My Personal Testimony
My name is Jerry (Gerald) Bouey. I will be 35 in March, 2005. I will have been saved 12 years as of this November 13th (since November 13th, 1992).
I had a religious background – kind of a mix between Catholicism and Anglicanism, with a little bit of Pentecostalism thrown in. The Pentecostal church is where I learned some of the basic Bible stories. (Thank the Lord that I didn’t get exposed to some of the false doctrines that they hold.) They also gave me a King James Bible. There I learned John 3:16, the Lord’s prayer, and first heard Psalm 23. My other religious “training” just confused me (thankfully, I don’t remember anything specific about it!) and made me realize that these first two “denominations” were vain, empty, and lifeless. I remember being disgusted at having to kiss a statue’s feet, being forced to eat a wafer cookie and drink wine from a communal cup, and being horrified at the thought of making a first confession to the priest! There were some things I believed were supposed to be between you and God alone. I also had some familiarity with the Salvation Army during my teen years. They had Bible lessons that I attended, but it was just morality without Christ, and had no lasting impact on my life.
In my early twenties (and possibly later teens), I remember trying to read the Bible several times. Like any other book, I started at the beginning and read from there. I was encouraged by personally reading the Bible stories in Genesis and Exodus – the ones I had learned when I was younger, but pretty soon I got bogged down in the construction of the tabernacle, and later in the levitical sacrifices. Once I tried to read through some of the Psalms, and that was where I was blessed to find Psalm 23 again. I promptly memorized it from the King James Bible! (And it has stayed with me ever since.) But the rest of the Scriptures did not open up to me. I read them as history, and believed every word, but they just didn’t seem to make much difference to my life.
Several things I do remember from growing up though:
1) I was a condemned sinner on my way to Hell. I fully believed this. I tried to outwardly reform myself in some areas, but there were other areas that only the Lord could see. I never had the power to change these. I never knew how to be made free from the sins in my life.
2) The Lord loved me and had died for me on the cross. (I did not understand that He died to pay the penalty for my sins.) John 3:16 came back to my mind on numerous occasions. Even though I never personally knew the Lord growing up, the thought that He loved me had kept me going many times. I had an abusive past, and times where I felt so worthless and empty (without purpose); though I wasn’t saved yet, these verses and the thought that the Lord loved even me helped me through.
The only problem was: I didn’t know how to connect these two thoughts together!
When I was 22 years old, I started dating a “Christian” girl that I had so much in common with (as an unsaved man!). I wanted to be with her everywhere, even if it meant going with her to church and weekly Bible studies. I was not opposed to learning more about the Bible – it just didn’t make much difference to me.
During that time, I was faced with a difficult choice: someone I knew and loved was involved in a death contract with someone else. I had to decide whether to let them commit the murder, or do whatever I could to stop it – even if it got me killed. (It was a dangerous group of people my friend was involved in!) I believed that if I let the crime go on without standing up for what was right, and trying to stop the murder, then I was just a guilty as the people actually involved. I chose to do what was right, pleading all the while for the Lord to spare me from Hell and to have mercy on me – knowing that He was the only one that could prevent me from dying and going there. (I didn’t know how to escape the penalty and punishment for my sins.) Thank the Lord that my friend left this group of people and later got saved.
One Friday night shortly thereafter, I went with my girlfriend to a Bible study, where we were the only ones attending. After the study, I was asked by the man who led it if I was a Christian. The only time I had ever heard that word (that I can clearly recall) was by another friend that partied with a roommate that I had. He said that he was a Christian because he went to church. I thought, “I am going to church and Bible studies now…” I told the Bible study leader, “I guess so.” He said that he knew I wasn’t or else I would know for sure. “Okay, what’s a Christian?” He proceeded to tell me about how Jesus died for my sins on the cross and I could come to Him for forgiveness and receive the gift of eternal life (to go to Heaven when I die). That was what I wanted! Looking back, I know he did not preach repentance, or even present the Gospel clearly, but because of my previous searching for the Lord (and somewhat limited Bible knowledge), the Holy Spirit filled in the gaps I was missing. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour that night. Everything changed from then on! 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
I had a book – the Bible – that gave me instructions on how to live. I had a purpose at last! (Previously, I thought the Bible was just a history book, but now I knew it was an instruction manual, as well as a personal love letter from the Lord!) I started reading the New Testament, devouring it, searching for answers. Then as I read the Old Testament, more and more it made sense. God changed every area of my life right from the start, from music and reading material (of which I had extensive collections of both), to what I watched on TV and whom I hung around with. Many of my friends turned their back on me, including my girlfriend. But now I had a Friend that stuck closer than a brother, who would never leave me or forsake me! Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. John 6:37 All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.
