Every time I think about how I came to Christ, tears come to my eyes. That day was just as real to me now as it was back then and I will never forget it. As a young boy growing up in Oakland, California I was raised by parents who brought me to church every single Sunday. I remember my Mom being an usher and my Dad singing in the choir. I remember the beautiful music and the excitement saturating the sanctuary. While I didn’t quite understand everything that was happening, I knew that whoever this God was, He must be important. At my church during that time (Church By The Side Of The Road), I recall learning about Jesus, the Ten Commandments, prayer, and the twelve disciples. I didn’t see the purpose of what I was being taught which led me to having a very non-enthusiastic attitude about church.
However, there were two parts of service that always caught my attention. The first part was praise and worship. As an energetic child, it was the only time I was allowed to get up and move around haha. Oh how I loved to hear the choir minister! I remember how exciting it was to sing, dance, and lift my hands. It made me especially proud when my Dad came to the front for a solo. The second part of service that peaked my interest was the alter call. I remember seeing people rise out of their seats and walk down the isle, often in tears. My Pastor at the time (Rev. George C. L. Cummings) would lead them into salvation through prayer and everyone would clap and cheer. It was quite an amazing sight!
Week after week I would see people give their hearts to Christ but for some reason I always hesitated to walk down that isle. I guess it was out of timidity or the uncertainty of what I was really getting into. I was doing all of the things everyone else did. I prayed, gave my tithe, worshiped, and read the Bible but the one thing I had not done was willingly offer my heart to The Lord. I soon realized that there’s a huge difference between acknowledging the existence of Jesus and making Him Lord of your life.
I was about eight years old when the day finally came. I don’t really remember much of the message, but I do remember hearing John 3:16 ringing in my head over and over again. To hear that God loved me so much that he would send His ONLY son to die for my sins completely blew me away. The service was coming to a close and as usual, Rev. Cummings gave an alter call. As the congregation sang “Come To Jesus”, I watched as people walked toward the front of the sanctuary. Once again, I was frozen in my tracks. Suddenly tears began to come to my eyes. The song was ministering to my spirit and it was as if everyone was instructed by God Himself to sing until I came forth. I knew the time had come. I took a deep breath and began to take my first steps toward salvation. God was calling me that day and I knew deep down in my spirit that I had to answer.
I can remember everyone smiling and clapping after we prayed. It was a very emotional experience for me. I knew I had made the right decision and there is not a single day that goes bye that I regret it. I have joy unspeakable and full of glory in my life in Christ! Thank God that I’m born again!
If you are not born again or would like to know why salvation is so important, please contact me and I can give you more information.
Thank you for reading and God bless!