My conversion came at an early age. I was extremely blessed to grow up in a home where both of my parents dearly loved Jesus. We attended church services regularly and had Bible studies at home almost every night of the week. We prayed at every meal, and they spoke about Jesus often – He was not an unfamiliar character in the home I grew up in. Because of their faithfulness to Christ, I was able to understand who Jesus was and what He taught from the time I was young. I was not “born” into Christianity though, I was still a sinner who needed to be saved, my family’s faith could not save me.
I vividly remember the Sunday morning that I realized I personally needed Jesus to come into my life. Although I was only seven years old, I distinctly recall the burden and weight of the fact that I was a sinner and I needed more than just to know about Jesus, I needed to have a personal relationship with Him. It was after the sermon was preached in church, during the response time, that I knew that I needed to be saved. I clearly understood that I had sinned against God and the only way that I could be made right with Him was for Jesus to forgive my sins. That’s the simplicity of the Gospel – as a seven-year-old I fully grasped that I was a sinner who needed to repent and put my trust in Jesus Christ to be forgiven and made right with God.
Growing up in a Christian home and coming to Christ at an early age, I did not have a dramatic change in my life after I received Jesus. There is not much sinfulness that a seven-year-old can end up falling into. I knew how a Christian should live from the example of my parents, and after coming to believe in Christ, I began to love the Bible and the Jesus that it revealed to me more than before. I made the Christian faith my own. As I grew, I began to study for my own and develop a prayer life of my own as well, with my faithful parents there alongside me to disciple me. What I did see is a dramatic difference in the blessings and peace that came with knowing God and having Him at the center of my life compared to the lives of those who did not know Him.
Having a relationship with Jesus early on in my life helped me to avoid some of the pitfalls that come with trusting in one’s own self and their own judgments when faced with the challenges and temptations of life. Don’t get me wrong, I still sin and have had moral failings in my life, but I have the peace of knowing that Jesus forgives those who repent, turn from the sin they chased after, and walk in His way. The more that I grow in my trust of Jesus through studying the Scriptures, prayer, and patterning my behavior after Jesus by living in His love and grace toward others, the more love I have for Him. The more I pursue Christ, the more He changes the desires of my heart to line up with His will. Jesus has given me more joy than I could have ever found on my own.
I used to be somewhat ashamed of my conversion experience and testimony because it was not as exciting as other people’s dramatic conversions. I never lived a life of self-indulgence; I had no “prodigal son” experience. I was simply a seven-year-old kid who knew that he had sinned against the God who loved him so much that He died for my sins. Now that I have made it to this point in my life and can look back on what God has done for me, I am happy to share my early conversion and walk with Christ. My life experience is a testimony to the faithfulness of Christ to His people. God has protected me from so many failures that I could have gone through had I not trusted and followed Him from an early age. Having lived a large majority of my life as a follower of Jesus, I can honestly say that I would not trade Christ for any pleasure or experience that the world had to offer me.
David came to know the Lord at the age of seven in a small West Texas town and has been striving to make Christ’s name great ever since through various forms of ministry in the local church. After high school graduation, he worked for his hometown fire department and in the HVAC industry until the Lord called him into full-time ministry in 2016. David has been married to Angela Shaw since 2011, and they have three young sons. He is a 2019 graduate of The Master’s University with a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies and is currently pursuing higher education. David is pastor of First Baptist Church in Whiteface, Texas. David’s prayer is that the Lord would use him to bring God glory in all that he does.
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