9 January 2024

‘Jesus is with me in the everyday’

Justin Reeves

A photo of Justin Reeves.

Outgoing Kids Alive! Editor Justin Reeves is grateful that he’s always had Jesus in his life.

Sometimes I feel my testimony is a Salvation Army cliché. I was born into a Salvationist family, taken to the Army as a baby and dedicated. I attended primary until the age of seven, when I moved up to juniors.

At the age of eight, I knelt at the mercy seat in the young people’s hall at Plymouth Congress Hall on Decision Sunday and asked Jesus into my heart. I was eight and I didn’t really understand what I was doing. I did know it meant I could become a junior soldier, wear a uniform, learn to play a brass instrument and join the YP band.

Corps youth groups, divisional music schools, youth councils and the divisional youth band were other important stepping stones. Around the age of 15, I decided I wanted to become a senior soldier. However, that had more to do with a desire to join the senior band in time for a weekend away than wanting to make a further commitment to Jesus.

To reduce my testimony to a list of rites of passage and suggest it’s a cliché does a disservice to the work God was doing in my life. It also doesn't acknowledge those who loved, encouraged and nurtured me in my faith. All the time I was turning up and joining in, so much more was going on. I was in the right place seeing, hearing and learning faith habits and behaviours. God was speaking to me through those he’d placed around me – at home and at the Army.

When I became a senior soldier I started to take my faith more seriously. Soldiership classes helped. I listened to sermons more intently, considering what the teaching meant for me in my everyday life. I began reading the Bible of my own accord, prayed more regularly and started to develop my theology.

I’ve never felt as though I had one of those road-to-Damascus experiences when I encountered God and my life changed. Rather, Jesus has been a constant in my life that I’ve been aware of, attuned to or in step with to varying degrees at different points in life.

On occasions I’ve felt sad that I can’t pinpoint a conversion moment – I may even have been jealous of others who can. But a close friend who can do just that often reminds me how fortunate I am to have grown up in a Christian home, to have always gone to church and to have always had Jesus in my life.

My faith is relationship-based and Jesus is with me in the everyday. I feel his presence most in the relationships I have with those I journey through life with: the support we offer each other in the tough times, the celebrations we enjoy in the good times and everything in between.

  • Justin took up his new role of Head of Design and Print at the beginning of this month.

Written by

A photo of Justin Reeves.

Justin Reeves

Outgoing Kids Alive! Editor, THQ

Have you got a testimony to share?

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Email salvationist@salvationarmy.org.uk

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