Saturday, 19 April 2008

How to spice up your testimony

One of the things that has really struck me today is just how frequently I think my testimony is dull. I wonder how many people have a similar testimony to mine:

I was brought up in a Christian family, attended a good church from my birth and was a really well behaved kid. Having said all that, I was never particularly interested in Christianity as a kid and treated church as one of the many chores I had to do along with brushing my teeth and having a bath.

I definitely didn't have a dramatic conversion by any stretch of the imagination. To be perfectly honest, I can't even remember when I became serious about Christianity, but it was probably somewhere between 11 and 18. During that time, God gradually revealed so much about him to me through hearing good talks at church, through looking at the Bible in various Christian youth groups and through the witness of Christians at church and my Christian parents at home.

As I said, it wasn't dramatic, I just gradually became more and more aware of how I had removed God from his correct position in my life - being God. In my life, I was living as if I was the most important thing, I did things my way and definitely not God's. This definitely didn't lead to crime or anything really bad, but I just treated myself as being the most important person in my life.

I begun to realise that this really wasn't good and that as the Bible says, displacing God from his positon in this way is rebellion against God and it was going to end up like rebellion against a king - with punishment being dished out on the rebels for their rebellion.

At some stage I decided to place my trust in Jesus to save me from the punishment I deserved for my rebellion. I realised that I couldn't just stop rebelling - I was physically incapable of not living with myself at the centre of my life. I understood that Jesus had died on the cross and that when he did, he had taken the punishment for my rebellion, and that if I trusted in him, my punishment would be dealt with and I would be made alright with God.

I also understood that when you put this type of trust in Jesus, God does something strange - he makes you more and more able to live with him at the centre of your life. It has finally become possible to stop rebelling against God. Having said that, even ten (or so!) years on I still slip up and go back into living with myself as the most important person in the whole world. The good thing is that Jesus took the punishment for this once and for all.

Nowadays I still trust Jesus to save me from my rebellion. I'm getting better at living with God as the most important person in my life, which in practise takes the form of acting as he says in the Bible and not doing things my way. I still struggle though and it's really hard to not slip up and resort to living the way I used to.
To be fair, it's no Paul conversion is it?! Sometimes I've been a little bit ashamed of my testimony and tried to spice it up by making myself seem a little bit worse before I became a Christian. So are you wondering like me about how you can spice up your testimony?

How to spice up your testimony

Sorry for the anti-climax. Actually, I'm not at all! I can't tell you how to spice up your testimony and make it more exciting because my testimony is already incredible and so is yours (if you're a Christian!) There's need (or way) to make it any more exciting or impressive - it is already as impressive as it can possibly be.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Get this: God loves you so much that he chose you before time to save you when you were dead in your sins and trespasses (your rebellion) and on top of this, he has raised you up to the same level of Jesus Christ - God's own Son. If that's not exciting enough, you don't have to do anything except believe it - you are saved by God's amazing unconditional love and it was by his initiative, you haven't done anything to deserve it.

One word: wow.

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