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Friday, July 02, 2010

In Reponse to banddear

Hi bandddear,

I tried to post this as a comment in response to yours regarding my question about sharing my testimony. However, blogger told me that I had too many characters, and so I'm just posting my comments as a post.

Thank you for your opinions, and for pointing me to the Word. I love it when people exhort me through His Word. :)

I disagree with you completely when you say that for someone to share their testimony, it is a sign of a self-image problem.

I am deeply thankful that Paul shared his own with us on repeated occasions throughout Scripture.

Where might I be today without Rahab's testimony, or the woman in Luke chapter 7's testimony, or even Ruth's for that matter?

There have been countless times that I have shared what the good hand of my God has done for me, at speaking engagements or in Bible studies, only to have women come forth with tears pouring down their precious cheeks to tell me that hearing my testimony gave them HOPE...and that they wanted to be forgiven of the Lord too.

Which, of course led us straight back into the Word...and even times when I had the great gift of seeing some of them drawn to God by His Spirit at those very moments.

I don't live in my past. I don't let my past beat me up. I am fully aware that it has been forgiven, and that I am to press on toward the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Praise God!

Yet, we do need to hear the testimonies of others. There is overcoming power in the testimony of those snatched from the pit of sin, to serve the Risen Savior!

I remember the first time that I heard Kay's testimony. I was absolutely amazed! I'd never heard a Christian share so openly and truthfully about who they had been, or how they had lived.

Yet, here was this woman of God...a woman passionately in love with studying His Word. A woman who was not even a shadow of the one whom she described in her testimony...and she was telling us the truth about what she'd once been like!

I realized in that moment that Christians don't talk about "those things," all to often.

I believe it's why we have people sitting in our churches, hearts broken, thinking they have nowhere to turn...no one they can talk to.

We're all so busy looking good for Sunday that we can't be transparent with one another.

Our divorce rate in church is now higher than in the secular world, I'm told.

Our kids don't look any different than the kids of the world.

Our men are in bondage to lust, playing itself out in any number of ways.

Our women cluck their Christians tongues in prayer meetings asking for prayer for so-n-so, when really it's just a safe place to gossip.

Yet when we can be honest with one another, as Paul was with his audience and with us, we can begin to see people grasp Jesus as the true life changer that He is!

I think of the number of people that I meet who won't even walk into a church because of all the "good church hypocrites" they've met.

I have dear friends and family members who fall into that very category, by their own admission.

Thank you also for the reminder exhortation too see myself as God does, through the imputed righteousness of His Son. Amen and amen!

I am sorry that your experience with the one class of Kay's that you took led you to believe that she thinks we are under law.

I would be interested to know what study you took?

What I love about Precept is that it teaches me a method, which teaches me to study God's Word through the tools of that method...inductively.

Kay would be the first to say that people either love her or hate her...but she'd also want you to know that it's not HER that she wants peoples' eyes on.

She wants their eyes on the Word of God.

Period.

I grew up being taught my whole life that we are under grace. Yet that grace was used as a license for sin in my home, many times.

And right in the midst of it, out would be thrown the very words of God, used so out of context..."we're not under law, we're under grace."

Yes, we are under grace.. were we not none of us would be able to have a relationship with God the Father.

Yet that grace...that COSTLY grace, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer so beautifully shows us in "The Cost of Discipleship" is to be used to point others to Christ, and never as an excuse for our sinful behavior.

"Shall we sin all the more that grace may increase?," the apostle asked...and then answered, "May it never be!"

The baton is now being passed from Jack and Kay to their son David, who will be the spiritual leader of the ministry within the next few years.

I especially love David's heart, (not to say that I don't love Kay's).

David is so dedicated to further commissioning an army of men and women who will go forth and teach others how to discover God's Word; go deeper in their studies with those students; and then see them raised up to disciple still others  in the Truth of God's Word.

It's an exciting time in the ministry...I pray that you will consider trying inductive study again.

After all, any of us would tell you, it's the method that matters... not the messenger.

In the love of Messiah,
Jes

1 comment:

SharonB said...

Amen Jes... just LOVE your heart for God.