Category Archives: Testimonies

Testimonies of what God has done

THE TRAVELER

THE TRAVELER

 

A lawyer asked Jesus, what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus replies by asking him, “What is written in the Law?” Quoting the law the lawyer answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27  Jesus responded,  “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” Not being content with Jesus’s answer he asks another question. Who is my neighbor?

Jesus tells him the parable of the good Samaritan.  The story is about a traveler who gets robbed, stripped, beaten, and left to die, on the side of the road. His countrymen finding him ignore him.  Along comes a Samaritan, he takes it upon himself to bring the injured man to an inn and pays the proprietor to care for his wounds.  He promised the proprietor to reimburse him for any extra expense. In this story, Jesus illustrated the one in need is his neighbor.

But wait! Is there more to this story than a Samaritan doing what any decent person would do? A man, traveling from Jerusalem headed to Jericho is ambushed, and left to die. Would it be unreasonable to assume the man is a Jew?  When we, you or I tell a story we make assumptions based on our surroundings. For instance, if we tell a story that occurs in the United States we assume the characters are American unless we are told otherwise. Jesus does exactly that in this story, he identifies the Jewish priest, Levi, and Samaritan. The road is in Jerusalem, the three people who come upon the beaten man, are Jews or of Jewish descent.  Jesus intentionally identifies the other characters in this story. If we look at it in context Jesus is talking to a Jew in Israel, and the story is specifically about Jews how can we assume the victim is not a Jew?

Why does it matter if the victim is a Jew? Jews would not have anything to do with Samaritans. In the story of the woman at the well, “The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)” John 4:9 Because of her race, the woman at the well is surprised, a Jew would ask anything of her. What she is saying is that the Jews did not consider the Samaritans worthy enough to fetch them water. The racism in this statement is palpable.

The act of compassion becomes more than doing the decent thing. It crosses over racial lines, and it becomes an immense act of love. The despised, hated, marginalized, minimized, disrespected, dehumanized Samaritan is now in a position to gloat over the Jew. However, he put aside all the racism he has experienced and lent aid to the victim. He not only helped the beaten man but He transported him to safety, and then pays the bill, and promises to pay for additional expenses.  He is living out Christ’s commandment, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matthew 5:44 (KJV)

Yes, we are to lend aid to our neighbor. Don’t stop doing what a straightforward interpretation of this story implies. Keep helping and working with those that need our help, but also attempt to show love to those who are in opposition to us. If the victim in this story is a Jew, the genuine act of love Christ is referring to goes well beyond doing the right thing.

The world is suffering and dying. Science and governments have failed us. We need a Samaritan and His name is Jesus. Share your testimony.

 

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Take up His Cross

Take up His Cross

 

Throughout the scriptures, there are verses that at first glance are difficult to understand, or are easily misunderstood.  This for me was one of them:  Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24. For the longest time, I misinterpreted this verse. What did it mean? What does it mean when Jesus tells His disciples to “let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me?”

When I became a Christian I thought this verse referred to giving up all of the fun things in life, the parties, the drinking, and the life of self. This is the concept that many people have about Christianity.  Even some Christians think their struggles are about giving up temporarily enjoyable sins. The truth is we are liberated from a life of sin, a life that will lead to our self-destruction. Sin decreases the value and quality of life.  If we are honest with ourselves, we have all been intimately involved with a sin that has decreased our life. Every sin you remove from your life increases the value and quality of your life.

I had a heart attack; it was called the widow maker. When you survive death your outlook on life changes. All of the things I was struggling with became inconsequential. The cross of Christ superseded the pettiness of self.

Christian, you need to understand something, we win! When all is said and done, and we stand before the throne of judgment we will be accepted because of the sacrifice of Christ. We win!!  Whatever we give up in this life is not a cross to bear; it is a blessing to receive. Even while Christ was being tortured He knew He would rise victorious. So, whatever He suffered, as horrific as it was, was only temporary.  His death on the cross was temporary; He rose again. Was there anything that was not temporary concerning His human life? After all if we believe the gospel we will be given new bodies, we will live forever in heaven in perfect peace.  “And everyone that hath forsaken houses or brethren or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold and shall inherit everlasting life.” Matthew 19:29-30 I submit to you that picking up your cross has nothing to do with what you have to give up but what you stand to lose.

Christ came to pay for our sin. What happens to the people that reject the payment and choose to use their own currency? What happens to those that will not accept Him for who He is? Who are these people? They are your brother, sister, mother, father, uncle, cousin, grandparents, neighbors, and friends.

 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. Matthew 7:13 The cross of Christ, the weight and burden He had to bear were not about giving something up, it was about losing souls. When we pick up our cross and follow Jesus it means we pick up the burden of Christ which was and is His heartbreak for the lost.  We need to open up our minds to the knowledge that the lost souls of humanity are not going to simply disappear into nothingness, but what awaits them is eternal damnation. This knowledge of lost humanity is the cross we need to pick up, and carry all the days of our lives.

