Reach • Devotion 3

Testimony | Ferdinand Sanders

For as long as I can remember, attending church on Sunday mornings was a built-in practice for me and my family. As a kid, it meant a regular flow of vanilla wafers, goldfish, and apple juice at the expense of sitting in “Big Church” for an hour doing my best to stay quiet as the man at the pulpit donning the robe and sash preached until it was time to go out to lunch. Through participating in things like Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, I was introduced to Jesus along with other characters of the Bible and their stories - these experiences taught me about the Christian life and served as the foundation of my faith.

Throughout my middle school and high school years, I attended the youth group with my best friend at his church. It was here that I really felt that I started to have a real and personal relationship with Christ. During these incredibly formative years, I continued to learn about who God was (and is). I was also welcomed into a community with open arms where I felt accepted and was challenged to grow in my faith. I felt true joy and wanted to spend as much time as I could at the church. As I continued to get involved in the church, I had an interest in music and began to serve on the worship team. This passion led me to pursue a degree in worship ministry at Spring Arbor University, spending my college summers at the church as an intern and on staff where I was able to put what I was studying into practice. All of these experiences truly felt like I was living in God’s purpose and calling on my life, and affirmed that there was nowhere else I needed to be.
 
God has continued to lead and guide me, even when I was not so sure of where that was or what He was calling me to do. That is the beautiful thing about it all. I know He is and will always be the best thing that has happened to me and my life. The more I trust who He is, the more my perspective on everything else changes. Before I had a real and personal relationship with Christ, I did not feel like I had a real sense of purpose or direction. I felt like I was on my own in trying to figure things out and deal with the hardships of life. Once I knew that Jesus cared deeply for me personally (including laying His life down for me!), my outlook and perspective completely changed. I knew I was not alone and that God was holding everything together in His hands and was guiding me each and every step. My life now has a purpose and that is to do everything to bring Him honor, praise, and glory.

In 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, we read, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
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