My name is Steven Matlock. I am grateful that I can type this testimony, my testimony for you. There have been some rough moments in my life, but all glory and praise go to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! By His Saving Grace, I am alive and able to share with you His mercy & kindness.
Let me begin by saying that I grew up in the Bible-Belt.
In the lower part of Arkansas, near the state line of Louisiana, I lived on the outskirts of an over-grown town called El Dorado. No, El Dorado was far from being the city of gold, but it was a decent place growing up as a kid. College football, deer hunting, four-wheeling, and fishing were the main hobbies and conversations around that area, not to mention, many people were religious churchgoers.
I was one of those religious churchgoers.
I was devoted to the youth group on Wednesday nights, helped with worship on Sunday mornings, lent a helping hand when needed, and participated in church events throughout the year. Though I didn’t realize at the time, my salvation focused on works. Not to mention, the thoughts of people controlled my decisions in life.
I claimed to be a “Christian” because I heard the Gospel over a hundred times, but my heart was far from the Lord. I only knew of Jesus Christ with a head knowledge, but I didn’t know Jesus Christ. I told myself that I knew what Jesus had done for man, but I doubted salvation because I thought that my sins were too great for redemption. I truly believed that I was a damned man and that there was no hope for me because I was an abomination.
While I was going to college, I struggled with depression. The years of lies of making people think that I was something was haunting me; I could no longer wear the mask of being a Christian when I knew I was not. In my second semester in college, in the Spring of 2010, a summer mission trip (North Woods Project) that Campus Crusade for Christ lead took place in Canada. I remembered asking the Lord if He allowed me to go, I would give up that summer and rely on Him. And the Lord did just that; God provided me the funds, time off from work, and a passport to travel to Northbay, Ontario, Canada.
While in Canada, one of the leaders by the name of Scott Downey was lead by the Holy Spirit to invest time into me. We had many conversations, but one of them I still remember clearly to this day. We were walking in one of the city parks in Northbay, and I shared with Scott that my sin, lust, was too great. I remember him telling me, "Steven, by you saying that the Lord died for all your sins except for that one, you're telling me that Jesus's death on the cross was for nothing." That was a difficult pill to swallow at that moment, but I knew Scott was right. I was claiming that the Lord's death for man's sin was pointless. I was belittling the Gospel.
Not long after that conversation, the Lord allowed me to read His word and hear His Word preached about His Saving Grace. After hearing the Gospel so many times in my life, God allowed me to have an understanding of The Gospel. I understood then that His death on the cross was for all man's sin, including my lust. His Saving Grace is a gift, not something to be worked for or earned. Then and there, I confessed and repented of my sins to Jesus Christ and put my faith and trust in Him as my Lord and Savior. I believed He overcame the grave, conquered death, ascended into heaven, is now seated at the right hand of God, and has provided the Comforter to all He has called to Himself! Praise to God He made me a new creation, born again, an heir within His Kingdom!
Ever since that mission trip to Canada, the Lord has been sanctifying me. He is helping me by shaping me in His likeness. I still sin by falling into temptation, but no longer do I have to sin. I am not condemned but forgiven. My identity is no longer in this world or my flesh but in Jesus Christ!
The Lord reminds me that I am free because of His sacrifice for my sins. My rebellious/sinful nature towards a Holy, righteous God makes me deserve hell, God's wrath, but Jesus paid my ransom. He took my sin upon Himself so that I can stand before God the Father as a righteous man.
The Lord has provided me the Comforter, and I am sealed by the Holy Spirit and adopted into a Holy Family! I have hope, joy, and peace now and a purpose to live my life for my Lord, not for man, knowing that I will be with my God for eternity!
I hope that my testimony was an encouragement to you.
If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord & Savior, I would be more than glad to talk with you about God's Saving Grace. Feel free to reach out and ask any questions about my testimony or the testimony of Jesus Christ.
If you have any questions about my testimony or the ministry here at Victory Bible Camp, please let me know! God Bless
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