Paul O’Brien’s Testimony:
I thankfully grew up in a family that sought to honor the Lord and was taught about the good news of Jesus from a young age. I was also taught the law. I was taught that it is wrong to steal and lie. I knew, however, that I struggled to not do those very things. I did not measure up.
One thing I clearly remember is the time I stole my cousin’s G.I. Joes. They were so cool and I wanted them so bad. So I took them. I took them and when asked where I got them, I told my parents that I found them by the creek. I lied. And I wasn’t very good at it.
We’re all sinners (Rom. 3:9ff). That’s what I found out as a young kid and I knew it was a problem. I felt it.
One of the scariest things was I knew we will all die. I knew there would be a day of reckoning. I remember lying in my bed unable to sleep because I knew that I was guilty. I knew that I deserved to go to hell.
I also knew that Jesus died for sinners. I trusted Jesus. I clung to Him and it was sweet. I was very young but I remember the onslaught of guilt and condemnation that would come to me time and time again. But I also remember finding solace in Jesus and resting in His salvation. I remember being overcome with joy and affection for God. I remember it spilling over into late night conversations with my siblings, telling them that they too could be saved.
So, as a young boy, I believed in Jesus and was in Jesus. I could thus rest in the fact that there was no condemnation (Rom. 8:1). Jesus had taken care of my sin and because of Jesus, I could go to God as my Father. I was no longer afraid of dying. I rested securely because I knew that if I died I would be with God. I remember many sweet times talking to God and singing songs of thanks to Him.
I continue, by the grace of God, to cling to Christ today.
Paul O’Brien’s Vision:
First, I want us to cling to Christ and hold fast our confession (Heb. 10:23).
Second, I want to see RGC flooded with diverse new converts. I would love to see each member practicing intentional evangelism and thriving as a neighbor in the various communities that they find themselves. So, I would love to see us as a church impact and reach out to our local community in a more deliberate way.
Third, the tangible love and hospitable community at RGC have been a blessing to me. I, however, am desirous of seeing the younger generation continue to pick up the mantle and thrive in commitment and serving. I am jealous to see the next generation passionately seeking the Lord and intentionally employing their gifts.