Core scripture: “It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me.” (Daniel 4:2)
Message: Every Christian has a story. People love stories. They grip you. They draw you in and let you live out methodical melodies in your mind. Whenever I hear Big Daddy Weave’s “My Story” on the radio, I am taken back to a much simpler time in my life when I discovered who Jesus really was. When I thought all was bleak and hopeless, He was there, pulling me out of the black abyss of depression that I had fallen into. Those words he sings make me smile.
If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn’t let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine
If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him
How do I even begin to tell of Him? How can I even put it into words? What I have found is that the more I share my testimony with others, the more I heal from the pain before I was saved. God took the darkest, most dismal scenes from my life and somehow wove them into a beautiful tapestry that can only be worthy of His makings. I am a testimony of His unconditional love.
This past Sunday, February 9, 2020 marked the seven-year anniversary of my baptism. That picture above means the world to me. It was the day I decided to go all in for Christ. After years of living with one foot in the world and one with God, I finally took the plunge. Best decision of my life. To be born again … to be saved from the fires of hell … it means everything to me.
David Crowder’s “Forgiven” likewise speaks much truth to my story. Let these words sink in to your mind. Soak them in. They express the pure joy I feel knowing that God never gave up on me. He never left me. And when I thought my story was about to end, the Lord wrapped me in His loving arms. Holding me. Comforting me. Wiping every tear from my weary face.
I could’ve been six feet under
I could’ve been lost forever
Yeah I should be in that fire
But now there’s fire inside of me
Here I am a dead man walking
No grave gonna hold God’s people
All the weight of all our evil
Lifted away forever free
Who could believe, who could believe?
You love me even when I don’t deserve it
Forgiven, I’m Forgiven
Jesus Your blood makes me innocent
So I will say goodbye to every sin
I am forgiven
I am so thankful that He forgives. How I wish I could forgive so readily. So freely. But I am thankful for more than just His forgiveness. I am thankful that God led me through the murkiest moments of my life. The scars from those dark days? I would not wish them on my worst enemy; however, oddly, I am thankful for them. Yes, I am thankful for the scars. Without those scars, I would not know my Lord. I Am They says it best in their hit song, “Scars” when they declare …
Waking up to a new sunrise
Looking back from the other side
I can see now with open eyes
Darkest water and deepest pain
I wouldn’t trade it for anything
‘Cause my brokenness brought me to You
And these wounds are a story You’ll use
So I’m thankful for the scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know Your heart
And I know they’ll always tell of who You are
So forever I am thankful for the scars
It is only fitting that I close off with God’s Word. It is a verse I say often to my boys before they go to bed. They now know it by heart. And although they may not know the raw details of my testimony, they do know that God gets all the glory from it. Psalm 40:1-2 states,
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
On this week of Valentine’s Day, celebrate the unconditional love that God lavishes us with.
Challenge: Share your testimony in one way or another. It may be telling your story to a friend in need. It may be speaking to a group of FCA students. Or it may be sharing it publically on a website like I have. You can read my testimony on the following link: http://www.1millionstories.org/stories/337.
Just for fun: Enjoy this clip of baptism fails!
Prayer: Father, thank You for never giving up on me. Use my story to inspire others and to bring others to Christ. Amen.