Denying yourself means to sacrifice your personal desires and take on Christ’s burden for humanity. In other words, put the passion of Christ ahead of all other pursuits in your life. Maybe it will be your testimony that saves my brother or friend. Share your testimony.

Is Your God Alive?

Is your God alive? If your answer is yes, prove it. We Christians claim that God is alive, that He is still involved in our lives. We pray, worship, glorify and speak about His wonders. We believe the Bible to be the directly and divinely inspired word of God. These ancient texts credit Him with creating the universe and everything in it to the inclusion of man. In these ancient writing, the authors ascribe to God miraculous abilities. Abilities to include the reshaping of the world as in the story of Moses. The capacity to interact with humanity in a variety of ways. He spoke with Moses one on one, by his spirit, he communicated with Abraham. He used angels and prophets He even used a donkey.

We turn to the Bible to seek comfort, meaning and purpose in our lives. We dedicate our lives to the propagation of these beliefs.We try to live by the precepts outlined in His word

Yet, I ask you is your God alive? All of what I have mentioned can be attributed to education. We can be educated to believe falsehoods. People were taught to believe that the world was flat. People were trained to believe the earth was the center of the universe, that the sun orbited the earth. People are still being taught we evolved. We can be taught to believe anything. If it comes from people we esteem and recognize as experts in their fields, we tend to believe their conclusions.

There is a fundamental flaw with this model. Every advancement is based on the acceptance of prior information as being correct and without error. Which we know is factually impossible. The world is not flat. The sun does not orbit the earth. Humanity did not pop up out of nowhere. These experts we believe in are limited by their acceptance of prior information that may be in error and is most certainly incomplete. To put it plainly there is more information about any given subject than anyone knows. What makes a difference is that we do not know which assumption is so wrong as to change the landscape of prior knowledge, as in the world being flat. No body of knowledge is exempt from of this reality. At any time someone may come up with a discovery that radically changes prior accepted theories.

So I ask you again is your God alive? If your answer is yes and you arrive at that conclusion based on education. The experts you esteem, and respect may be believing in a precept that is wrong. They may have been educated to believe that there is a God. Their whole premise might have been built on an acceptance of a flawed model. This is important because a God that is based on the rational conclusion of an educated mind is subject to a yet unknown reality that will change everything.

Is my God alive? Yes, is my answer. Yes, I have been educated to believe there is a God. Moreover, I have been taught to believe in precepts about God that are wrong. I also know that there are expert theologians that are still teachings ideologies that are wrong. I also know that there are biblical experts that are perverting the word of God to fit their worldly model. You might ask me, why then do you believe in God?

It comes down to one thing, relationship. I believe in God because He is real. I have experienced His presence just as I have experienced the presence of any other person. He takes up space, physical space, He has a voice. He has emotions, He feels, hurts, loves and has passion. He has a spirit, a mind, intellect, and reason. He possesses all the attributes of man plus one; he is perfect.

The determining factor of my belief is relationship, my relationship with him. It is an ongoing personal relationship much like a father and his child. He is the one I can call daddy, and He responds, he is the one that I can turn to, and He will uplift me. He is my constant rock that will not leave me. He is more existent than the land I walk on for He created the land. He is extant.

If your God is alive as mine is you have to have a story share it.
Share your testimony.

The Offer

The Offer

Jesus said, “I have come to give you life and life more abundantly.” John 10:10

In a sentence He states the purpose of His life. He came to give us something we could not obtain on our own. He came to give us life.

Before Him my life consisted of monotonous, meaningless repetition. I remember as a young man looking through my living room window and asking God is this it?  Is this all there is, working, eating and sleeping?

I was twenty something when I asked that question. Now as I look back I realize God answered my question immediately. Shortly after I ask that question I became a Christian and my life began. You might expect me to say something like everything in life became wonderful. The truth is life, real life is not easy.

Though I became a Christian and became a new creature the only thing I knew was my old nature. My new nature was at war with my old nature and my life has never been the same. My new nature is a life filled with purpose, joy and expectation. The spirit of God in me is working to give me the abundant life Jesus speaks of. My new spirit was and is at war with the “spirit that comes to steal, kill and destroy.” John 10:10 This spiritual war within me played out in poor, disastrous decisions and actions that plagued my life.  I have walked through the valley of doubt and fear, of loneliness and abject disappointment. Through it all God has been there to pick me up and carry me when I could not walk.

The new life that Jesus is speaking of comes with a very big caveat. It will not coexist with the spirit of death which lived in me before I was born again. The spirit of God is selfish, unyielding and unrelenting. He demands to be the sole ruler of your life. He will not share His glory and position with anything. In return He will give you a life that is unattainable in any other way.

You can wake up every morning defeated or you can wake up everyday expectant of what the God of creation has for you this day.  Every morning is an opportunity to experience the wonder and majesty of God. Every day you get to choose a new experience with him. With the newness of each sunrise you can step into a new facet of God. In the bible it says “your mercies are new every morning.”  Lamentations 3:23

God is not the God who lived on the pages of an ancient manuscript He is the great “I am” (Exodus 3:14), the one who is constantly and forever present in this moment, always at this time.

