The Word of our Testimony: Steve Forbes

In tandem with our sermon series on the Book of Acts, we thought it would be helpful if the leadership of the church each shared their testimony. Testimonies are powerful. They’re personal stories of what God has done in our lives. Along with the blood of Jesus, Revelation 12:11 says that we overcome the Enemy by the “word of our testimony.” Our hope is that through this series of articles, your faith will be strengthened, you’ll get to know all of us better, and you’ll see that Jesus can and does redeem all kinds of people in all kinds of ways.

I have always been annoyed by one phrase that I hear frequently. Usually said when someone offends you: "It's not personal." You may not agree but I think that whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal. And so begins my personal testimony.

I have a lot of great memories from my childhood. Yet even today I can remember during those years of growing up a terrible feeling of emptiness in my life.This emptiness seemed so out of place. I had parents who loved me, a brother and sister who were older than me but involved me in their lives. I grew up next door to my cousin and we were best friends. I had other friends in the neighborhood and yet still felt this big hole in my life. I felt lonely and insignificant. I don't remember who, but I remember someone telling me at the age of 9, "You may be happy or feel content in life but you will never experience joy or feel at peace until you fall in love with Jesus." I had watched enough TV to imagine how you would fall in love with another human. I just wasn't sure how that was possible with God. The emptiness was still there so I was desperate to try.

I had always been fascinated with the stories of Jesus growing up. I always thought it would have been amazing to have known him personally, but He lived 2000 years ago so I didn't see how that was possible. The class I took to "prepare me to accept Jesus" didn't really affect me the way I thought it should. I went to class, studied and memorized facts about Jesus and his life, and set a date to be baptized. The whole process felt so forced and unemotional. I had always done things I loved with passion. I was not a lukewarm kind of kid.

Then came the pivotal moment in my life. I probably don't remember 94% of all the detailed moments of my life, but I remember this one. I was sitting in the next to last row in church with my friends. I had not finished the church study course for baptism or had my "sit down talk" with the pastor. "The time isn't right", a voice screamed in my brain. The time is exactly right, my heart told me. I slipped into the aisle and walked to the front as a hymn quietly played. My nervousness was overwhelmed by my anxiousness to surrender to God. My decision to go forward wasn't because of an emotional sermon but rather because of a relentless affection for Jesus that He inserted into my life.

There is no downside. The difficult moments in life are much easier to get through with Jesus. I could never love and enjoy my family as much as I do if not for God's presence in my life. Most importantly, I know that I will be rewarded to live forever in heaven because of this relationship. When it comes to Jesus I must admit... it's personal.

Steve Forbes
Elder