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My name is Jon Watkins and I’d like to give a testimony of my salvation. I got saved on August 18th, 2002. Although it’s been many years, the memory of the events leading up to my salvation is still fresh in my mind today.

I was not a very nice person prior to salvation. I had accumulated a very long list of sins. I did many things that I knew were wrong, yet I still did them. Further, I wasn’t able to quit doing them. Some of them, such as smoking cigarettes, had gotten so burdensome to me that I tried and failed many times to quit, but found myself unable.

I had ruined everything I touched. From relationships to employment opportunities, I couldn’t get anything right. I was a loser.

This went on for many years, getting increasingly worse. Finally, I attended a service at the church of God at Mt. Tabor on August 8th, 2002. During this service, God spoke to me quite plainly and reminded me that he had given me a list of talents and abilities. However, he asked, what have you given me? I knew that answer; nothing. I had been living my life for me, myself, and I and no one else. That affected me deeply because I knew I had a debt to pay to God.

Ten days later, on August 18th, my girlfriend and I broke up, as a result of a string of my poor choices. This was on a Sunday about 2:30 in the afternoon. As I walked back into my apartment, sobbing, I was devastated beyond words. I had messed up — again! It was the final straw.

God spoke to me again. He said, “Jon if you don’t get saved right now, you won’t be good for yourself or anyone else the rest of your life.” I knew this was right. I also knew I was tired of running from the convicting power of the Spirit of God. Like Jonah, I had been on the run from God since I was 13 years old. Now that I was 29, broke and my life in shambles, I finally gave up and let God have his way. I dropped to my knees at the couch and began to cry out to God for mercy.

With the few coins I could scrounge up, I put together enough to use the payphone to call my cousin. He gave me a ride to the pastor’s house (I had lost my license and didn’t have a car; only a bicycle). When I stepped into his office, the pastor asked me, “What can I do for you, Jon?”

With tears in my eyes, I hesitatingly asked, “Can I get saved?”

His smile beamed as he replied, “Of course!” I knelt down and prayed and asked God to forgive me. I prayed until I felt his forgiveness lift the heaviness of guilt and shame of 16 years of sin from my heart. I was FREE!!

That’s been many years ago, but I have never regretted my decision to follow Christ. I’m so thankful for the day he gave me freedom from my sins and, more importantly, the power to say “no” to the temptation to sin. God has truly been the best thing that has happened to me!

Jon Watkins – Sidney, OH