We Christians are always asking God what am I called to do? The answer is the same for each of us it is to offer everyone what Jesus has provided you, an abundant life.

Share your testimony.

Truth

Evil is forcibly introducing itself into our daily lives. From the killing of innocent citizens in our streets to massacres in nightclubs and theaters. Our leaders are quick to blame the weapons of warfare as the culprit for these actions. However, weapons are weapons, without intent and use they are but physical items without purpose.

 

We hear in popular culture that love will overcome hate. The only problem with that premise  is that the problem is not hate, the problem is evil. How do we defeat an enemy that cannot be persuaded or deterred from completing its singular purpose?  As long as we hide behind words such as hate, prejudice, injustice, extremism, radicalism, sickness, racism and intolerance we will never be able to defeat evil. Though these words describe current realities, they do nothing to address the cause of evil.  Evil stands on a level of its own. Evil is not rational, it is not intellectual, it does not contain an iota of morality, justice, compassion or care. You can’t reason with it, you can’t negotiate with it.  You can’t legislate it away. There is nothing within it that you can appeal to. It has no saving grace. There is nothing redeeming about evil.  Evil cannot and will not be appeased, it won’t be satisfied. It is relentless and without remorse. Evil does not respond to love.  It only exists to destroy.

 

In Ephesians it says:

 

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

 

What does this mean for Christians? The verse says “For we”.  It is not optional we are at war. We are at war against overwhelming evil forces we cannot defeat. Spiritual forces in high places, an enemy that will not be identified by conventional means which is invisible to those who deny it’s existence. Whose fruit is evident to all and becoming more apparent each day. What is happening in the world is it is losing a battle, a war it was never designed to win. The only way to defeat evil is with truth, not good will, not love.

 

The only one that will win this war is the God of truth. The only people who will share in this victory are those who call Christ Lord.  How will the world know of Him? God has commissioned us  to make the world aware of Him. The world will not hear it from any other source because there is no other source, we are it, you and me. You may feel insignificant and unimportant in a cosmic battle beyond your comprehension but your testimony is the unstoppable force that will unleash the power and truth of God into a lost world.

 

Your testimony is crucial for the world to be saved. It won’t happen without you.

 

The Widow Maker

The nurse informed me that the heart attack I had was referred to as the widow maker. I had three blocked arteries. The arteries of my heart are not normal. Which made a stent or angioplasty impossible. As a result of my heart attack, I had insufficient blood flow to my intestines, which culminated in a section of my intestines dying. After my heart bypass surgery, though unrelated to the surgery, my bowels started to bleed internally which required emergency surgery to remove two feet of intestines. During the surgery, my blood pressure all but disappeared. My Kidneys shut down. I was put on dialysis.  I lost 48 pounds in six weeks. When I left the hospital I left with a colostomy bag. Before this I had never heard of nor knew what that was. A few days after being home I had another heart attack. My doctor told me the artery they could not repair had completely clogged and that section of my heart was dying.

 

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28  (ESV)

 

Blessings…

First was my wife. Without her I would have most likely died. During the internal bleeding, she stood up and fought for me forcing the gastroenterologist to act when he wanted to wait. If she had allowed him to wait I probably would have bled out.

 

As they were rolling me down a hall for a test I asked myself am I ready to meet God. I realized I was. I had accepted the sacrifice of Christ on my behalf. The peace that passes all understanding came over me and I was ready for whatever the Lord had for me.

 

One dark night in my hospital room I was tired and exhausted physically, emotionally and spiritually. God told me I’ve heard their prayers for you and  I will be with you. He lifted me from my exhaustion and gave me strength to go on.

With this limited space I cannot fully explain, God assembled the staff that was to care for me.

One of the most memorable moments of my recovery happened when I was in ICU. A young nurse was walking down the hallway and looked in. She stopped with tears in her eyes and asked me if she could hug me. She explained, “I am one of the nurses that cared for you, we didn’t think you were going to make it, I’m so happy you’re alive.”  When I returned to the cardiac care unit, after being in the ICU, the nurses referred to me as the miracle man; they also did not expect me to survive. I am still here because He has a purpose for me being here. God, as usual, is glorious.

 

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Announcement “Testimonies of Faith”

Announcement

“Testimonies of Faith”

To our family of faith at Faith Assembly of God in Orlando Florida. The writers of faith which is a small group of Faith Assembly of God has begun to compile stories, testimonies of what God has done in our lives. We will take this compilation and produce a book entitled “Testimonies of Faith.” We are asking those of you who attended faith to share your testimony. We are also asking you to share this post with all of your friends at faith.

Why are we doing this?

When John the Baptist had his doubts about Jesus he sent some of his disciples to Jesus asking Him are you the one.

When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ ” 21 And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.

22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Luke 7:20-23

His response in short was go testify to John about what I have done. He asks us the same thing, go testify of what I have done. So we ask you to be a part of the tapestry that shows the wonder and majesty of God.

 

Follow this link for rules, guidelines and submission, https://writersoffaithof.wordpress.com/testimonies-of-faith/