We did go to church often but I wouldn’t say we were raised in church at all. We weren’t Sunday in-Sunday out. My mom decided she would go to church whenever she felt led to. We didn’t have any denominational preferences but stayed in the realm of Protestantism; mostly non-denominational.
I had been baptized a few times throughout my life as a believer while my knowledge and understanding evolved. I remember living on base as a child and a pastor came and baptized me in our tub. I must’ve been about 7 or 8yrs old.
I was impressed with the influence of Christianity that my brothers and I were exposed to at early ages. Of the five of us, I probably took it serious the most.
My youthful heart’s desire.
When I was 8yrs old, there was one toy that I coveted and wanted more than anything. That toy was called the “GameBoy“. I remember it costing $99.99 and by the time I was 10yrs old, it was $89.99.
God was real and supposedly He answers prayers. So, I prayed fervently for God to bless me with this toy.
During this time, we relocated and my oldest brother had a relationship with a girl across the street from us; who had a brother about my age. He had a GameBoy and I always wanted to play with it. All this time, I kept praying for my own.
Jesus answered my prayer.
Well, after a year we moved again. Before heading out, we had everything packed and was saying our goodbyes to our relatives and friends. Then Anthony, the kid from across the street, gave me a going away present. He handed me his GameBoy!
I was so convinced that God had answered that prayer, that for as long as I stayed a believer, that instance served as the foundation for my faith in God. Everything I prayed for afterwards was in faith and confidence that if he could answer my prayer for a toy as a kid, he could give me anything else I asked for.
That answered prayer was the beginning of my personal testimony.
I started with the KJV.
I started reading the Bible for myself at 10yrs old and didn’t put it down. I was a constant reader. I was very interested in its contents. Amazed and fascinated even. The King James was easy for me to understand. I was reading that while other kids were reading childrens’ bible stories with pictures.
My sword of choice was the King James Keyword Study Bible. It had a Hebrew and Greek dictionary. With that, I kept a separate exhaustive(Strong’s) concordance side by side with my Bible. In my opinion, these are your most necessary basic essential tools for being an able disciple who can effectively communicate the Word.
Grasping an understanding.
At 10yrs old, I can still remember distinctly reading the book of Revelation on a full reddish moon in the Fall. I got through the whole book within a couple days.
I was able to cross-reference books and quote verses with some understanding. I was never the type to believe what I was told about the Bible. I always maintained that I could understand it for myself. This assertion would serve me well nearing the end of my journey. I’ll speak on that later.
Even though I was your typical adolescent boy doing what boys do, I liked reading my bible and preferred doing that over many things because I thought it was the truth about life. As I grew older, my love for the Word grew so much more. At an early age, I had a basic understanding of what it required of a disciple and I wanted to live up to that.
I started to take it serious.
Years later, we returned to that same place where I received my GameBoy. I was 16yrs old then. I remember being in the den of my grandparents’ house reading the Bible one day.
The message of Jesus; how the Gospel spread, and the feats of the patriarchs stole my heart. Not to mention the sacrifice of the martyrs down through history.
My first profession of faith.
All this led me to believe that there was something true about all this and if it is, I decided that I wanted to be on the right side of it all. So then and there in that den, I confessed and repented of my sins and decided that I’d give my life to the Savior.
Let me say, it’s best to make your profession in front of witnesses because as you navigate though this lifestyle, there will be people who can vouch for your authenticity if anyone stands in doubt of you. But if you’re sincere, you can profess in solitude to God. And if you meant it, it’ll be evident in how you live.
What I believed.
- I believed that Jesus was the Son of God and was manifested in the flesh in the form of a son of Abraham. I believed he was born of a virgin.
- I believed that the first(old) testament prophesied of his coming. I believed the prophecies and events in the bible concerning Israel.
- I gleaned from the Apocrypha and the Book of Enoch.
- I believed in Heaven and Hell. Angels and demons.
- I believed the cross accounts, in death and resurrection, and the Second coming.
- I believed in water baptism and the baptism of the Spirit. I also believed in speaking in tongues….etc.
What about you?
Do you remember your first answered prayer or when you first believed in God?
I want to hear about it! You can comment anytime. Subscribe if you’d like. Much thanks.