Thursday, September 25, 2008

My personal testimony of God's undeserved grace to me.

Last week the secretary of our Awana club asked me, along with the other new leaders, to give her our written testimony. I was supposed to have it done yesterday (sorry Jackie!) but didn't get to it til today. I thought it would be a good thing to post:

When I was little, I heard stories about the Bible at Sunday School and Cubbies. My mom told me them at home, too. One day, when I was four, almost five, I was at home with my mom in the kitchen. She was telling me about how everyone has sin. People who sin have to be punished. The punishment for sin is to go to a terrible, painful place called hell. But God sent Jesus, who was perfect and didn't deserve any punishment, to die on the cross and pay for our sin. If we believe that He did that, then we don't have to go to hell when we die. We can go to heaven to be with God. If we don't trust in Jesus' death to save us, we will have to go to hell. Well, I didn't want to go to hell. I wanted to trust in Jesus. My mom helped me pray to God and ask Him to forgive me for my sin. As soon as I was done praying, I felt like a heavy load had been taken off my shoulders. I couldn't even describe it. I was so happy. I remember thinking that I loved Jesus more that any of my favorite things.

Well, there wasn't an immediate dramatic change in my life after that. But I kept learning about God and what the Bible teaches from church and Awana and at home. I memorized lots of verses out of my Awana books, too.

The summer I turned 11, I got to go to Awana Scholarship Camp. There I decided that I really wanted to follow Christ. I purposed to read the Bible every day, and I came home really excited. But, despite my good intentions, I couldn't keep it up, and the spiritual high passed. Life went back to normal. Sort of. This happened year after year. As the years passed, there would be times that I sensed that my spiritual life was stagnant. I would pray and ask God, "What do you want me to do?". And I would always hear that still small voice say, "Be baptized." Now I knew what baptism was: a public declaration to follow Christ. I knew it was good, and I knew it was what believers should do. But I was afraid. I was afraid of going in front of the whole church, not to mention going to the pastor to say I wanted to be baptized in the first place. So I put it off. I rationalized. And I remained discontent. There were times that I almost did it. Several times on the last day of camp I would tell myself that I was going to get up at testimony time and announce that I would be baptized when I got home. But I didn't get up. I was too afraid. It was my secret battle. Finally, when I was 15, I came home from a Christian retreat, and I was tired of fighting. I surrendered and told my dad that I wanted to be baptized. A month or so later, I was. And a most thrilling surrender it was.

My third year of camp, my counselor had really encouraged me to be baptized. She said that after she was baptized, she really experienced blessing. Looking back, it was the same with me. The habit of reading the Bible finally fell into place. The winter I was 16, I had a hard-to-describe milestone moment with God. To sum it up, I fell in love with Him. I learned what it meant to have a personal relationship with God.

As I grow up and life goes on, I lean more and more on this great God I serve. He is constantly teaching and growing and helping me. The Bible memorization and study that I've done have been invaluable. I want to obey Him wholeheartedly, although I fail every day. This life and love I have from Him is the best thing I have ever been given, and I want everyone else to have it too. May my story bring Him glory!


  1. I like the last line in this post: "This love and life are the best things I've ever been given, and I want everyone else to have it too." You really hit the nail on the head for evangelism. It's not about being right or shoving an apologetic teaching down an unbeliever's throat, it's about living out our faith for all to see and trusting that God will show them, through us, the contentment and security that only a life in Christ brings.

    "I waited patiently for the Lord, he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord."

    -Psalm 40:1-3

    Looking back, I'm thank God for my interim in that mud and mire, that testing in the fire of life that brought me to dependence upon Him.

    "It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn your decrees."

    -Psalm 119:71

    I also give glory to Him alone for making me realize what I'm missing when I don't take time out of my day to be with Him. It's like, if I don't go to be with him, my day may turn out alright, but I'll feel far more drained and anxious, and unfulfilled, than if I had "cried to Him, and let my prayer come to him early in the morning." -Psalm 88:13

    Rather than just jabbering on about me myself and I, I want to let you know that I am PRAYING FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY HARDCORE. I'm praying that as you grow as a godly woman that God will point you in the direction He wants you to take for His glory. Because He wishes to send all of us into the world to shine his light. "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few."

    Think of it this way: God is the archer, your parents and the godly principles they've raised you with is the bow, and you're the arrow. Even though you can't see the target (Because, as everyone knows, arrows don't have eyes [I say this in the tone of Vincinni from The Princess Bride] ;-)-, God has already determined your destination and soon enough will loose the arrow and send you flying towards it. At some point in the near future you will have to make very hard decisions on your own, apart from your parents, and I pray that you God will give you the strength and wisdom to make the right choices. I know you can do it. You have a good head on your shoulders.

    Found a really cool quote:

    "What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could be like gods-could set up on their own as if they had created themselves-be their won masters-invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history-money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery-the long terrible stroy of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy. The reason why it can never succeed is this. God made us: invented us as man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burnor the food our spirits were designed to feed on. there is no other. That is why it is just no good asking god to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because there is no such thing. It does not exist."

    -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

    Anyways Liz, I pray still that God will make you bold to share His Kingdom with others, and that He will give you more and more of His presence and a stronger and deeper relationship with Him.
    "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
    -Romans 12:12

    God Bless!!!


  2. You have an awesome testimony. Maybe I should right down mine. It is more or less mentally written already.

    I agree with Shane that that sentence hits evangelism on the head. We are not following some ritualist religion of tradition; we are in a deep and personal relationship with God, our best friend, and King of kings and Lord of lords. He sent is only son down to die, paying the ultimate price so that we could be set free from sin's terrible strangle hold on our lives. What we have to share is personal. It has changed our lives for the better and because we care for those around us, we want to tell them how they can have a better life as well.

    Shane you've pretty much covered it. Love the quote by C.S. Lewis! I agree with Shane. You (we actually) are a light in a dark world. "The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." John 1:5 We live it and share it, the Holy Spirit changes the hearts. Of course I don't think re-typing my blog on relationships and evangelism is needed. Stay strong!

    Corey <><