Tonight I felt led to share my story as to how I became a Christian, and what the Lord has meant in my life. But it's important that we read the Holy Scriptures together, and they are related to that story - I want you to turn in your Bibles, please, to 1 Samuel chapter 1. I also want to read a few verses from Jeremiah chapter 1, so if you care to turn to that as well, it will save a bit of time for you. First Samuel chapter 1, and Jeremiah 1, and if you don't have a copy of the scriptures, don't worry, just listen as we read God's Word together.
First Samuel chapter 1, and let me give you a bit of the background - there's a woman who is about to come into the Temple to pray to God, she has a barren womb, she can't have children. She cries out to the Lord, that the Lord would give her a man-child, and if the Lord gives her a man-child she will give him back to the Lord. Verse 8: "Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah", this is her, Hannah, "why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons? So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head".
Then over to Jeremiah chapter 1, please, and verse 4 where we begin the reading. Jeremiah 1 verse 4: "Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly", in the womb, "I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD".
Let us pause for a moment's prayer, please. Let us, just for a moment, before we pray, be still - the Bible says: 'Be still and know that He is God'. We want to be still just for a moment, and be aware of God's presence in our midst. Abba Father, we come again in the name of our blessed Lord Jesus, and it is our desire to glorify Him. We take the words of the apostle when he said: 'God forbid that I should glory, save in the Lord Jesus Christ and His cross'. Lord, we want to glory in Jesus, we want to glory in Calvary, we want to glory in the precious blood, we want to glory in the resurrection, we want to glory in the ascension and the second coming of Jesus, we want to glory in His Lordship, and we want to glory in His personal relationship with us by faith that we can have. So Lord, I ask in the name of the Lord Jesus, that He would be glorified and that the Holy Spirit will come and witness Jesus to the hearts of unbelievers. Oh God, do a work now, do a work we pray. We realise we are in a battle, and there are malicious, malignant forces that are loose in this place this very night, and in the name of the Lord Jesus we bind them, and we pray that the power of the precious blood would be victorious, that the lies of the devil would be silenced, and that the truth of God will set men and women and boys and girls free. Hear our cry now, for Jesus' sake, Amen.
There was once a Testimony Conference that was advertised, and there were three testimonies that were going to be heard - a testimony is simply an account, as I'm going to give to you tonight, of how the Lord Jesus met me - and these three had come to tell how He had met them. One was a bank robber, one was a terrorist, and the other was just a bog-standard, 5'8", like myself, who was brought up in a Christian home and knew the gospel since they were very young. The two sensational testimonies got up first, and everybody's appetite had been whetted, and the bank robber and the terrorist told about all they had done, and how the Lord had gloriously met them and saved them. Then the third boy, like me, got up and said: 'My testimony is better than the first two, because God saved me from all that'. Now, nobody's testimony is better than another's, but I understand what they meant - because it's very easy, and I really have on my heart tonight, I have to tell you, the children and young people of Christian families, for whom it is very easy to take for granted the family that you've been born into and the upbringing that you've received. I tell you, I took it for granted, and I think most people take it for granted - because you don't know any better, isn't that right? I remember having the astounding revelation in primary school that everybody's parents weren't Christians! I thought everybody's parents were Christians! It's an amazing thing that - it's not just a soul that is saved when a child comes to Christ, it's a life that is saved - and there's a great deal of moral carnage that is prevented when a child comes to Jesus, and is truly saved and walks with God and gives glory to God in their life.
Now I was born into a family where my mother and father were Christians - and, better than that, my grandparents on both sides were Christians - and it gets better, great grandparents on both sides. We weren't sure about one, and the grace of God is such that he was allowed to live till he was 100, and I knew him well, and we feel he may have got saved near the end. Isn't God good? That was the environment I grew up in, and I was sent to Sunday School, I was sent to children's meetings in our own church, and I was sent to children's meetings in other churches - I must have needed a good dose of meetings! So I knew the gospel very well.
