Pastor shares his personal walk with God
Bermuda holds a warm place in Russell Tomlinson’s heart. The Florida pastor spent six years ministering here in the early 1990s — and this weekend he’s back, urging locals to go deeper in their faith.
Rev Tomlinson is the guest preacher at Evening Light Pentecostal Church’s revival, which started on Tuesday and continues today with a leadership workshop.
The event wraps up tomorrow with special services at 11am and 7pm at the Parson’s Road Church. Rev Tomlinson tells us more about the event, and talks a bit about his personal walk with the Lord.
What brings you to Bermuda this time around?
I lived and pastored in Bermuda for six years in the early 1990s. I simply love Bermuda and was honoured to be invited to speak at this week’s revival. The message that I have been spreading has primarily been that anyone can experience a tangible encounter with the presence of God. In fact, this is the desire of the human heart. Jesus is called “the desire of the nations” because everybody wants to know and serve a God like Him. I am hoping this message will bring people out of mere religion, and thrust them into a passionate relationship with a God who loves us beyond our deepest desires.
What do you hope people would walk away with?
People will leave the gathering with a peace that is beyond their understanding. This peace comes from knowing that God is not angry, but madly in love with His creation. He is full of grace and compassion towards all that put their faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
How did you personally come to arrive at knowing Christ?
I grew up in a Christian home, however, I rejected the Christian belief and lifestyle. My grandmother helped to shape a lot of my faith. It was through her example that helped me to put my faith into practice. It wasn’t until years later that my faith became my own at a crisis point in my life. It was a simple prayer that bought me into the reality of true faith in Christ. It was His grace that enabled me to accept the righteousness of God instead of struggling to obtain my own righteousness. Because grace was freely given to me I, in turn, am able to see others change as I encourage others to trust in the finished works of Christ Jesus on the cross.
At what age did you then accept the call to full-time ministry?
At the age of 23 I received and accepted God’s call on my life. I answered the call out of a grateful heart towards God. I have been in ministry now for almost 30 years. I am the founder and lead pastor of Faith Alive Fellowship Church in Fort Lauderdale.
What’s been the most important lesson God has taught you over the past three decades?
For me, the most important lesson I’ve learnt is how faithful God is to His word. It’s good to know that there is nothing that happens in life that will ever cause Him to turn His back on me. Selfishness was the source of my misery. Living for God delivered me from a life of self-defeating behaviour.
What would be your advice to any other believer going through trials and tribulations?
When people are going through difficult times, that is when they must know how to receive the grace of God. God’s grace relieves us of the fear of failure, and empowers us in our faith.
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