| Re: |
Amen! That's basically my story too, but i just feel the details in my life really go along way to show you:
1.) God is Soveriegn
2.) Noone is too far gone for God's Grace to reach them!
| 2012/4/25 15:58|
| Re: |
Jeffmar. I read your initial post last night. I must say that though there was an immediate desire to respond in testimony, something was a bit dissettling about the request. It may very well be that others were of the same mind in this. Not to judge motives, but you do understand that this is very Holy ground. Though we look for opportunity to share what God has done to us, there is also the concern that that which is considered so precious, be treated lightly as though it were just another topic of conversation or worse yet; entertainment. Once again this is not to judge anyone's motives but rather to offer a possible explaination of why some may have been reserved with such a request.
For the most part SI is comprised of believers and some reserve their testimony for the right moment in which to share with one of their fellow saints. Such testimonies I have been given by others here on SI and the impact has brought me to praise the Lord for His consideration of those who were lost, and were granted mercy that changed their life and as a result they would never be the same. MJ had a good point and one cannot discount the now in what is being shared. The saints testimony does not end at regeneration for it is a living testimony of the workings of Christ upon the believer.
With all this said, I will give you a shortened version of what God has done in my life.
I was led down a Roman road at 17 with the recitation of the sinners prayer. That night I was given assurance by my youth leader of my salvation. I would hold to it even up to five years ago. I had become a teacher and pillar in my church and God knows what else would have become me had I been left in such a decieved state.
The apostle Paul was just minding his own business, hunting down saints and having them imprisoned and killed when God interrupted his plans. Paul was not fit to untie the Master's sandals and I am not fit to untie Pauls. I am in no way comparing myself to Paul other than what is shared intervention of God. I considered myself as saved as one could be. The last thing in the world I was looking for was salvation. I was listening to Paul Washer teach on Marriage (so that I could change my wife who needed it). He was not speaking on marriage but rather on the sovereignty of God (something I had taught and thought I knew well. It was at that point that God lifted the veil ever so slightly so that I would be overwhelmed by His presence, though He be omnipresent, He can choose to reveal Himself to men in whatever measure He desires. I was speechless in His presence and in total awe. God showed me who He was and shortly thereafter, He set my eyes on myself. As all who have been saved can testify, it is a desperate and shameful experience to stand before the Living God and be exposed to yourself for the first time being shown who you really are. It was then that I saw the travesty of what Christ would bear because of me.
It would take me a long time to understand this work of God. Why me? Better yet, why me when I was not even looking to be saved? It is grace upon grace that saves and this is how I have come to know it. Though this experience came at some minor cost regarding the fellowship I was joined to, God never forgot me. Just as He promised in scripture, He is always faithful.
| 2012/4/25 16:06||Profile|
| Re: |
Quote: You have the tenth gift called 'Assumptions'. It is to laugh. :-)
I know many of the "long time regulars" saw this and just thought nothing of it, not feeling compelled at all to share about the grace poured out on them. I know they viewed it based on "who's online now". Yet, many of these same people would immediately lay out a 10 paragraph discourse to argue a point if I started a new post on something political, a theological doctrine that people disagree on, etc.
Sometimes I don't bother with testimony time or certain threads because they appear syrupy and personally I have a difficult time forming words to post anything in those threads. It depends on the introduction of the thread, the mood of the room, the sincerity. And yes, you are right in assuming that it's easy to cast ones vote when discussing political and theological matters, those subjects are the lure for great discussions than having testimony in the amen corner.
I find using life's examples that are wrapped around a testimony to be most beneficial than it is to talk generally about one's salvation, to me there is not much salt in that therefore I am not going to give much of a speech about my testimony. Let me give you an example.
A Christian brother of mine had found out that his wife was seeing another man. In great anger he was ready to do some damage. I was home in bed at the time and as I lay there talking to the Lord, I felt to get up and put my clothes on, get on the bus and go uptown. I had no idea why I was going I just did. When I got up there I started walking around and as I was approaching a street corner my friend who had fire in his eyes came around the corner, he was filled with rage. When I saw him I knew what the Lord wanted me to do. I walked with him and I listened to him rave on until his spirit quieted down til his sanity returned to him. I offered no advice, I was there to listen.
In this true account there is a testimony wrapped around a story. Personally, this is my mode of offering a testimony.
| 2012/4/25 16:20|
| Re: |
Just So you know, my motive was not one to profane the holy things of God, but to redirect the saints to remember what God has done, is doing, & will do. I would never even think of it as entertainment. In fact, what could lead one to misunderstand that is part/parcel of my whole point: the forum thread itself and discussions about the holy things of God - NONE of that should be viewed as, categorized with, or treated as entertainment! Too much arguing for the sake of entertainment like its a theater to battle it out (pride).
Also, as one who for many years did a fair amount of street evangelism I learned something. Some people know a lot ABOUT the Bible. Some know a lot ABOUT God. Some know a lot ABOUT the Gospel. But they don't KNOW HIM. They've never been regenerated and born again into the kingdom of God. They've never truly had their sons washed away and been set free from sin and seen themselves for what they really are.
What's the fastest way to make it obvious to one trying to minister the Gospel and to the person that's the case? When they have no testimony! Anyone who has spent any time on the street preaching/sharing the Godpel knows when someone believes themselves saved & you ask: What's your testimony: when you hear all about what church/denomination they attend or they struggle to answer, it's because they haven't apprehended the Gospel yet, turned to the Lord, repented of their sons, believed on the cross, and been born again.
