I grew up on a large family farm halfway between Lake Wedington and Siloam Springs, Arkansas. I was blessed to have Christian parents and an older brother and sister who were good influences on me. We attended an old country church, Nicodemus Church, a couple of miles down the road from our farm. We went every Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening all the years I was growing up. I have many happy memories of the years there, and I learned many things about God — that He made everything, that the Bible is God’s Word, that we are sinners, and that God’s Son, Jesus, died and rose again to pay for our sins.
When I was nine, something happened one Sunday morning at church that shook my world and made me start worrying about heaven and hell. At the end of the service, my ten-year-old sister got up out of the pew and went to the front of the church. She talked to the preacher, and then they knelt and prayed. Afterward, the preacher announced that my sister had asked Jesus to forgive her sins and be her Savior.
My sister’s salvation caused me a lot of concern. At night I was afraid to go to sleep, worried that Jesus would come back and my sister would be taken to heaven but I would be left behind. These fears troubled me off and on for four years. I would pray every night, enough to be able to fall asleep, but I just couldn’t completely trust God and believe He would give me eternal life.
One summer evening when I was thirteen, our youth group went to a revival service at a country church in Savoy, Arkansas. After the service, I talked with a counselor and told her I wanted to pray and ask Jesus to be my Savior. She asked me to read John 3:16, which says,
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
She asked if I understood what that verse meant. I told her I knew the verse by heart and that I did understand it. As I read the verse that night, I said to myself, “This time I’m going to believe that God’s promise of eternal life is for me personally.” Then I prayed and asked the Lord to forgive my sins and give me eternal life, knowing He would. When I rejoined the youth group, I remember feeling clean and happy and very much at peace.
Since that summer in 1965, I have tried to live my life staying close to the Lord through His Word, prayer, being in a church, and serving Him in various ways. Looking back now, I am so glad I did! He has given me a meaningful life.
God is a real Person. He loves you. He wants to give you eternal life and blessings, now and forever. Have you believed that God’s promise of eternal life is for you?