Mighty to Save

Mighty to Save

My name is Arthur. Today I’m grateful to be alive and in God’s family. I grew up in a Christian home and each week I attended church regularly, twice on Sundays and also every Wednesday night. When I was 13, I began drinking alcohol and I fell in love. With alcohol. Then marijuana. By the time I entered college I was a daily abuser of a combination of drugs. For several years I structured my life and activities around using mind altering chemicals. I was seeking some type of inner peace and calmness, I felt as if there was a void in my life, something was missing, I was not complete. From 15–18 years old I attended a variety of churches and sought knowledge from various religions. Then I stopped seeking altogether. I found it really hard to be in a church when I was stoned. Something deep within me told me I was going about finding God in the wrong way, but I was not willing to take an honest look at my life. From the age of 18 until a month before my 25th birthday my life progressively deteriorated. I reached a very lonely period in my life. I could be in a room full of people and feel very lonely, so all alone. I felt that if God really loved me, He would give me lots of friends and I would have happy feelings. Two years before I sobered up, I had an experience where I realized that I was living a futile, “what’s it worth?” life. During this period I could get stoned but I couldn’t get high, couldn’t get the “good” feelings. God didn’t let go of me either. I experienced a number of events where I could have died or killed others {suicide attempts, car accidents, fights), but I miraculously survived my rebellion.
On Sunday, January 6, 1980, I awakened in a jail, 150 miles from my home. My sister, who, along with other family members and friends, had been praying for me consistently for 10 years, came to visit me, and asked if I was ready to turn my life over to God. I had grown up hearing how a person can trust Jesus as their Savior, have God in their lives and know for sure that they would go to heaven and be with God when they died. Yes, I had heard but I never had listened.

Here are some verses that I was familiar with:
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
Romans 10:9-10 “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
1 John 5:11-13 “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

I found out what surrender means. It means I didn’t have to fight anymore; I could “let go and let God.” I asked God for forgiveness and help in turning away from my old life. I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life. What an incredible relief I experienced. While going to 12 step meetings and also developing relationships with other followers of Christ, I then learned the true relevance of 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Even sober I still have problems, but I know with absolute certainty that, with the Lord’s help, there is nothing that will happen to me today that I can’t face.

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