Just want to clarify my motive-entertainment has zero to do with this thread and should have zero to do as a whole with this website and the forums as a whole. That's part of the problem. Moderators PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong.
Truth is, a couple of the responses I got on a couple of forum threads truly made me wonder: I wonder if that person even truly knows the Lord? We can't see each other. I don't know what your secret life is like? Your prayer life? How you treat you'd family? If you've truly been born again. I'm not saying a testimony written or not is a 100% litmus test (please no one argue against something I'm not saying - save that time), but most believers I know love to share their testimony because it gives Glory to Him, not man. Not them or any other man. Just to Gods Soceriegm Grace & Glory. That's all! Be blessed!!
| 2012/4/25 16:32|
| Re: |
hi, i have a friend who went to church to rob purses during the invitation and he was the first down at the altar.jimp
| 2012/4/25 17:25||Profile|
| Re: |
SERIOUSLY. are you for real? That's so funny to see how what the devil meant for bad, God could make for good! That's awesome!
| 2012/4/25 17:26|
| Re: Which side of this debate do you stand on? Speak up now Let it be known!|
Jeffmar, i understand why you think and say that, and it makes sense....in SOME cases. However, speaking for myself personally, I no longer share my testimony with people because hearts are too hard, even the hearts of church people, and i have encountered too much disbelief. Apparently my testimony is too much for many to believe. Just as the apostle Paul experienced when he gave his testimony and they said, "Paul, you are mad!!" And just as the Pharisees in Jesus day saw Him do miracles right in front of their face yet they did not believe, neither would the average American today. I am weary of hard hearted people.
Another (bigger) reason i dont give my testimony is it is so long and i am not good at "story telling"; i'm not good at laying out the details in an orderly, non-rambling fashion.Furthermore, much of it is dark and brings up a lot of pain. It is exhausting to think through let alone write it out or talk about the things that led up to it. And, like another poster on here, my testimony is not nearly finished.
In my experience the average church goer (often raised in a Christian home)has not experienced anything supernatural and so they are disbelieving when someone comes along who has. If i give my testimony again it will only be to a very broken person or to another Christian who has also experienced the supernatural. But even then, only if i can do so without being exhausted. Thank you for your testimony however...it is fascinating and wonderful to read.
| 2012/4/25 18:25||Profile|
| Re: |
Just a note to all - when I say "share your testimony of your conversion" in this context, I'm referring to the events leading up to and including the new birth. I understand what you all are saying - "my testimony isn't over yet". Who's is this side of death/eternity? Mine certainly isn't. I can tell you much more of what God has done since, is doing now, and has put in my heart He's gonna do in the future. But, in this context, I'm not asking for everyone to share ALL of what they have ever done/gone/going through (unless they choose to do so), but their actual conversion experience. That's all I was asking for people to share. Just to clarify. God Bless
| 2012/4/25 18:58|
| Re: |
This was a good topic to bring up Jeff. I actually have been guilty of not reading some posts like this one in the past too. I have noticed that is the trend here, just look through old threads and see which ones have the least views or replies. Some of the most precious gems slip through the cracks. One day Lord willing we will share in person. Although there are many brethren I love on this forum, I am more lead to share in person or even by private blog.
| 2012/4/25 19:21|
| One forward, three back.|
Where the Spirit of the Lord is; There is Liberty. I saw this thread up in the start of it, and did not feel led to respond. I have a testimony of grace, that continues today.
I try and post when inspired, and in some way, felt that the invitation to testify became a demand, with a somewhat critical view of "regulars" that would defer to the "political, theological, or controversial", or "who's online now", rather than something as important as your thread on testimony.
"I know many of the "long time regulars" saw this and just thought nothing of it, not feeling compelled at all to share about the grace poured out on them. I know they viewed it based on "who's online now". Yet, many of these same people would immediately lay out a 10 paragraph discourse to argue a point if I started a new post on something political, a theological doctrine that people disagree on, etc."...Jeffmar
And add to that this, implying your assessment of the motive of our "stance oriented posts"..embedded in your religious prayer for us all....
"Lord crush me into the powder of total humility, so that truly I can be used to bear real fruit for your kingdom, not just flesh giving birth to flesh, making me feel good about my religious stances. God forgive and forbid WE go on in such manner!!!!"..Jeffmar
So, as we stumble around in our religious bickering ordering "flesh giving birth to flesh", as we make ourselves "feel good about our religious stances",and our bearing no "real fruit" for the Kingdom, and you see it as something God may forbid us to go in.
The testimony thread of yours proves this, when we do not submit to the authority of it, as you have declared it. You may be surprised to know some of the history of the forum members, and I would counsel you that true fruit is never born in the idea realm. Often persona's are reinforced for one to believe so, but real fruit is born when we actually love others , and mercy others as Jesus emits Himself from our beings, to others.
"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, "From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water!"..Jesus
I have not been led to give my full testimony here, and may never do so, and here, I have the liberty to be led, or not. It is not wise to presume so much on others who may not , for many reasons, desire to post on something that you believe would prove spirituality by doing so, and brand "religious bickering" if they do not.
Just lay it out there, and give others the freedom to respond, and try to lay down this judgmental aspect of others who do not comply as you see fit. It doesn't work, and is presumptuous, and does not allow others grace to be led. When we point the finger..[ Isaiah 58 ] there is three-fold pointing back.
Anyway, Grace on you Jeffmar. The testimony idea is a good one, and has been done before....Tom
| 2012/4/25 22:10|