1976 – that’s not todays date! No it’s not. That is the date that I was saved. The date that I became a follower of jesus Christ. How did it happen? Well, I was invited to church by a couple of friends. That’s a key to bringing people to Jesus – the INVITATION. We could all learn a great deal with this one idea alone. Next, I was wonderfully accepted – mess up and everything. This is another key ingredient. Instead of looking down on lost people, we should embrace their journey to Christ. I am so glad that the people at North Valley Baptist Church (Redding, CA) accepted me. Now they didn’t condone my lost lifestyle, but they did love me. The love that I felt was like something that I had never felt before (John 13:35). The people at NVBC really showered me with love. This set the stage for what happened at the evening service on November 14, 1976.
Pastor Royal Blue was preaching a series of messages from the book of Revelation. On this particular night he was in the
13th Chapter of Revelation. He was preaching about a beast coming up out of the sea have many heads and various horns. His message dealt with the End Times, and prophetically what was going to happen with the rise of the Antichrist. At the conclusion of the sermon he gave an altar call to anyone present that felt lost and without hope. He said, ‘If you are here tonight and you have never received Jesus Christ I want you to come forward. Someone will be here to meet you.” I got up out of my seat, and I began my journey to Christ. A man by the name of Jim Lindenburger counseled me in a small room off to the side of the church. He opened the Bible and showed me my need for Christ. There in that room, I called out to Jesus to save me, and to wash away my sins. I asked Him to come into my life. He did, and my life has never been the same.
Right away I planted myself in the church. I got involved with youth group and church related ministries. I was a bus captain, and went out and visited homes on Saturdays inviting children to ride our church bus on Sunday morning to church. We picked them up, we dropped them off at their front doors. I got involved with our church youth choir, and went on several summer choir tours through the Northwest states. I was active at Bible camp serving as a camp counselor. Sunday school and midweek was also important for me.
My church provided me with a lot of reading after I gave my heart to Christ. I found myself reading that material after school as I sat in my car waiting for a friend. We would ride together into Redding where we both worked for Red Lion Motor Inn. Those early days were so very important. I am so glad that my church knew just what I needed, and that they provided the materials to help me get properly grounded.
What about your salvation experience? Are you walking with Christ today? Did you get involved in your church? Are you rooted properly? If you can’t answer yes, why don’t you begin afresh. Start today. Get involved in your church. Plant yourself in a ministry. Serve Christ through serving people. Read all that you can to help yourself understand the Christian faith. Serve the Lord with gladness.
I al so thankful for that Sunday that I came to saving faith. North Valley Baptist Church – Thank you for everything you did for me. Thank you for accepting me, and loving me into God’s forever family.