Greetings to all members of Maranathamedia.com.
The following is a brief account of how God has worked His goodness in my life to lead me to repentance. This account will also relate how He led me to Seventh Day Adventism.
Looking back to very early in my life, I fell into sin and became a sinner, albeit ignorantly. As a child, teenager, and young adult I really had no religious associations save that my kindergarten teacher taught me the Lord’s Prayer. What a blessing this prayer has been to me all through life! This prayer was certainly the most valuable thing I learned in school other than reading, writing, and arithmetic!
I know now that the Lord used this prayer in my life in the following way. Every evening at bedtime (without fail for almost twenty years since learning the prayer) the Lord moved on my heart to repeat this prayer to Him before sleep. This prayer was the means for language of communication with Him in my ignorance at that time of who He and His Son really were. I say that this prayer was the means for language of communication with Him because it also opened my heart to talk to Him of the other happenings in my life. Without having read the Bible, I found that I would confess to Him my wrongdoings that I was convicted were such (as the Lord’s prayer says: “Forgive us our trespasses”) and also pour out the sorrows, fears, and thankfulness to Him that were part of my life. I continued living without any victories over particular sins that I knew by the conviction of God’s Spirit were as such. I did not yet know of a Saviour or of God’s plan to save me from my sins. In my great ignorance of God, He was preserving me for the best time when He could lead me to repentance. Over my brief existence, there was more than one time when certain events should have been certain death or serious injury to me had it not been for the Lord’s great mercy!
In 1994 I was twenty-five years old. I became depressed; I quit my job, and went on welfare. I felt dead inside. I knew what lust, hatred, violence, and lying were. But what about love and truth, WHAT WERE THEY? After a few weeks of being in this miserable state I cried out to God in prayer one night with the words: “What is truth? What is love?” Shortly after this prayer, I received a telephone call to return to work at my old employment. I had decision of mind at that point to say “Yes, I will come back to work.” I then returned to my former job in a different branch of the same company.
After a short time working there, I met a man who was also going through a difficult time in his life: a divorce and a child custody battle. I offered him some self-help books that I had been reading which I thought may be of help to him. He took them and then went back to the lunch room and returned with a single book in his hand. Said he: “Have you ever tried reading this book?” It was The Bible! As I reached out to take the book from his hand there was an OVERWHELMING conviction in my mind such as I had never before experienced. This was THE BOOK that I needed to read!
I went home after work and started to read the Bible; the NIV version. As I began to read I thought "Man, this is hard language to understand!" A thought then came into my mind to go to my parent’s house and get my sister's New Testament from their bookcase. This particular Bible was written in modern English - "The Living New Testament." God, who is rich in mercy, was at this time giving me to be able to understand His Word in a simple format. As I read this New Testament from cover to cover, understanding started to dawn in my mind as to the source of my miserable condition in life. By living a selfish life as I was, I was thus living in separation from God. As I continued to read the Bible, a Saviour was made known to me – Jesus Christ. I also confessed my sins to God as they were revealed by the word of God. There were people that I had heretofore wronged. I confessed my wrongdoings to them and made restitution as far as it was possible for me to do. I then had peace with God and with my fellow men! At the same time, by God’s grace, I had a burning desire in my heart to have the whole word of God as the foundation of my life and character and to make it known to others! I was thirsty for more of the Word of God! I then picked up the NIV that I had originally left off reading and read through the Old Testament to the end of the New as I desired to know the WHOLE of the counsels of God.
Over the course of reading the Scriptures (some months time), I was experiencing a very close relationship with God and was led to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour from my sins. What a joy the word of God was to me! Eventually I asked God to be able to meet some of His people. While I was at work one day, a man came in who I had previously met but few times as a customer. We started to talk about spiritual things contained in the Bible. I mentioned a few things from the Scriptures at which he shook his head at me as if to say “You do not know what you are talking about.” As I saw his reaction, words came out of my mouth involuntarily: “How about then a Bible study together?” I had never had a Bible study with anyone! He agreed and I went to his house after a few days for the Bible study. We knelt down and prayed together (which at that time filled me with awe – I had never prayed with anyone!) At the end of the study, he suggested that I exchange my NIV Bible for the KJV version which I did. His wife also gave me the book “Christ’s Object Lessons.” After reading this book, I wanted to read the Conflict of the Ages series that was advertised in the front of the book.This was my introduction to Seventh Day Adventism and these were some of God’s people indeed!