Friday, April 3, 2009

i'll tell you YOUR testimony!

Testimonies vary wide and deep, how many differences there are, how many different people that are in the kingdom of God. Right? Yes but actually no.
You've got the same testimony that i do, the drug addict has my testimony, the thief has my testimony, the persecutor has my testimony and they have yours!
If we can only grasp this, if only we only spoke and testified and preached in this reality, how much MORE glorious our God will be seen.
Something has always rather confused me, and it's those church testimonies that go like this, 'well i was always raised in church, i never really did anything bad, i was a good person, i guess you could say that the Lord kept me from those things, but i'm saved.' Did the thought 'sounds kinda cheap' run through your mind? Ever talked to such people that sounded disappointed that they don't have a 'good' testimony?
Well did their salvation cost Jesus less, did he get a bargain with such people? NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!
Listen to a church raised preacher, a 'sheltered' church kid that most churches probably would had declared 'righteous', SPURGEON, and he spoke of his self in this way;
But my heart has a deeper and more bitter cause to mourn: MY SINS were the scourges which lacerated those blessed shoulders! MY SINS were the thorns which crowned that bleeding brow! MY SINS cried, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" and laid the cruel cross upon His gracious shoulders! His being led forth to die, is sorrow enough for one eternity--but MY having been His murderer--is more, infinitely more grief, than one poor fountain of tears can express! Those women who loved and wept--could not have had greater reasons for love and grief--than my heart has!
Friend you HAVE a MIGHTY testimony, you HAVE been forgiven MUCH: you like this dear preacher CRUCIFIED JESUS! You were a vicious and murderous rebel, who sought your own gain, you worshipped self, you were a spiritual harlot, you were a child of the devil, God's wrath was upon YOU, and you fought against His kingdom, and thus you were headed towards eternal damnation which was your just punishment!
As i have said before, Jesus not only died for you, but more precisely He died because of you, if it wasn't for your sins there would be no cross!
Consider then what a great salvation that we have recieved, a mighty worship-producing salvation. REPENT of your low view of His death and ressurection, you were NO bargain, You equally earned damnation. Would you dare blaspheme God and think we He saved you that He needed only smooth out some rough edges, a mild tune-up, as though you were a little closer then others? Reject that type of thinking utterly, we need a solid and thorough view of our own sins. I love how JC Ryle always pointed out that even in our supposed good there was much wickedness. In fact it's the hypocrite that has more to repent of, because of the way he's presented the Lord, more to repent of because of his worthless sacrifices and self-righteousness!
Isn't a low view of salvation a great cause for much depression, much anxiety, the opposite of abounding joy! We must seek to exalt our God and have a biblical view of personal depravity.
Consider in Luke 7, where Jesus makes the point: Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."
Is Jesus saying that the only people who can love much and give much devotion are people that have the most sins to confess?
If you answered NO you are correct! Jesus is speaking of value coming from understanding, those who grasp (the much they need to repent of) will have a greater love for Christ. Our love springs from this knowledge, and in fact we are constantly admonished to think upon these things which is the greatest producer of fruit.
IF you can grasp this, not only will it bless you, but it will bless others. DO you see that drunk, that thug, that loose girl, that rebel, and think to yourself 'man are they REALLY lost, i don't know if i could reach them?' You are thinking like Oprah, like a mad man, what you see is a vile sinner who's in need of the same MIRACLE that you have received (salvation), they don't need a 'greater' measure of the Spirit to convict or save them. Yes you CAN'T reach them, but praise God He isn't depending on your experience or your eloquence- you need only be faithful to the GOSPEL, for IT is the power of God unto salvation. Neither buy into the lie 'but it's too hard for me, i'm this... or i've spent lived this many years in this....' LIES LIES, let God be true and every man a liar! What they need to be told is that they feel like that because they've attempted it in their on strength and their way, not God's. Tell them that God's power is endless, tell them of what a Spirit-birthed conversion looks like, tell them of the conversions of the early church: the pagans, the sexually immoral, the devil worshippers, the murderers---> have you not wondered why the church wasn't begun in peaceful, so called civilized times, sin abounded and yet Grace abounded MUCH more!

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