Matthew’s Testimony at his Baptism
My life can best be described in Mark chapter 10:17, the rich young man. When I read this passage it was like looking into a mirror. Here we have a man who thinks he’s good and righteous but then finds out that he’s not as good as he first thought. Before I met Jesus I thought myself a good person then I read this passage and thought what would Jesus say about me?
Whilst my outwardly habits were alright, it was the things inside that really defined me, the outside was just a façade for what was lurking inside. So when I first came to Jesus and He pointed out my flaws I was devastated. I was wretched on the inside and it was like I could feel my own bundle of burdens weighing me down. It was then that I knew I had to be saved but even then I still wasn’t sure.
How could I be sure that God and Jesus are real?
How could I be sure they could forgive my sins?
And this is the reason I believe:
On January the 16th, my birthday, a truth was revealed to me only a mere week after I had said, “I’m not a bad person but neither had I done any good”, a truth so bad that I feared for my life, cried that night, felt rotten to the core and could not have possibly felt any lower than what I was.
But in so revealing this to me I realised something, something amazing. God and Jesus exist and there is a way for my sins to be wiped clean. The reason why I’m so sure of this is because the series of past events that couldn’t possibly be coincidences.
I have lived twenty two years and been going to church for the vast majority of that. I’ve been brought up in a Christian home and gone to Sunday schools and lads’ groups and everyone I know would probably say “He’s a good lad, never done anything wrong”. Even in the work environment it’s the same, and for those of you who don’t know what I do I’m a care assistant, I’m looked upon as a really nice fellow who always has the residents’ interests at heart.
As I’m working with the elderly I’m familiar with death. Over the course of my three, nearly four, years of service there have been a number of deaths and changes. None of this really bothered me at first I just gritted my teeth and continued with work that was until Sunday 17 November 2013.
I started to think about death and what came after and I began to think of what people might say about me if I died, see, a common thing I noticed when a resident past away was that everyone was repeating the same phrases again and again…
X person is in a better place now, X person is with the angels.
It’s comforting and nice to think like that and gives us peace of heart, no one wishes for another to be suffering. I get that but deep down in my heart I said, what if they are not in a better place or with the angels and it made me think what would people say about me if I died and where am I going if I continue like this?
The answer was clear as to where I was going and I was scared and frightened, a person who had been going to church all his life, then I realised I was going to hell.
Because all I ever did was just for doings sake and if presented with the choice I never made the initiative to make any effort at all. Going to church, reading the Bible, praying – it was all just part and parcel of Sunday and I only ever did those things just so I could tick those boxes and say ‘yer I’ve done it’
I tell you it hurts and makes me feel rotten inside knowing that I’m that kind of person, the kind of person that thought he was righteous and good just because I did these things.
So to sum up:
- Brought up in a Christian home
- Working in a care home, close with death
- Thinking about where I was going after my own death
- Thinking I’m not so bad but not so good
- Then a great secret is revealed
- And I’ve come to the point I am today
There was no way that it all just fell into place accidentally, there was someone behind it, someone designed these series of events to happen when they did and to affect me when they did and it sends a cold chill up my spine knowing that God is in control but it also leaves me with a sense of comfort knowing I can leave things in his hands.