Testimony for Jesus Christ by Carole Allen Deem
My first church was the family dining table, where my father, Lou Allen, talked about his love and faith in Jesus Christ, God's Son. My father, however, never shared how a simple faith in Jesus Christ will wash us from our sins and make us acceptable in God's sight.
As a young child, I grew up learning about Jesus' birth, life on earth and His resurrection. And I knew, really knew, that God loved me. But even a first grader knows they are a dark-hearted person before God, and that the bad things they've done can break God's heart. I grew up feeling as if I were stuck between two truths: God loved me, but He hated my sin. Being a child, I never knew how to verbalize these facts, and I often wondered how I could justify myself before God. After attending two years of Baptist Sunday school classes, I had learned about God's acceptance of burned sacrifices in exchange for forgiveness, and I seriously considered burning some lunchmeat over a tiny fire in the backyard.
While attending sixth grade at San Gabriel Christian School, I finally heard how Jesus' substitutionary death on the cross paid for all mankind's sins, including my own. "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." I knew that! Boy, did I know that! The guest preacher then shared, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ my Lord."
Helen Keller once asked her teacher, Ann Sullivan, what God's name was. Anne finger-spelled G-O-D into Helen's hand, and the young girl smiled. Helen finger-spelled her reply: "I always knew who He was, and now I know His name!" I have to smile, thinking of Helen, and her knowledge about God. I believe that I, too, knew God loved me, and that I always knew there was a missing part of the salvation puzzle that I was waiting to hear. By God's grace, I found that missing piece that day in March 1968.
According to that preacher, Jesus was God's love gift to mankind, and His death on the cross completely paid for my sins. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life."
When the preacher invited the students to come forward, and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, I was perhaps one of the first to come up. Accepting Jesus' Lordship was staggering to think about, but well worth it when I considered how long I had sought God's gift of forgiveness.
Last Modified June 16, 2006