ONCE UPON A RIVER BANK

Photo compliments of Danny Kirsic

 

Testimony by Roger Wagoner – February, 1991

Greetings. My name is Roger Wagoner. I would like to share with you how the Living Christ became my friend. I am 43 years old. I am married and have 2 daughters. Since I didn’t graduate from high school, my reading skills were so low that I would not even try to read.

Although I had no church background, I did know I would go to hell unless I got saved. But hell didn’t really scare me because my life was a living hell. I tried everything, but nothing worked. Then one day I met the Living Christ! Let’s see if I can paint you a picture of Him and His Grace.

It happened approximately 8 years ago in March 1983 while I was fishing on a riverbank in Tennessee. I had taken so many drugs that I could hardly fish. Yes, I was a drug addict and had been for 16 years. I was so depressed I wanted to die. My life had no meaning. Nothing could satisfy me. I lived in fear, smiling on the outside and absolutely dying on the inside.

My wife was a Christian but I would not allow her to talk about it. While I was wanting to die, she was praying for me to find Life. Can you see Him and His grace yet?

Well, back to the riverbank. I was standing in a very secluded spot wondering, “Why can’t I seem to make it? Where are my real friends?” Unless I had drugs, no one came around me. I thought if this is all there is then I have nothing left to live for.

At that moment I heard a voice behind me say, “Could I speak to you for a moment?” He didn’t know I had a gun in my pocket. I was so depressed that I thought if he hassles me I’ll shoot him. “Go ahead,” I said, “but it better be good.” As he spoke my heart was touched. This reminds me of Paul’s comment, “I came not with man’s wisdom but with a demonstration of the Spirit and power.” (2 Corinthians 2:4)

I listened for 3 hours, which seemed more like 3 minutes. He told me about Jesus and how He would forgive me, heal me and live in me if I would only ask Him. What a wonderful story!

He never said I had to go to church, cut my hair, quit drugs or anything else. He said that if I would repent and believe I could be saved. He told me to ask Jesus Christ into my life and He would come in to be my friend. If I would trust Him with my life He would enable me to live. I told him I could not pray with him. You see, I had never prayed before. But in my heart I believed what he said about Christ and I invited Him into my life. He smiled, gave me his phone number and said, “I will be waiting for your call. May the Lord bless you.”

When I got into my old truck I knew something was different. As I sat there reflecting I automatically lit up a joint.   Somehow it just didn’t seem the same. So I put it out and drove home. Can you see Him and His grace yet?

When I came in the backdoor my wife was cooking supper. She asked, “What is it?”   “I don’t know,” I answered. I told her about the man who shared Christ with me. I said, “I believed him and now things seem different.” She remarked, “Things are different, you have just been born again. The Lord has come into your heart!” She explained that now I could talk to the Lord and He would speak to me.

Well, I began to pray and the Lord began to teach me. Although I had never read the Bible He would give me scriptures. Then my wife would show me where it was in the Bible. God promised to write His word on our heart and that is what was happening to me. He taught me His word first by the Spirit, and then He taught me to read. He has become my friend. What a wonderful friend we have in Jesus!

Before I go I must tell you that Christ has delivered me from drugs, healed my mind, my body and my marriage. He has also given me true friends. He has even called me to the ministry. I am currently pastoring a church in Tennessee.

What amazing grace God has bestowed upon us in Christ. If you look at your human abilities you will never do anything for God. Like Paul you must find your sufficiency in the Lord. Now can you see Him and His grace?

Oh yes, that man or should I say, man of God, who told me about Jesus Christ is Lewis Gregory. And sure enough, when I called 6 months later, he remembered me. He even agreed to drive about 2 hours to my house to follow-up with me. And then he spent a great deal of time discipling me. He took me on several mission trips, and has also come to my church numerous times to preach. He has since become a very good friend!

All of this has convinced me that God really is love. Would you let him love you today? He wants to. Can you hear Him? He is saying come to Him and He will give you rest. What joy it is to know Him—the Living Christ!

 

Source Ministries © 1991

 

For more on Knowing God read the following:

The Wonder of It All

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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