Now, can I tell you something this evening? Whenever you grow up in a Christian home, this can happen: you know you need to be saved, you know you're a sinner, you know Jesus died for you, and you know you need to be saved. You feel, maybe, pressurised, and you get 'saved' all the time, maybe you get 'saved' a dozen times in the year - and some of us were 'saved' every night of the week, just to make sure! Now, I think we're all a bit like that when we grow up in Christian homes. Now, if you haven't grown up in a Christian home, don't worry, I've got something for you in a few moments. But there came a stage in my infancy where I realised that there was never a point at which I myself, of my own volition, made a decision to trust Christ as my Saviour - do you understand what I mean? I remembered all these childish occurrences that were as much, I have to say, as having my supper at night and saying 'Our Father' - it was just 'Jesus come into my heart', but it meant nothing. But I realised that of my own self I had not been serious, and on the 3rd November 1984, at the age of eight, on a Sunday afternoon after Sunday School, I went up to my bedroom in East Belfast and got down on my knees beside the bed and asked the Lord Jesus to save me - and I believe He did.
Now let me explain very clearly to you: I was eight years of age, you could be 80 years of age - but at eight years of age I understood I was a sinner. Can you believe that? I knew I was a sinner. Now, I wasn't one of these terrorists or the bank robbers that I mentioned before, but I'll tell you: I mightn't have robbed a bank, but I robbed a shop once - a packet of sugar cigarettes! Do you remember them? I remember walking out with my granny, and she didn't realise something else had come out of the shop with us that wasn't paid for! That was as a child, I knew that was wrong, I knew it was wrong to copy at school, I knew it was wrong to tell lies, I knew it was wrong to be disobedient to my parents, I knew it was wrong to steal. I knew I was a sinner - do you know you are a sinner? Do you know that the God of heaven is a holy God, and He has given His commandments - isn't it amazing that a child can grasp this, and yet an adult can argue tooth and nail that God is just going to let them in, through a hair crack in the gate of heaven, because they haven't really done anybody any harm, when they know deep down in their heart that they are a sinner? My friend, you need to come to that realisation.
I knew not only that I was a sinner, but I knew that Jesus was the Son of God, and He died for me, a sinner. Can you believe that? Some of you children here tonight, I believe you can understand it: that you have done wrong, and that Jesus Christ died on the cross because He loves you. Because we are punished for doing wrong in life and in eternity, there has to be a way out for us - and Jesus got that way out for us by dying on the cross and taking the punishment, the penalty that we deserve. So, because He takes it, we go free if we accept it and trust in Him. I understood it, and I understood that it wasn't about cleaning up my life - do you understand? - making myself acceptable to God or holy, because I couldn't do that. I, as a child, understood that my heart was black, it was sinful. I understood that the only way it could happen was not by my effort, but by receiving it as a gift that Jesus purchased through His death on the cross. I praise God that Jesus said - don't take my word for it! - Jesus said: 'Except you become as a little child, and be converted as a little child, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven'. Now that doesn't mean you have to be saved when you were a child, what He means is that you have to have the faith, the simple faith of a little child, and just accept it.
Just now, I want to ask the children to do that. You children in the meeting tonight, if you've never done that before, will you do it now? Just where you are, say from your heart, if you believe it: 'Lord, I'm a sinner, and I've done wrong - but I thank You that Jesus died for me, save me now'. A child can do it, and I'll tell you: child psychologists would say, 'Och, that's brainwashing' - is it? Well, I'm 33 years of age now, and I'm still trusting Christ. I'll tell you: I questioned it, and I doubted it, as you'll hear tonight, and I struggled with many a thing - I'm not saying I've got all the answers, far from it, but I'm here tonight to testify of Jesus Christ, that He's real. This is not a childish whim or fancy, this is what it is when God comes into the life of a young person - and He could have already done it here tonight! It's wonderful.
Well, it's not plain sailing when you come to Christ as a child, and there are many challenges that come your way when you start growing up - growing pains we call them. The temptations of adolescence, and all the rest, and I had them all and struggled with them all just the same as anybody else. I fell into many of them, but there came a stage in my adolescence where I had to decide where I was going with all this. Was I going to be a hypocrite, or was I going to go all out for God and live like a Christian? I think, you know, whenever you're born into a Christian home, and you might get saved as a child, or at least say you've got saved, there comes a stage when you come to adolescence where you decide - when the temptations of the world come, and the bright lights, and the magnetic pull of all that's out there - you have to decide: 'Well, what am I going to do? Am I going to ditch this Christian stuff and go with my mates, and go with the world, and go with the flow? Or am I going to go all out for God, and draw a line in the sand, the world behind me, the cross before me, no turning back, no turning back?'.
