“God Has All the Answers?
God Created Me for a Purpose?”
I attended church as a young child while growing up in Harlem, New York. That is where I first heard that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead and was coming back one day. I didn’t understand what that meant even as I got older. I often wondered why I was here on earth, what was my purpose, how can I know God, and what will happen after I die?
I went through my teen years, young adulthood, and adulthood with heartaches and lots of trials. This caused me to ponder the question again, why am I here; what will happen after I die? So again, I went to church, but still found no answers. It was always implied that I should go to church and live a good life so I can go to heaven. I went whenever I was invited, and after a while I joined the church. I enjoyed going and helping around anywhere I could in the church.
“There were still no answers to my questions.”
In May of 1996, the Navy ordered me to Fargo, North Dakota, to be the Medical Administrator at the Fargo Naval Reserve Center. Two weeks later, I started looking for a church. I looked in the yellow pages (telephone book) to find a church. There was an ad for Fargo Baptist Church with the pastor’s picture, address, and telephone number. I called the church to get directions and the time of the service. I went to church the next Sunday morning and heard for the first time that you can know for sure where you will spend eternity, now before you die! Wow! I was thinking, This is awesome; just what I wanted to know! 1 John 5:13 says “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life…” Wow! Then the pastor followed it up by saying, “Don’t take my word; read it for yourself.” I knew right then I had found a place where I could get Bible answers. I continued to go to church, and each truth that was preached convicted me more, as I was learning more about who God is and my true character in God’s eye. Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Looking back, it was God’s hand guiding me all the way. God used the Navy so I could hear Bible truths!
I spent hours with Pastor Scheving, asking questions and getting Bible answers. Patti Dennis started meeting with me to do a Bible study, and she would patiently answer my questions from the Bible.
“A year had passed since I started going to the church, and I was still trying to unravel things and understand what I needed to do.”
The church was having a special service out at Pastor Scheving’s barn in September 1997. I had invited a lady I befriended to come with me to hear the preaching. Her husband was in the Army. I sat with my friend near the back, next to a wall. The announcements were given, we sang some special music, and the preaching started. As I look back, I am sure that it was a lack of trust in God’s Word that kept me from believing that His promise in Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved – was for me personally, although I had heard it many times in the past year. I wanted to know God personally. I wanted to trust His Word. I wanted to be saved, but I had to let go and put all my faith and trust in what Jesus did on the cross. I had to accept the payment of His blood atonement for my sin debt and nothing else. I had to believe His Word was true. I was sorry that my sin nailed Jesus to the cross. I wanted things right between me and my Creator.
The preaching was directed right at me that night. My heart was very heavy as the preacher was describing how we are before salvation. It seemed like it was a long message in my mind because at some point while he was preaching, I got it! It was like eureka! I am a sinner, and I need to call on the Lord to be saved! He wants a relationship with me. He didn’t just create me to throw me away; He has a purpose for my life! My heart was beating so fast, I started crying, and in my heart, I was saying, that’s me! I need a Saviour. Well, he finished preaching and invited anyone that wasn’t saved to come, and someone would show them how to be born again. I blew out of my seat without saying excuse me, crying so hard I could barely see. I got to the front and knelt down and cried out to God to save me. Pastor Scheving was there with an open Bible, trying to show me Scripture, but I had been sitting in all the church services message for over a year and heard the salvation message many times. All the verses came to me as I was kneeling there, crying to God, confessing my sinful condition, and asking Him to save me. My faith was in what He did on the cross.
“I understood that night that He did it all: there was nothing I needed to do, but believe His promise.”
I have heard many testimonies of salvation that speak of this weight of burden being lifted. It is true that there is a weight lifted off of you that you can hardly describe when you are born again. My friend said that I was different driving back home that night. There was a joy! I explained to her what that joy was and what I did that night. I guess she was the first person I witnessed to.
I noticed that my R&B didn’t sound as good anymore. Almost immediately I threw all the music I had in the dumpster, along with the movies not long after. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” I am not perfect, but a sinner saved by grace. Ephesians 2:8a, “For by grace are ye saved through faith…”
Now I have a desire to tell everyone that God loves them and wants a relationship with them, but that our sin separates us from God. He sent His Son to die for your sins and mine. I desire to go to as many places in the world to tell them the Good News that Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead. He is alive! God is molding and making me into His Son’s image every day. I enjoy the fellowship of so many sisters and brothers all over the world.
Have you ever thought, how did you get here? Is there a God, and how can I know Him? What happens after I die? What should I be doing? The Bible has all the answers to your questions and my questions. Someone took the time to show me from the Bible, and it answered all my questions. Revelations 4:11, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” God created you and me for His pleasure, to give Him glory and honour because He is worthy!