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Patrick Claytor is an Impact195, Term 3 student who recently shared his testimony at our Friend Day event this past October. Read it here.
My name is Patrick Claytor; I am a Term 3 student here at Impact 195 and I am here today to tell you that the holy, glorified and perfect Son of God is inviting you into a friendship with Himself.
In John 15.15 Jesus says, 'no longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing: but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.’ I am living proof this scripture is true!
I grew up in the church, prayed the prayer of salvation at a young age and followed most of the rules like a good church boy - but my heart hardened as I watched corruption unfold in the church. Watching my friends live a hypocritical life, I began to backslide too. I turned to the vices of unrighteousness and was captivated by it for years, and felt so ashamed. Through my choices I came to the conclusion that Jesus must be condemning me and as I continued to walk out my faith I felt like an unworthy slave to religion. I did not believe, nor could believe that I could ever approach His throne in confidence.
Years later God healed me in a particular area of my life where I was struggling and praise God, I began to crave His presence more and more! Three years later, He led me to Impact195 and through this past year my Heavenly Father has transformed my life! I have begun to see & experience the glorified Jesus! You see…He's not just this bearded guy that walked around in sandals, eating fish, healing people, hanging on a cross. He did all those things during His time here on the earth, but He rose from the dead and is now alive and seated at the right hand of the Father!
Through my Impact195 classes & my studies in the book of Revelation I learned that this resurrected and living Jesus has eyes like flames of fire, white shining hair, a face brighter than the noon day sun and a double edged sword coming out of His mouth.
And this glorified Jesus… is my friend!
He is my best friend, my closest friend and He has promised never to leave me nor forsake me. He has promised to convict me, not condemn me! To say the least, I feel very safe and secure in having Jesus as my friend.
It is an amazing thing to think that the God I know and love, which I share laughs with and pour out my heart to, which I pray to – that He is this all-perfect, strong, intense God that Revelation describes. I feel so safe in His midst and nothing can tear us apart, and yet He is God!
The Christianity I knew as a young boy was just religion – a matter of obeying laws and being zealous for rules. But now I have a relationship and a true friendship with the living God.
Just a couple months ago I took an Impact International Trip to Jordan to live out what I was learning in class. And I discovered that there is a faith lived out there where many are simply obeying laws and being zealous for rules, without even knowing Jesus...
At first in engaging people with this mindset, it was easy to judge. But God quickly convicted me and showed me that their hearts and mine were not so far apart as of a couple months ago.
While abroad God gave me an opportunity to minister to a family who had a little boy who was eight years old. He and his family had fled their home country in horrific circumstances. And it was because of my personal transformation that I was actually able to share with him what a real friendship with Jesus looks like! The same comfort Jesus had brought me in friendship with Him, I was now able to offer to this precious eight-year-old child. I couldn’t fix his immediate circumstances, but I could give him geniune hope and introduce him to the One who can bind up broken hearts, whose grace is sufficient!
I want to challenge you…if you are caught up in a religion with a God who you have no relationship with… if you are simply following a bunch of rules…I beg you from the bottom of my heart to seek Jesus as your friend. Ask Him to reveal this knowledge of Himself to you and to reveal who He really is! God bless you & thank you for your time.”