Maybe that's where you are tonight? Is that where you are? Well, I was challenged one Easter at an Easter Convention to go all out for God, and I did. Maybe you will tonight. You know, in my heart, there was a real - from that day on - a real passion to know God, and to know revival in my heart, that's God alive and burning in my heart. I used to read books about revival, and about the fullness of the Holy Spirit and the power of God in the life of the believer, and it excited me a great deal. God began to do something in my life, where He was calling me to serve Him. You know, we're all saved to serve - do you understand? People can hear a testimony like mine, or another 'full-time' Christian worker, and think: 'Well, that's them, they've got a testimony like that, but I'm just an ordinary person, Joe Bloggs'. My friend, we're all saved to serve. You know, the Lord called me very very young, in fact I have to say that as far back as I can remember I wanted to preach God's word - even through those struggling temptation times.
Now, I want to send a challenge out before I move on from this: if you have been born into a Christian home, listen carefully to what I'm saying, first and foremost make sure your profession of Jesus is genuine. What I mean by that is: there's a lot of talk at times about asking Jesus into the heart, and maybe children don't understand what sin is, they don't understand who Christ is, they don't understand what the cross is, and they can understand. I tell you, even my little daughter, eight-year-old daughter, she 'asked Jesus into her heart' a year or two ago - but only recently I've felt convicted in my heart to ask her: 'Lydia, do you understand what sin is'. 'No'. 'Do you understand what it means to deserve punishment for sin?'. 'No'. 'Do you understand that Jesus died on the cross for you?'. 'No'. She didn't understand a thing about it, all she'd understood was that she'd asked Jesus into her heart - but she didn't understand a thing about it. Now, my friend, be careful - I'm not wanting to do the devil's work, as I'll tell you later - but you make sure you're saved, and you have a genuine experience of salvation. I'll tell you: a lot of children in Christian homes are no different than Muslims, they are no different than Hindus - what do I mean? They've been born into a thing! It is an accident of birth in a sense, and they just go with the flow of the culture of religion that's in the home - but they have no personal experience of God, they've never been born again, and maybe that's why a lot of them are in the world tonight.
Make sure you're saved. I was saved as a child, and started at about 16 years of age, through the Male Choir that David was in, to preach the gospel - but I have to tell you that adolescence was a very unpleasant time for me. There are some of you here tonight and you're in that period of life, it was a hateful time - it was dominated by doubts and by fears. This is something I don't find easy talking about, but I have to talk to you about it because I believe God wants me to nail this for some of you. The doubts that I was plagued with were concerning my salvation. Now, I trusted the Lord Jesus, but I had this aching, nagging sense: 'Oh, what if I'm not saved?'. Now, I went to school in the centre of Belfast, the city, and there are a number of Christian bookshops there as I'm sure you well know. Every day, well, not every day, but most days, week after week, I could be found in some of those bookshops - and I would be scouring the shelves, and I would be looking for a book that could tell me I was saved. Sometimes I would read a wee paragraph that would give me a moment of comfort or assurance, and I'd think: 'Right, I've got it, that tells me I'm saved, I think I'm saved now, that's alright!' - that would last for an hour or two, or maybe a day or two. Maybe I would buy the book, and I would read it at home, and that would give me great assurance, or I would listen to a song that would give me assurance - but I hadn't that deep depth of assurance that I was truly saved.
Until one Easter, I went to another Easter Convention, and the preacher there, an American guy, and he was some preacher to listen to - he went through a list of things that people often do in order to get saved. Coming down an aisle, signing a card, putting your hand up, and all these things. He said to the congregation: 'Put your hand up if you've done any of those things' - and, I shouldn't have opened my eyes, I know that, but I opened them, and boy, the hands that went up was nothing ordinary! There were elders in the church put their hands up too. Then he said: 'You're all not saved' - now, I had my hand up, and I was already doubting my salvation! I had my hand up, and he says: 'You're not saved' - I went into a complete panic. He says: 'Now, anybody who is concerned about their soul, come and meet with me after the meeting' - and I made a beeline. The interesting thing is, there was only one other guy there, that should have told me something. But I went in, and do you know what that guy told me - I'd been baptised and everything! - he told me: 'You're not saved', after I'd told him my testimony. He says: 'You're not saved' - and do you know what he got me to do? He got me to get down on my knees and ask the Lord to save me again, the very thing I had done in the first place.
