Reach • Devotion 6

Testimony | Joanna Montgomery

I grew up the third of seven children born to a country pastor. I was saved by Jesus when I was four years old. I do not remember the exact day or time, but I know I was standing on the front porch of our home in the Nebraska Sandhills, watching the summer sunrise with my mom and dad as I prayed for the Lord Jesus Christ to come into my little heart so I could be His forever.

We attended church, but the majority of what I learned about the love of Jesus was revealed through the lives of my parents. I am so thankful God put me in the family He did. I count my blessings as I think of my life and as I see the lives of others. When I was a teenager this made an interesting dilemma. I would go to youth retreats or special services for teens and hear a dynamic speaker give his testimony about how he nearly died from a drug overdose, or was saved from alcoholism, or was snatched at the last minute from suicide by God to save him from eternity in hell, and I would think, “Man, I’ve never done any of those things - my testimony is so boring. If only I could have done something like that, then I would be better equipped to lead others to Christ.”

In my mind, telling people, “I was saved when I was very young, and nearly always obeyed my parents. I never drank, or did drugs, or smoked, or even drove over the speed limit. I rarely got in trouble and always got good grades, and God saved me from all of that,” did not sound impressive enough to tell people. How would that reach anyone? It was not even interesting.

What I know now though, is God still saved me from all that and more. Because of my willingness to turn to Him as my King, my Savior, my Lord; He saved me from alcoholism, drug addiction, abuse, murder, hate, envy, jealousy, lying, stealing, telling rumors, and from all the evil inside me, my God saved me. I am so thankful my parents shared with me the love of Christ when I was young.

Do not get me wrong, I have sinned. I fall victim to temptation. It is so hard for me to admit my sin, repent, and turn back to God and ask for forgiveness in order to walk closer to Him, but I no longer am jealous of other people’s amazing salvation stories. I am so very thankful for mine. God saved me, a horrible sinner, and I cry every time I think about how God has a place for me in His amazing Heaven. I have a home and a loving Father, and I do not deserve any of it. I am overwhelmed with love for my Christ, and I know it is not even a speck of the love Christ has for me.
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