As time went on (starting in the fall of 1997), I thoroughly researched the Bible versions issue and came to the conclusion that the King James is the inspired Word of God – all others were counterfeits, got away from “Christian” Contemporary Music – and realized that the danger in rock music wasn’t just the message but the medium, and started looking for a sound Bible-believing church that stood on the good old King James Bible. It was a despairing search at first – every church my sister (whom I led to the Lord in 1994) and I found was wacky, watered-down, or just outright heretical and humanistic or New Age. Finally, we came across a solid, local, Independent, Fundamental Baptist church. At last, here was a church that was teaching the Word of God – not explaining it away! I found that all the conclusions (doctrines and precepts) that I had reached through careful, prayerful study of God’s Word were taught by that church. There were a few things I needed to be straightened out on, but that’s what growth in Christ is all about.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
I am not the same person I was before I got saved – I am a new creature in Christ! I am also not the same person I was when I came to this church – I got my fire rekindled for my First Love which I was in danger of losing in these watered-down churches. I got a zeal for missions and a heart for the lost. I am active in service in my local church, striving to make a difference for Jesus Christ.
I also submitted to the call to preach in the summer of 2002. June 26th to be exact. The Lord had been emphasizing some things to me out of Mark 14:1-9, about the woman who broke the alabaster box and poured the ointment over Jesus Christ. That night, a missionary guest speaker also preached on that passage. I went to the altar and gave myself to the Lord in service, to do whatever He would have me do.
This is what I wrote in my Bible that night:
Yes, she has done what she could.
The alabaster box was broken, the ointment poured forth, in service and honour of Jesus Christ, her Lord and Saviour.
I give myself to you, to do what I can for your glory and the sake of your kingdom. The box of my life has been broken. I pour forth my heart and will at your feet, in service to you, my Lord.
I surrender all to you, Jesus.
A poem I wrote later in remembrance of the Lord’s work in my life and my surrender to Him for service:
The Alabaster Box
She did it; she broke it, there was no turning back.
It was all or nothing; now the box was forever cracked.
The ointment was poured forth, diffused throughout the room.
Jesus’ body had been anointed, prepared for burial in the tomb.
It was an offering of love and devotion to her Lord,
But He remembered it forever, recorded in His Word.
It wasn’t broken for show, only Jesus knew her heart.
But as the spikenard flowed out, the aroma filled every part.
The good work has been done, but there’s a lesson to learn:
In all of life’s opportunities, now it’s my turn.
The alabaster box of my heart was broken one day.
On the altar of service, there the precious ointment lay.
Dedicated to my Lord – fervent and sincere.
I gave it all to Him, and the cost was dear.
The sacrifice was offered, well-pleasing to God.
I presented it with tears, and a soul that was awed.
Thank You, Lord, for Your plan that includes even me.
And in reasonable service, my life is broken for Thee.
July 23th, 2002
I have had some opportunities to preach, both in our bus ministry and our Senior’s ministry. I have also had many opportunities to teach, comfort, and exhort through my online ministries. I look forward to all that the Lord has planned for my life. And He does have a plan – I will trust Him to reveal it to me, day by day as I walk with Him.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD,
thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Mark 14:1-9 – She has done what she could.
What are you doing to in your service for Jesus Christ?
Originally written January 30th, 2003
By Jerry Bouey