The following prepared testimony was given at church by Jim Oakley before approximately 130 of those in attendance. His water baptism followed moments later in Havasu Lake on the Colorado River in Lake Havasu City, AZ August 22, 1993. NOTE: Years later I read this testimony and realize that although I had confessed my sins to the Lord, even naming many of them as I poured my heart out to Him, my testimony reflects that which the Bible does not teach yet is so popular today. We don't just invite Christ into our heart. He called us to REPENT, to confess sins and forsake them and then, only then when our heart is swept clean of the world and of self, the Holy Spirit will move in and guide our life if we allow Him.
My Testimony as a new Christian
If you have not invited Jesus Christ into your heart to be the ruler of your life, I invite you to do so before you leave here today. You are missing so much more than I can convey in these next couple of minutes.
Four months and two days ago, when I asked Jesus Christ into my heart to be the ruler of my life, He rushed right in. Actually He had been close by for years, I just never would let Him in.
He made changes immediately and started others that even now are in process. Along with His coming into my heart, He brought joy, peace, love, compassion, hope, understanding, and yes, He brought a whole lot of forgiveness.
Jesus has poured His love and His Grace on me, opening my eyes to His truth and filling me with a hunger for His Word. Understanding His Truth has set me free from the lies and bondage of Satan, and for the first time in my life I have hope. Hope not only for myself, but also for those who are wandering aimlessly as I did for many years.
Jesus has given me a compassion for others, especially for the elderly. My heart aches with the suffering of those nearing the end of this life, most especially for those that don't know Jesus, or in many cases have fallen away from Him.
On that day just over four months ago, I most remember the overwhelming sense of peace. A peace I had never known, it went all the way to the bones, and it stayed there. Knowing that now, my name too, is written in the Book of Life has caused my heart to frequently spill over with a mighty joy.
Colossians 3:15 says:
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
I thank God today for giving His Son that I might have life, and I thank Jesus Christ for forgiving my sins, and as I go to be baptized today, may it be a testimony of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Addendum, Fall of 2015:
At the age of sixteen while attending a brush arbor camp meeting near Watson Oklahoma I came under conviction by the Holy Ghost and was crying. I don’t remember walking to the altar but the next thing I knew I was on my knees in the sawdust praying and several aunts, uncles, cousins and my grandma were gathered around praying for me. I was baptized in the little creek behind the school house that my mama attended as a child. I soon had to return home to Texas and since my family was not saved they did not understand my efforts to live a Christian life. Long story short, I fell away having no support and no church and lived the next twenty-five years in sin not serving the Lord.
Though I often thought myself to be a good person, even a Christian, I was not living anything like a Christian is called to live and I now know I was lost those twenty-five years. Standing here today and looking back, I can see many places and times that Jesus walked with me and nudged me toward April 1993. He gives us the choice and He never pushes us and I’m thankful He is long suffering and patient and did not give up on me.
When I was a teenager I felt the presence of God but had no understanding or Bible knowledge of who He is. I also had no fruit since I was soon living as before and eventually going deeper into sin as most adults do.It was not until I was born again on April 20 1993 that I came to know Jesus and understand just what it was He had accomplished for us on the cross.
If I were to sum up how I feel about the Lord and my Salvation in one word it would definitely be THANKFUL. Thankful I’m not living as before, not thinking as before, and not desiring the same things as before. Thankful I’m not the same person as before!
May you dear reader know Christ as I have come to know, love, and respect Him. Read His Word for there is no other way. ~ In Christ, Jim Oakley