I walked out of that room, and I was completely and utterly confused. I went over to the call box and asked my dad - I wasn't driving yet - asked my dad to come down and collect me, I said: 'I've got saved'. He says: 'You've got saved? Sure, you are saved!'. I said: 'Aye, I thought I was saved, but this guy told me I'm not saved - but, to tell you the truth, I don't know whether I'm saved or not now. I don't know!', and I burst into tears. He came and collected me, and the first thing he did was he drove me up to our pastor at that time, his house. He opened the word of God - ah, that's important - he opened the word of God to Romans 10 verse 13, which reads: 'Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved'. He asked me: as a child, did I call out acknowledging my sin to God? Did I call out, believing that Jesus died for me? Did I call out in faith to Him? I said: 'Yes!' - and he says, 'Well, the word of God says, 'Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved''. Do you know what I did from that day? I trusted what God said, and I've never doubted my salvation since, I can say that truthfully.
Now, do you know what I have learned? That there are hundreds of believers in the pews of the churches of our land, and they don't have assurance of their salvation. They have nagging doubts day, after day, after day. Maybe you're one of them tonight, and I'm exhorting you this evening: believe God, trust in Christ, repent of your sins, change your mind about your sins, about yourself, and about the Saviour. Trust in Jesus and take His word for it! If I gave you a tenner tonight, and it says on it the 'promise to pay the receiver £10', you would take the word for it - I hope you wouldn't stick it up on the light to make sure it's the genuine article, or bite the pound. You would take the word for it, you take God's word that if you cry out to Him in faith, He will save you - and He has saved you if you have genuinely called upon Him. Do you know something? When you're saved, the devil can't throw you into hell! He can't un-save you - but I'll tell you what he can do, and the next best thing to that, is to make you think you're not saved and rob you of the joy of your salvation. That's what he was doing for me, but he'll not do it again, I'll tell you - for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day! Hallelujah! That was the end of that nonsense!
But then there were the fears, and you know fear comes from the devil - do you know that? People in my family, and friends and people I meet, say: 'Ach, see her? She's just a worrier!', or 'It's in my make-up, that's just the way I am' - and the nails are bit off them, and the knees are knocking. You know the people, maybe you're one of them? 'It's just the way you are' - that's rubbish. Do you know that anxiety and worry is as much a sin against God as adultery? Do you know that? Well, I was wracked with fears, dominated by them - and I have to say to you tonight that I was on the verge of self-harm, this is a Christian now, even one that was preaching! I was on the verge of despair with some of the fears that were gripping my mind and my heart. Do you know what they were? Lies from the devil! You know, that's what he does, he plants something in your head, and you start to think: 'I wonder is that true?'. Then you analyse it, and you look at it sideways, backwards, upside down, all the ways - and then you start to imbibe it, and you start to believe it, and then you start to behave according to it.
You know, I can look back on it now, and I can see very clearly what the devil was trying to do: he was trying to knock me off God's horse. Now, you're here tonight, and you're not saved, and the devil is doing the same for you: he's putting all the excuses in your head right now about why you shouldn't become a Christian, or why you shouldn't become a Christian just yet. Believer, he's doing the same for you: why you shouldn't get involved in His service, why you shouldn't have power over that particular sin that's got a grip of you. Dear, he's telling you why you shouldn't have victory over anxiety and worry - and, I'll tell you, do you know what set me free from it? Praise God, I have been set free from it - I'd probably be in a mental institution if I hadn't! The same thing that set me free from the doubt: the word of God: 'You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free'. Do you know what I do: when the devil tells me a lie, I throw God's truth at him, and he shuts up brave and quick, I can tell you! But it's all down to whether or not I will believe God!
Oh, that's it my friend, will you believe God tonight? Will you believe God, unbeliever, and be saved of your sin, and be delivered from the habits that bind you, because Jesus shed His precious blood and suffered in your place, and bore your shame, and carried your hell? If you believe that, and take Him at His word, you'll be delivered. The devil tells you: 'No, no, no, it's been in your family, the drink, hasn't it, for a long time?', and 'Your father ran around with women!', those are lies, lies of the devil to keep you and take you to hell. My friend, I exhort you tonight: believe the truth of God. You know, there's nothing to be credited, I can't pat myself on the back for believing what God has said. I mean, why would you not believe what the Almighty God of heaven said? The God who spoke, and the heavens and the earth were created?
