Women's Generations Tea (1)
How did you come to know the Lord?
II Corinthians 6:1b-2 “…receive not the grace of God in vain, for he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured (helped) thee: behold, now is the day of salvation.”
I grew up in church. My Dad was head deacon, board of trustees member, and general right hand man to the ministers. (I didn’t know the word “pastors” until after I was "saved”.) I do not remember hearing a Gospel message or even that I needed to be saved. This does not mean the Gospel was never preached from the pulpit, I just never heard it. Though the music we used totally told the Gospel, I couldn’t see it. I was spiritually deaf and blind.
When I was eighteen I left the church and completely gave in to my fleshly self. Titus 3:3 says, “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.”
A pretty accurate description of my behavior; by the time I was 25, I wanted to die because I knew how despicable my life was, but I didn’t want to die because I was afraid of where I would go.
About this time, a former roommate of mine called to share the Gospel with me. She had come to Christ nearly two years before and had written me about it, but I thought she had lost her marbles. After all, I was the one who had gone to church for eighteen years! I didn’t understand all she was trying to say to me, but I was beginning to open up.
I was working as a teller in the bank and I had several ministers as customers. I starting asking some questions of them, but nothing ever connected with me until the day Rev. Ronald K. Nasshan came up to my window. I began asking some questions and he was nice enough, but then something changed in him. He started to get a little deeper in his answers. I panicked! I finished with him quickly and moved on. BUT, he had invited me to his church the next Sunday. A day or two later I received an early birthday present from my friend; a Bible and a book entitled Kingdom of the Cults. She knew I had been dabbling.
Well, I realized that Somebody wanted me to go to church! I went that Sunday and was shown to the College and Career Sunday School class. (What Sunday School for adults?!) and in that class, for the very first time, I heard people speaking about Christ as though HE WAS ALIVE AND ACTIVE IN THEIR LIVES!
Going into the worship service, two of the young ladies asked if they could sit with me. No problem. As Rev. Nasshan was speaking he began talking about an experience he had had that week. He was speaking with a young person who was asking him some questions about his church. He recognized that he had been pretty casual in his answers, but then he said, “you know how when you have a pie in the oven the timer goes off to let you know there is something in there that needs tending to? Well, that happened to me, I was talking with this person and it was like a bell went off in my head, and the Holy Spirit was telling me, this is a soul that needs tending to.” I realized all at once, he was talking about me! I really took notice then. I do not remember the other words he spoke until he got to the end. He asked us to bow our heads and close our eyes and if anyone wanted him to pray for them, then to please raise their hand. I literally fought with myself, not wanting to raise my hand, but then all of a sudden it was up and then down very quickly. Then it was time for a hymn. He had asked if those that had raised their hands would come forward to receive Jesus Christ. I did not want to go. The young ladies sitting with me asked me if I would like them to go forward with me. My first thought was, “you were supposed to have your eyes closed!”, but all I said was “No.”. At that moment I had a strong sense aloneness and then lo and behold I was at the front of the church! To this day I do not remember walking that aisle! I was taken to another room where the minister’s wife asked me some questions. I do not remember her words. I just knew I needed Who and what was being offered.
Now I realize this sounds very mystical and that is not what I am trying to say. John 3:5-8 says, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit”. Psalm 40:2 says, "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”
Philippians 2: 13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”
My whole life changed that very day. Chains were broken, I had a thirst for God’s Word, I couldn’t wait to go to church, to be with God’s people! No, not everything became perfect, but everything was new! Understanding came as I steeped in the Word and attended to the preaching. My Pastor had already been reading the Puritans and been changed to preach a reformed Gospel: “Grace alone, through Faith alone, because of Christ alone.” I literally did NOTHING to come to Christ, HE DID IT ALL! Not only did He come to save me from my sins through His life, death, and resurrection, but He granted me new life when I didn’t even want it!