1 Timothy 1:12-16
“And I thank Jesus Christ our Lord, who has enabled me, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.”
Paul gives us a brief synopsis of his testimony in vs. 12-16, and I can so relate to Paul in regards to being the “chief of sinners”! For the longest time I have been ashamed of my testimony- actually, for years I have been ashamed to tell anyone how I came to know Christ. When asked I will give them a synopsis like Paul did here, but telling them the full story- not ready to do that.
You see, my testimony is full of pride, adultery, deception and drug abuse; just to name a few. But you see, our testimonies are not for ourselves, they are for “those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.” (vs.16)
We should not be afraid or ashamed of the roads we travelled to get to Jesus- for through it someone else may need to come- they may be travelling the same road and need directions. We are not our own, neither are our testimonies. If you could share your testimony and show one person the love and mercy of Jesus Christ, then isn’t it worth sharing?
Most of you are aware that Brett and I seem to attract (through our children) youth that are troubled, living in unbelief and other darkness that is out there in the world. Our house is the “hang out” house for all the youth to come to. There are times when they come over- both my kids are gone- and these girls and boys will hang out with me and we will talk. The Lord has opened Brett and I’s home to be a place of refuge for these children, a place where they can come- not be judged, not be condemned- but be loved and at peace. Our youth today do not need judged, they need love.
I see it all the time- (and yes, I am bunny trailing for just a minute) I see youth come into the church, and instead of the body loving them where they are at- they begin to “preach at them”- you shouldn’t wear that, you shouldn’t do this. What our children and youth need is someone to say, “I love you- right where you are. I don’t care what you wear- I love you.” Can we try that, please? Do you know how many youth have come into my home, went to church and never went back because they were judged the whole time they were there! It breaks your heart to think that not only the body does it- but the youth leaders and pastors as well! (I digress)
This is what I learned today- my testimony, though it may be littered with all things unholy and filled with darkness, there was a light that shined in my heart- a seed that was planted so many years before that grew and became hope, and eternal life for this wayward child. That is all that the Lord is asking of us- to be that light, that hope for that wayward traveler, for that lost soul. No matter the age, no matter the lifestyle they now live- no matter- be a light. I needed a light that was set on a hill to go towards; someone was that light for me. Who, right now, in your life are you a light for? Who needs that light?
Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Be that light- go and do the ministry which God has enabled us for, which is:Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Ame