NUGGETS: Thankful ‘God didn’t give up on me!’

By Jannie Linney

This month has been the time of thanksgiving and we needed to think about the thing we are most thankful for. That is what led me to share with you, my readers, my most precious procession. This is my Testimony.

I was raised in Church. I knew the Children’s Bible stories. I had the head knowledge of Jesus. I believed there was a God and that Jesus was His son. My parents were real Christians and lived a good moral life as our example. Living like Christians was our lifestyle. I never did drugs and had no tattoos. [Liv. 19:28 & 21:5] Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are to take care of it. I was a virgin when I married. [1 Cor. 6:9-10] I really thought I was a Christian.

Somehow in all that, I missed Jesus. I only had the head knowledge of Him. I was still living like the world in many ways. After marriage, I wanted to be my own boss and left the ways of my parents. I smoked, I socially drank, I used the nice curse words and I had a well of dirty jokes stored and could tell them as long as I had a listener. When Jesus is not in one’s heart, none of that seems too bad. In fact, I thought I was a pretty good person; one of those people God would let into heaven because I wasn’t bad enough to go to hell. You see, knowing the stories about Jesus caused me to think I knew Him. Yet I really did not know what the word said. “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” [John 3:3]. I was blind to spiritual things. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the Life no one comes to the Father except through me” [John 14:6]. Somehow I do not believe I was one of a kind. There were more like me.

I had been to the Prayer Altar many times during our revivals. There was a knowing inside me that knew there had to be more. Always making promises to God I would do better. A week later, there I was the same old person, not realizing, I needed to receive Jesus to be better. Like many, I thought I had to get better; I had to do it myself before Jesus would have me. This only happened when I was under conviction. Most times, all seemed to be normal, whatever that was.

Our town had a city wide revival. At one of the meetings, I went down to the front. This time they took us to a room and had us pray a prayer inviting Jesus into our hearts. When we left the building that night, I didn’t understand it all, but I knew something was different. When Jesus is involved and touches someone, things change. I was really born again, born of the spirit of God! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things become new” [2 Cor. 5:17 ]. All things become new. From that day my life was turned around. The things I knew were wrong, I no longer wanted to do. I read the Bible and God refilled that empty well with His word. That word replaced the need for smoking and social drinking. My mind was filled with good instead of curse words. I was set free “by the washing of the water of the word.” [Eph.5:26]

I am still in the cleansing process, but a lot further along than when I first started. My life has meaning, I am at peace with myself and God. I once lived for Satan and now I live for God. Living for God is much better. I am so thankful that God “Didn’t Give Up On Me!”