God was calling me into ministry, and men said - and this is always the great tension - men said: 'Oh, you're too young, you've no experience to serve the Lord'. I remember wanting to go - and this is no disrespect to Baptist people, it was the Baptist College I wanted to go to - and they wouldn't let me in to do the course for pastors, because I was too young. 'You're too young, you're too inexperienced'. Some of them said: 'Go away and become a teacher, and then you'll have something to fall back on' - that's not the call of God! Then God spoke to me from His word, 1 Chronicles 29 verse 1, and it was where David wanted his son, Solomon, to build the temple because God had ordained it. He said: 'Solomon my son is young and inexperienced: but the Temple is not for men, but for the LORD'. You see those men? They are to be credited, because they bowed to the word of God and they accepted me in, because the call of God was on my life.
Now, listen to what I'm saying here tonight: there might be some of you young people in particular here this evening, and the call of God is on your life, and there's a crisis tonight in Christianity in the West because, for some reason, people aren't answering the call. There is a lack of Christian workers and preachers and evangelists and missionaries. God promised gifts to the church, God promised them - so if they're not showing up, it's because people aren't answering the call. I want to challenge you here tonight: has God been calling you, are you listening to what God is saying to you? Oh, there's nothing like serving the Lord - and I'm not talking about doing it in a full-time capacity, and I don't like that terminology, but you know what I'm talking about. There's nothing like being saved! Do you believe that? There's nothing like knowing the joy of the Lord! There's nothing like being filled with God! There's nothing like walking step-by-step with the Saviour, and knowing the power of God!
Well, I have to come quickly into adulthood - dear me, I haven't even grown up yet! Well, I married a woman that I believe God wanted me to marry, and she's been a helpmeet, and we've two lovely children. I spent a year and a half in Portadown as an Assistant Pastor, nine years in the Iron Hall, which was my home church, and then - this is a strange thing - God called me out of the Iron Hall, and He challenged me about many things. Do you know one of the main things He challenged me about? This is a theme I didn't intend coming through this tonight: taking Him at His word, taking Him at His word. You see, I would have quoted men - this is as much for believers tonight - I would have quoted men like George Mueller, have you heard of him? By faith he fed thousands of orphans, and he lived, as we say, 'by faith'. Men like Hudson Taylor who went to China and just took God at His word - I would have quoted them from the pulpit and all. Then God came to me and He challenged me: 'You talk about them, and you talk about their principles, but you don't live like that'. God challenged me from Matthew chapter 6, where it says that He clothes the lily of the field, He looks after the sparrows, how much more shall He look after you - to seek first the kingdom of God, and to step out in faith alone. Now, I'm not saying everybody should live like that, I think you need to be called to live like that - but all I'm telling you is that this is how God challenged me, that's all I'm telling you. All I'm telling you is this: God has been faithful to me.
Now, you might say: 'It's early days, you're only two years away from the church'. Well, that's all right, you try and live two years without an income, when you're not called of God, and we'll see what a very long period of time that is. But you know, I was terrified, I've nothing to be proud of tonight! I can remember lying in bed shaking like a frightened child, and my wife says: 'What's wrong with you?'. I said to her: 'God's calling me, calling us to do this, leading us to do this, and I'm terrified! But I can't say no to God, I can't say no to God'. I was in such a bad shape, I asked her to pray for me. We took that step, and here's what happened - now listen carefully - there's a story in the word of God about the Lord Jesus looking down from a mountain, and He sees the disciples in the water, in the Lake Galilee, and they're out in the boat. All of a sudden a storm arises.
Now, that's what I want you to see, He is looking down on them, just like He is looking down on you, seeing where you're coming from and where you're going, and where you ought to be going. It says that the storm arose, and the disciples were in disarray, and then they saw what they thought was a ghost walking toward them on the water. Now, listen to what I'm saying tonight: often when God is coming and speaking to you, you don't recognise Him. Unsaved person, you might be here tonight and you don't think you're hearing from God - you're hearing from God! Believe me, you're hearing from God! Maybe there are circumstances, and mishaps, and close shaves, and accidents that have taken place in your life - and you've wondered: 'I wonder is God saying something?'. God is speaking to you! It might look like a ghost, and you don't recognise Him, but it's Him! But often, believer, that's the way God works in our lives - sometimes we don't recognise what's of Him. Well, listen, I was not knowing whether the Lord was really asking me to step out in faith like this or not, and I got this verse from that very story. The Lord Jesus spoke to the disciples, and listen to what He said, He said: 'Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid!'. Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid. Now, listen to what I'm saying, unsaved one: the devil will tell you your life is going to end if you trust Christ - that is a lie! Jesus said: 'He is a thief, he is a liar, he is a murderer, he is a destroyer; but I am come that you might have life to the full'. You have never lived, you have never lived unless you have trusted Jesus.
