallow. I had had experiences relating God from the world that had turned me away from Him.
This man however, just asks that question and I in turn instantly became intent on what he had to say, (later I learned his name to be Ben of the 700 Club).This was of the Lords doing of opening my eyes, ears and heart to Him (Isa 6:10). The Lord used Ben as a tool to save me that night.
As I listened, something within myself bloomed. I felt a lump within my throat as I prayed aloud for Jesus to come and save me from my sins and be my Savior. I believed in His name and that He had come to save me from damnation (John 3:16,36; Acts 2:21:Rom.10:9-10) something I had learned in Bible School and knew to be true as a small child. Before that very moment I had never before comprehended its real meaning.
Later that summer's eve as I was turning into bed for the evening, I recall still feeling that lump in my throat, to this day I believe that was Christ coming alive in me (John3:3). Slowly, I began to grow as a Christian reading my Bible, somewhat attending Church, and witnessing my new beliefs to others. As time went by I fought with many news ideas, I was changing in my philosophy of life and character (2 Cor5:17).
At one point, I began to wrestle with Baptism. While in my youth, I had almost drowned causing me to be extremely fearful of going under the water. I had learned of Baptism and felt the Holy Spirit requesting for Baptized and me to be fully emerged into the Lords family. Terrified and after much contemplation on the subject, I recall in a matter of fact way, God exclaiming to me it was time and not to fear.
Not being a member of any Church, I called upon the one in which my son was attending through a Bus Ministry. Arrangements were made for me to be fully emerged in Baptism in 3 1/2 days. Those 3 1/2 days represented a type representing a time span later to end my sorrowful time. I feel that my Baptism was as much in obedience to the Lord as it was in the Birth, Death and the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 1:4; Acts 1:22; Rom. 6:4, Eph. 4:5; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21).
For me, it was not until I was baptized that I felt I was truly a child of God, called and adopted into His family. (Rom 8:15,32; Gal 4:4-5; Eph.1:5;John 1:12). God had made a request and I had obeyed (James 1:22). This was not something I had read but something the Lord Himself revealed to me, and later I read the conformation of it.
The first three and a half years of my Christian walk my family and I under went many tests and trails, Satan tried extremely hard to cause me to back slide. Our finances were shot, our health under went extremities and future security looked lost. It seemed strange at first because when I was a sinner knowing I was sinning, I wasn't punished and then suddenly I was someone attempting to only do good and turn my life around and it felt as if someone had pulled the carpet out from under me.
We almost lost our daughter several times during these years to God. I took everything God had to give me. I felt He was then punishing me for all the bad I had once done and I so deserved anything and everything He wanted to give me. Surprisingly because of His love, with each item He bestowed upon me, my faith and love grew for Him. I did not blame Him but myself. I witness true Biblical healing through one of Gods people with my daughter while she was hospitalized.
This was only one of the ways He show me the amazement of His love for us.(Mark 10:45:Rom 5:9-10) As we continued through that period, I continually gave glory to God and kept my faith. I felt if I continued to strive to Glorify God and not blame Him for my errors, He would teach me wisdom. I had hopes of once my punishing of sins was done, I would be accepted in His presence, that his face would not turn away hard on me(1 Peter3:12). I did not want Him as my father to be ashamed of me any longer. Because I felt this way in my heart, it made me grow into a very faithful servant. I was and am always seeking His will, not mind(James 4:8).
At the end of this period, life began to uplift, blessings were poured into our family. This also marked the date of my Baptism. I told everyone when it rains it pours, in both directions, both for good and for bad. I had hoped our friends would see our Blessings and seek God with us, and most of them to this day have. As things were going so wonderful for me I began to feel really awful for some of the past sins and choices I had once made in my life. I worked through each one with God through His Holy Spirit (John 14:26; Luke 15:7,10; 2 Cor.7:10). However, there was one sin I just could not shake. I could not forgive myself for the sin because it was in my mind, one of the worst of sins (at the time of sinning however, I didn't believe it to even be a sin). It is amazing how you literally change into a new creation when God lives in you.
I recall crying myself to sleep one evening because of this sin, when Jesus showed me a vision. His Blood dripped down the cross unto the ground as He died on the cross at Calvary. The blood was deep and brilliant red, fresh and real. He hung there and Died as He took on all sins and sickness of the world, even mine. Today, tears still come to my eyes as I recall the sight He showed both my heart and eyes. He showed me how His blood atoned my sins and that He had forgiven them (Mark 10:45, Heb.9:12,2 Cor.5:19).
This vision was so incredible to me, I questioned myself, if He could do that for me, a nobody, what could I do for Him, my Lord God and Savior. I began to seek his will more eagerly, becoming active in the needs in which He guided me. I wanted to show His salvation, grace, and love to the world (Psa. 84:11; Prov.3:34, 22:11; Acts 11:23; Rom. 3:24). I try to share my faith with every soul of contact I come in contact with, in one form or another. I continue to grow in Christ daily (1Pet. 2:2; Eph. 4:15) and seek Gods Presence in everything I do.
I am more than thankful that God chose me to be His child (Rom 8:32; 1 John3:1) and saved me from eternal death (John 3:15,10:28)for He seeked and saved me for I was lost (Luke 19:10). God is my life, my life is nothing without God!
I pray my testimony can help you!
Laura Dilley Thomas
Are you saved? Are you uncertain? If you were to die within the next 30 seconds....where would you go? Have you ever opened up your Bible and read an entire book within it? Did you understand what you read? Want to know how to be saved?
A Suggestion: Pray to the Lord that He will fill you with His Holy Spirit to guide and to teach you as you read your Bible, then start here:
- If you are a Gentile of Christian or Non Christian Background-
Read the Gospel of John
- If you are of Jewish Faith-
Read the Gospel of Matthew
- If you are Greek-
Read the Gospel of Luke
- If you are European-
Read the Gospel of Mark
Four Gospel were written to reach Four sets of people, you fit into one of those categories and from the cultural direction you were raised, the Gospel above will speek the clearest to you:-)