Deuteronomy 4:6-7 “Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?”
I was in a very difficult situation. My sin had caught up with me and I could see no way out. The consequences seemed unbearable. The shame. The guilt. The unseen eyes that seemed to bore a hole through my soul. I was low… very low. An alcohol fueled accident had crashed my car, landed me in jail and now, I had to face a very pregnant wife who had come to bail me out.
I was lucky to be alive! Yet, with what I had to face that day, I wasn’t so sure. I didn’t see it then, but God was beginning to answer the prayers of those praying for me to quit my drinking. Six months after that accident, I came face to face with the gospel. Unadulterated, clear and powerfully presented, I wrestled with what I knew of God; what I trusted and just how flimsy my argument was for Him to allow me into Heaven.
Finally, I came to a decision. It was either trust the tradition of my parent’s religion, or the God of the Bible. God’s Word backed up every reason for me to trust Him. On the other side of the argument was power I never knew existed.
Mark 7:13 “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”
Experience. Emotion. Memories as real as the face in the mirror. People I could touch and a majority of people in the same bondage stood against the decision to trust Christ. I can remember it being one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. I knew Mom and Dad would not like it. Later, I came to find out just how much.
But this stood out to be one of those life decisions that make up who we are in life. In retrospect, it has defined everything I am today.
That day I knelt under those bushes outside of the door at Marquette Electronics on June 18th, 1990, I became a child of God. Saved. Born again. Never more to question my eternal destiny.
Every day since then has been a most wonderful journey!
I carry with me, a testimony of just what my God has done and will do because of His Word. Simply, because I obeyed, I was given something bigger than me, larger than life and now, more powerful than I could ever know.
The history of Israel as a nation is quite fascinating. Looking back, you and I could have made decisions far different than they did. Then again, we could do the same in our own life. Hindsight is 20/20 vision. But as a saved child of God, I know have a far greater responsibility not only to myself, but to the One who saved me.
Yesterday while out soulwinning, we visited the Mom of a concerned son who had passed along to our church her name and number to visit her. Usually, you never know just what you’ll find on the other side of the door when making blind visits like this. We knocked and introduced ourselves and were allowed in.
Through the course of our conversation, one thing was clearly evident: those who represented Christ to this woman, had so tainted the gospel with their poor testimony, that we had no open door to help her. Who we are to those closest to us, matters most. They see the change, but they also see the humanity.
How you and I deal with those moments of carnality, will truly be the ‘make or break’ point for them. Yes, God may allow a second swing at presenting the gospel – but not always. And because you and I are given no guarantees to ever have another chance, we must work to preserve what we do have so that we do not become a stumbling block or the excuse lost people use for not trusting Christ.
You see, this person suffered abuse at the hands of one professing Christ as Savior. They were hurt by the very one who could have lovingly brought them to the foot of the cross to trust the Savior; just as they had.
Just as Moses rehearsed in the ears of the nation of Israel, we must remind ourselves just what it was we were saved from. I did not pull myself up by my own bootstraps. I did not conqueror my addiction through self-improvement, denial, or secular or socially acceptable program. God saved me. Totally and wholly. He gave me the power to quit. He deserves all the credit.
Each of us struggles from time to time, to maintain a consistent, faithful testimony before the ones closest to us. We all face trials, testing and tribulations. It is what we do in those times; how we handle ourselves while in the midst of those times that make our testimony even more powerful.
There is an unseen group of folks who heard that you are now a Christian and began to watch to see if what you got was real. It is to those folks our testimony will be a most powerful tool. Coworkers, neighbors and extended family; they are all watching.
During one of the most difficult times in my life, I prayed that God would give me the grace to be able to help others grieve; to help others see that Jesus truly makes a difference through the toughest trials of life.
Family knows all too well our past and who we were then. Who they see today, tomorrow and in the weeks, months and years to follow, will show what a difference Christ makes in our life.
Romans 13:14 “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
Ephesians 4:22-24 “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Because we have an enemy, he wants to keep others from making the same decision you made for Christ. Covet the testimony you have been given. More importantly, live today as if the whole world were watching every step, listening to every word and taking copious notes.
You and I may never know this side of Heaven, just who it is that is watching us. All we really need to know though, is that our Heavenly Father is watching and He’s the One that we should live to please.