Mike Cassidy

Mike Cassidy

I was born into a traditional Catholic family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My parents had me baptized into the Catholic Church as a baby. However, my parents’ marriage did not last, and they were divorced before I was 4 years old. My mother remarried a short time later and we began attending a Lutheran Church. As a result of this, I was raised in the doctrine of the Lutheran Church until I reached the age of 18. Although I was baptized as a Catholic and raised in the doctrine of the Lutheran Church, I truly did not know God. My knowledge of God was based on religious traditions and doctrines that taught the importance of human effort to achieve holiness before God. By age 18 I found no joy in trying to please God through human effort or religious traditions.  As a result of this lack of joy I left the church as a very unhappy and confused person. I lived for myself making many bad decisions, which resulted in regret for how my life was turning out. In the midst of my youthful confusion I believed God existed but I did not know what I needed to know about God or His plan to transform my life into the image of his Son.

My long journey to know God began at age 20 when I enlisted in the Navy during the Vietnam War. I was trained as a Navy Corpsman and stationed in a naval hospital at Virginia Beach, Virginia naval base. My job as a Navy Corpsman was to care for wounded and sick military personnel on a neurosurgery ward. Working as a Navy Corpsman I witnessed the suffering and death of many young men in service to their country during the Vietnam War. Their suffering and death made me realize how uncertain and brief life could be. It was at that point that I started searching for the truth of who God was and how I could truly know Him. I needed to unlearn what I had been taught in traditional religion; that you could earn your way to God. I knew nothing about the sovereignty of God, new birth, union with Christ, or what it means to be saved by grace through faith in Christ.

As I said above, my journey to know God did not happen all at once but happened over time through believers who shared the truth of the Gospel with me and my wife. Early in our marriage, my wife and I moved from Wisconsin and relocated in California where we began attending churches. It was there that the truth of the gospel was preached and taught. Through this preaching and teaching my wife and I became born again, knowing the love of God and being saved by grace through faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

So what does faith in Christ mean to me now?  My knowledge of God and the truth of who I am in Christ went through a radical and beautiful transformation. Knowing that I am loved by God and that He will not abandon me has brought great joy, peace and comfort into my life. I went from living a self-centered life based on wrong thinking, to a new life in Christ that has brought joy, peace and confidence in the sovereignty of God. My union to Christ through reading His word and prayer has moved my heart to grow in love for Christ and others. I know that God gave me life in Christ that I may be transformed into the image of his Son to bring glory to His great name. As an elder I realize I am to serve Christ by teaching, encouraging, protecting and loving the sheep of Christ. I also realize that I have no righteousness or power of my own to accomplish this except by God’s grace and trusting in the righteousness of Christ.  So I walk by faith daily in a loving Savior who has showered me in abundance with His grace. And I look forward to the day when Christ will return and establish His righteous kingdom.

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