The Day My Life Changed

03.17.16 | Spiritual Growth | by Steve Parten

Easter Sunday on March 26, 1989, was the day Jesus forever changed my life. I was with my family at our home church, McLaurin Heights Baptist Church. I remember standing during the time of response, knowing that I needed to walk down the aisle and share what had happened in my heart just four days earlier.

For many years I struggled with assurance of my salvation. I had practically grown up in the church, and through this experience I gained much knowledge about Christianity and how a Christian should live. The problem was that I knew Christ in my head through knowledge, yet not in my heart through faith.

I was miserable and knew clearly that Christ was calling me to surrender my life to Him in faith and be in a salvation relationship with Him. But I was so worried what others would think. Many knew Steve to be that fellow who had been in church all his life and had to be “saved.”

It was on March 22 that I found myself at Main Street Baptist Church in Hattiesburg. The evangelist was Homer Martinez, and he had just preached a powerful message on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pastor Martinez then declared these words that I dreaded to hear, “Do you know, without doubt, that Jesus Christ is truly your Lord and Savior? If you don’t, tonight is your night to receive Him in salvation.”

It was in that moment my grip on the pew in front of me loosened, and I went forward to talk with a pastor about receiving Christ into my heart and life in salvation. This brought an end to seven years of doubt and fear regarding my relationship with Jesus Christ. There was peace. There was freedom. There was an uncontainable joy. There was a relationship with my Savior that had just forever changed my identity, my purpose, my life and my future.

So, four days later, I am back at home and celebrating Easter with my church family who had known me forever. I knew what I was being led by the Lord to do; I had to walk down the aisle and share what Jesus had just done in my heart and life. But, man oh man, was I scared. I remember like it was yesterday, taking that first step into the aisle toward our pastor. When I came to him, I simply shared what Christ had done in my heart. The fear that had been holding me captive was now gone and joy had taken its place.

Over 20 years later, I still recall this time in my life as Easter Sunday approaches. It is truly a time of victory and gratefulness for what my Savior did on the cross and what He has done in my heart. He changed it all.

You probably have your own story of what Christ has done in you. It may not have happened around Easter Sunday, but it is your story nonetheless. Many people we share life with need to know the One who can overcome fear, doubt and brokenness. Your simple invitation for them to join you here on Easter Sunday can change their entire lives.

Everything can change from the call you make, the text you send and the invite card you share. You can do it. He will bless your effort.