Changed By Glory

"And we all… beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another." II Cor. 3:18



Power of a Testimony

As children of God, called and saved through Jesus Christ, we all have a unique story called a testimony in Christianeze. It is a beautiful display of God’s grace and can vary from the simplicity of a young child in a Christian home who puts their faith in Christ to the heroine-addict or prostitute wallowing in darkness responding to the light of Christ and being delivered from their wretched state. It is a story that does not end when the blood of the Lamb is first applied, but goes on with sanctification until the last breath is drawn.

A testimony is a powerful thing with three main functional aspects in the life of the redeemed.

Assurance: Our testimony is a reminder of who we are in Christ. It is the vehicle of the hope that lies within us. Our testimony is a component to God’s Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God. (Romans 8:16) It is a testament to us when trials come of what God has done, thus giving us assurance of what He will do, ultimately our complete salvation in His eternal kingdom.

Warfare:“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” (Rev12:11) One of the greatest weapons in our spiritual warfare arsenal is that of testimony. In Ephesians 6 we see that the shield of faith can disperse all of the fiery darts of the evil one. Faith in who Christ is and who we are in Christ. 1 Thess 5:8 refers to the hope of salvation as a helmet, protecting the mind against the lies of the enemy. Satan has been placed under the feet of the redeemed, he has no authority over the one with a testimony. Our testimony declares that our destiny is secure and that the enemy can never pluck us from the hand of the Father. I often find myself verbally putting the enemy in his place, reiterating the work of Christ and declaring the chronicles of God’s grace in my life. This is an atom bomb to be used in the hour when darkness crowds around.  Arm yourself with testimony, take time to chronicle the works of God in your life starting with your salvation. This will lead not only to being mightily armed against the evil one, but will bring praise and thanksgiving to your heart!

Evangelism: This is a big one to me. The testimony of the saints is the greatest tool in the craft of evangelism. It is a beautiful thing that speaks truth from the heart in the simplest way. When backed by our lives it offers the most undeniable proof of the truth of God’s word and the power of His saving grace! This gets me excited! Every believer has a testimony, thus every believer is equipped to fulfill the great commission, to be ambassadors for Christ. I am not a good speaker and I often trip over my tongue, yet God has called me to the role of evangelist and church-planter. When I first began evangelizing I was compelled to build my presentation of the gospel around my testimony. I found that if, as I mentioned before, I considered my calling, redemption, and sanctification there was seldom a time that I could not find some way to relate to the person I was sharing with. There is power in looking in the eyes of a lost soul and declaring the hope that is in you. It is the greatest proof of the love of God and His sanctifying power. With a testimony you do not need formal theological training or to know the latest evangelism skit or other such hokus-pokus (though some of these things are great!). For those that are very timid you need only be able to declare in your own words that you are a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior. I could go on, but please, start telling people what Christ has done for you.

Conclusion: I believe that all three of these aspects of testimony intertwine beautifully. If you ponder upon you assurance you will not be able to help the urge to make known what great things God has done for you. As you share your testimony you are bringing light to darkness and doing battle with the enemy! Take some time in your devotions, ponder on what God has done in your life, study the promises of scripture, then let it lead to action. In this way your joy will increase, you will defeat the enemy, and you will fulfill the great commission.


Jerusalem In Ruins: Introduction

Recently I once again found myself in the book of Nehemiah. The first time I studied this book I saw the main theme as a guide to godly leadership. I was captivated by all that can be learned about Nehemiah as a leader and how clearly it applies for today. However, this time as I began to casually scan over the verses I was hit for some reason by the words “…Jerusalem is broken down…..the city….lies in ruins.” (Nehemiah 1:3, 2:3) My heart was tugged and convicted immediately by the first chapter. As the book continued, and as I pondered on the history leading up to these events, I was struck with an alarming sense of deja vu. I saw a picture of the western church as Jerusalem with its defenses torn down and smoke billowing from it gates. The few believers huddled within these ruins are hungry, discouraged and in constant danger of attack. They long badly for a leader to come and save the day, to rebuild. With a troubled heart I can with hindsight rewind my vision, back to the time when Solomon’s temple stood tall and the walls were a place of refuge and were a symbol to the world of might and splendor and glory of the God of Israel. A city that was a bold proclamation from on high that these were a chosen people, set apart for the glory of the one and only eternal Sovereign. I began to think over the elapsed time to see if I could learn what went wrong. After wading through the muck of the sin , unfaithfulness, and compromise of God’s chosen I was grieved as if looking in a mirror. Amidst countless warning the congregation of Zion continued in their rebellion. With my usual rashness I was quick to begin dictating a grim message against the sin of the western church. Then I stopped… my thoughts went back to where I started, to that small band of huddled believers. This group knows of the sin and compromise that led them there, to them it has been told. They scratch out a survival and wait for restoration, wait for someone to come and make it happen. Really what they need is to be shown how to be a catalyst, starting with Nehemiah as an example. Revival and restoration in the church take place when the individuals that the church is comprised of repent of their sins, personally and corporately and then seek to get on mission to glorify their God and to once again make themselves a monument to His glory and grace.
As I seek God for this in my life I would like to post a series of blogs on what it looks like to be a catalyst for revival and restoration in the church and get on mission for God’s glory. How we can be a part of restoring a Jerusalem in ruins.

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