Sunday night, August 25, North Love Baptist Church saw another group of men and women graduate from the Reformers Unanimous Schools of Discipleship.The testimony below is one that we heard that night and thought it would be a tremendous blessing to you as well. Praise God for the transforming power of Jesus Christ!
“Sin will take you where you never thought you would stray;
Keep you longer than you ever thought you would stay;
And cost you more than you ever thought you would pay.”
My name is Stephen Sawyer; I was raised in a godly Christian home as a pastor’s son, and I accepted Jesus as my Savior at the age of 12.
My life of sin started at a very young age with pornography and an extremely rebellious attitude. The boundaries that my parents placed over me felt very restricting and I felt as if I was being held back from experiencing true freedom and enjoyment of life. So, at the age of 16, I started listening to wrong music, which led me to hanging out with unsaved friends. A year later, I began experimenting with drugs and alcohol.
Over the course of the next four years I lived a life of lies, selfishness, hatred, and hypocrisy toward my parents and everyone around me. I had forsaken God, and lived every day trying to fill that void in my heart with possessions and worldly lusts, all the while just masking my pain and disappointment with drugs.
Regardless of all the pain and heartache I put them through, my parents were so merciful and longsuffering toward me, and they never stopped praying for me, because they believed that God would work a miracle in my life. My parent’s, church’s, and many other people’s prayers were answered in December of 2012, when I tried a new drug and had a severe allergic reaction to it that sent me to the hospital and almost took my life. But God spared me for a specific purpose, and it was there lying in that hospital bed with my parents on either side of me that I surrendered to coming to the Reformers Unanimous Men’s School of Discipleship.
After about a month in the home God really moved, and in prayer, I was broken of my selfish will and completely surrendered my life to Christ. From that day on, the Lord has done a miraculous transforming work in my life!
John 8:32 says: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Through the teaching and my own studying of God’s word, I have learned the truth about myself and the bondage to sin that I was in. But more importantly than that, I learned the glorious truth that true freedom and happiness lies in the very thing I had spent my whole life rejecting, and that is a personal love relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When I realized the depth of Christ’s love for me, it changed my life forever, and began my life’s pursuit of closeness with my Creator.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
The Lord has truly made me new. He has given me a desire to live an honest, upright, crucified Christian life. He has taken every sin that I thought would bring me satisfaction, and replaced them with Jesus the Living Water and the Bread of Life, who brings present and eternal satisfaction! The love of Jesus has transformed me, and it is only His infinite love that can overcome the pull of this world.
Titus 3:3-6 says: “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;”
God has given me a burning desire to live for Him and fulfill His perfect will for my life. I will be staying in the Graduate Program and taking classes at the Bible College, and I believe the Lord is calling me to full time ministry. I look forward to all that God is going to do in and through my life as I continue to surrender to Him.
My life verse is 1 Peter 4:2 which says:
“That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”
I would like to thank first of all, Pastor Kingsbury, for having a heart for us sheep that have gone astray, and for your preaching, which has had a great impact on my life.
Thank you Brother Chatman, Brother Miller, Brother Barnes, and Brother Akin for everything you men have helped me through and for putting up with me.
Thank you, North Love Baptist Church, for your love and acceptance of this program and all of its students.
I also want to thank my church back home, Faith Baptist Church and all of the people that prayed for me and always showed love to me, even when I deserved it least.
I want to thank my sisters and their husbands, for their love and prayers.
And thank you Mom and Dad, for your love, and for never giving up on me, even though I’d given up on myself. You were both always a reflection of Jesus and his love and mercy.
Last, I want to thank you Jesus, for waiting patiently for me with open arms, and never turning your back on me, no matter how many times I turned away from you.
PRAISE THE LORD!