Reach • Devotion 5

Testimony | Matt Montgomery

My mother was a church secretary and my father was an ordained minister and youth pastor who ran inner-city sports programs, a great Christian family. I remember most of my childhood at church. We attended church services on Sunday mornings and nights. Sports programs were at our church on Mondays. Tuesdays were soul-winning services. Wednesdays were Bible studies, and so were Thursdays. Fridays the youth group (Teen Town) gathered with my dad. I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was five and remember wanting to be a pastor and follow in my father’s footsteps.

Four years later, my father had an affair. My parents divorced causing devastation in the church and in my life. I became the kid known for his father’s sin rather than the child who wanted to serve Christ and be a pastor someday. At age 13, I determined I would never be in ministry. The pain and costs were too great. In college, I received a degree in linguistics and cross-cultural studies and majored in Theology. I still knew God was calling me, but I was running away.
 
After college, I lived a “normal” life. I took a business job and was successful. I married a woman who claimed to love the Lord. Two children and a highly successful career later, I felt the Lord pulling at my heart and calling me again to ministry. I told my wife I was miserable and needed to follow God’s leading. I met with my pastor to create a plan to enter into ministry. Two weeks later, my wife said she was not called to be poor or a pastor’s wife and she divorced me. My life was crushed, I became like Jonah, hardened my heart, and ran away from ministry. I was bitter and broken.

God has since brought me a wife who loves Christ and loves me for my heart and my love for people. At church, I led a college and career class. It grew from six to about 50, and my heart began to break for souls. I told my pastor I felt called to follow Christ in ministry leadership. I expected welcoming arms but instead was told I could not be a minister because I was divorced. I was broken and devastated again.
 
Thank God for His grace and mercy. Man gives up on me continually. God never fails, and never stops working on my heart. When I stop worrying about what others think about me and place my eyes on God solely, God never fails and always uses me for His glory. God used harlots, liars, cheaters, murderers, and even enemies for His purpose and His plan. He expects my heart to be pure and dedicated to Him. He will use me as needed. I will never be worthy, but I thank God daily for His grace, compassion, and salvation. I thank Him for the burning desire to share Jesus Christ with the world and that He will use me to help others find Him.
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