Below is one of the coolest testimonies I’ve ever heard. It is not someone you may know but the father of someone you may know. It is the testimony of Tony Evan’s father. Tony Evans is the Senior Pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas.
So without further ado…here is Testimony Tuesday from a father whose legacy is grounded in Titus 3:4-7. “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
All I ever heard when I was growing up was fighting. Until I was 10 years old chaos was in my home. I was the oldest of four children and the atmosphere was volatile for all of us. My mother and father were in constant conflict making divorce seem likely the only possible outcome. Having married young they were still trying to figure out how to make life work. They often argued about how to handle finances especially when there was little money to go around.
But my life was forever changed the year I turned 10. That was the year my dad turned to Jesus. He had been invited to a nearby church to attend a special event. While there, two men asked him if he knew he’d go to heaven when he died and he said he wasn’t sure. The men explained Christ’s sacrificial and all-encompassing atonement and for the first time my dad understood the path to salvation. He didn’t just receive God’s salvation; he immediately became fired up about God and the Bible. He became an instant evangelist. Whenever my dad wasn’t working, he’d take me along to pass out Biblical tracts on street corners or to visit people in prison.
If I went downstairs to get a glass of water late at night, I’d see dad reading his Bible or praying on his knees. He had to do that because that was the time my mom wasn’t watching. My mom didn’t like my dad as a sinner and she liked him even less as a saint. She did everything she could to make his life difficult but my father did everything he could to show her love. When my mom would start with him, he would stop what he was doing and pray for her on the spot.
One night, my mom came down the stairs with tears in her eyes. My dad was reading his Bible. She told him that she did not understand how the more she rejected him, was unkind to him, and tried to prove that believing in God was wrong, the kinder he was to her and the more he invested in God’s Word. “I want what you have,” she said, “because it must be real.”
They got down on their knees and my dad led my mom to Christ. He led all of his kids too and modeled the value of making God the central focus in all that we did. He held weekly Bible studies at our kitchen table and instilled a love for church in his kids. On the Wednesday nights that he had to work late, I would walk four miles to get to our church. Dad taught me how to view all of life through a spiritual lens.
If my dad had not gotten saved, my home would have been another statistic. I would have ended up a casualty and my own four children might have ended up casualties too. For 35 years, my dad had to lift heavy boxes as a longshoreman but on Sunday mornings, even if he had to work all night before, he’d wake us up and I’d say, “But dad…I’m tired.” And he’d say, “No son, I’m the one who is tired but we’re going to church, because ‘for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’”