But equally so, believer tonight, whatever you're facing, whatever challenges, whatever maybe God's calling you to - and you're not sure one minute if it's Him or if it's not - listen to what He's saying: 'Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid!'. We trusted Him, and you know what it says about Jesus promising in the Sermon on the Mount: 'Take no thought what you shall eat, what you shall drink, what you put on' - that's exactly what happens! You don't think about it, because it's God's promise! Praise God, this book is a living book, and you can build your life upon it, you can eat and drink upon it, and wear clothing upon it, because it's God's book.
Then God led us to move house, and we put the house up for sale - I'm only telling you this to glorify God and His word - this is when the crash happened. The night before - you know the boy comes round, the Estate Agent with the clipboard, and he measures and all - the night before that I was in the bed again shaking, or at least metaphorically I was saying, 'Is this the right thing to do? We have a lovely home and all the rest, and we're giving it up'. That night we did our reading together, me and my wife before we went to bed, what was it? 'Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid'. The sign went up, four weeks later we sold the house, then it fell through! A couple of months later we sold the house again, and then it fell through! A few months later we sold it again - we sold it three times in nine months! So, if the preaching doesn't work out, I'll maybe go into being an Estate Agent! But the Lord fulfilled His promise, and I know people who put their houses up for sale years ago and they're still not sold. Listen, my friend, there's nothing special about me - I'll tell you this: if you knew what God knows about me, you probably wouldn't even sit here tonight listening to me! This is all to the glory of God. When a sinner will take God at His word and trust Him for salvation, you will not imagine what God will do with your life! God coming into your life and turning it upside down for His glory - believer, He'll do the same for you, as we said this morning, if you'll give Him every key of your life He'll transform your whole horizon.
I could go on, and I can't, but let me just say this: it's been a life of learning, a life of leaning, but God has a plan. Listen to what I'm saying, I don't want you to miss this: God has a plan. Unsaved person here tonight, God has a plan for you whenever you put your life in His hands. He has a plan for you. It won't start until you commit it to Him, but He has a plan. Wait till I tell you how I know He has a plan. When I was just about to go into the Lord's work full-time, I came home late one night, as young people do, about two o'clock in the morning. The light was still on in the house, and I came in and my mother was still up, and she told me that my sister - who is 10 years younger than myself - got saved. We started reminiscing and talking and what not, and she said: 'Did I ever tell you what happened when you were born?', and I said, 'No'. She went on to say that I went into foetal distress when she was in labour, and that just simply means that my heartbeat stopped, and they were very concerned that I was going to die in the womb. The doctor was a million miles away and they couldn't find him, and it was a real crisis. During that period of time she put her hand upon her tummy and she said, 'Lord, save the child's life, and take him and use him for Your glory and for Your service'. Now, I'm a couple of weeks away from entering into the Lord's service, and I never knew anything about this - and if I had have, I probably would've thought I was living out some kind of birth wish of my mother's, but I didn't know. Now I'm not telling you that to make you think anything about me, because there is a plan for your life! There is a plan for your life! Just as Jeremiah was called when he was in the womb of his mother to go and preach good news to the nations, my friend, God has a plan for you! Are you living it? Are you in it? Are you enjoying it? Are you realising it?
The devil spins us a lie that we ought to fear getting saved. He tells Christians lies, that they ought to fear serving God - you know, 'You're going to get called to Outer Mongolia, where there are no toilets or showers, and no deodorant!' - that's always God's will, isn't it? That's the way the devil likes to dress it up! The Bible says that it might cost us, God's will, it often will, but it is good, it is perfect and acceptable - that's God's will. He says: 'I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future'. Only one life - it's not a dress rehearsal, this:
'Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how glad I will be,
That the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee'.
He's a wonderful Saviour. He died for you, He's here for you tonight, and He has a plan for you if you will just believe Him.
Father, we pray that those with whom the Holy Spirit is striving and speaking clearly, Lord we pray that You will hasten, O God, draw with more power, we pray, that they might truly come to Jesus tonight, for His glory. Worthy is the Lamb! He alone deserves the praise, and may He save the travail His soul tonight and be satisfied, Amen.
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This sermon was delivered at Coagh Baptist Church, Northern Ireland, by David Legge. It was transcribed from the recording, titled "David Legge's Testimony" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.
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