Summary: But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus - the work of telling others the Good News about God.
MY PERSONAL TESTIMONY
*NOTE - This message is a little different from my normal messages... rather than just an exegetical Bible message, it is the outline to my testimony that I shared with our church family on a water baptism Sunday.*
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the 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." Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20).
THE GREAT COMMISSION:
1. Make Disciples: Matheteuo – to be a disciple of one; to follow His instructions.
2. Baptize Them: to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge.
3. Teach Them: to observe (obey) all things Jesus commanded.
Jesus never told anyone to pray a sinner’s prayer or just go to church: He said, “Follow me!”
MY PERSONAL STORY:
"But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus - the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love." (Acts 20:24, New Living Translation). I want to share that Good News with you today!
EARLY FAMILY HISTORY:
• Dysfunctional, single-parent family (mom & two sisters) in Saskatchewan
• Absent alcoholic dad - rejection, broken promises, no father figure...
• So poor growing up, one bedroom shack infested with cockroaches and silverfish. Kitchen was a lean-to attached to the rest of the house that leaked whenever it rained. Finally got into low-income housing in Regina.
• Mother remarried when I was 10, never got along with step-dad at first (my fault)
• High school – moved to Rouleau – got into trouble (drinking, just like dad)
• 1988 - Age 16 – first job in Red Deer, AB, working at McDonalds - met Jerrold
• August 14, 1989 - farmhouse outside of Lacombe, Alberta – salvation – but no growth
• Regina Summer Stage - went by the name of River - long hair, earring - identity issues
• 18th Birthday – friends took me out to a bar, got drunk, passed out, threw up in car, etc.
• Fall 1990 – all-nighter drive-in – “There’s something missing!” – went to see Dad.
• September 29-30, 1990 – real change came: began a discipleship process:
o Holy Spirit baptism, water baptism, first Bible, church attendance, new life!
WALKING WITH JESUS:
• 1990 - Solid Rock - friends, life in church (amazing church family, love & acceptance)
• Story – dating Tammy, “I’m just taking out the garbage!” – loved & accepted me!
• Process of change = just because I started attending church didn’t mean I became perfect:
o Story – drinking with Tery one night; early for church the next morning.
o Didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to be drunk anymore, until I read it in the Bible!
• 1992 - Christ for the Nations - Surrey, BC, Bible College
• 1993 - Victory – interning in youth ministry - missions trip to Mexico met Liza
• 1995 - Married Liza (Sunshine Story) - four great kids (Caleb, Tori, Austin & Hannah)
• 1997 - Bible Fellowship - back to Bible College to finish BA in Pastoral Leadership
o While there, taught at Regent Christian Academy & Pacific Life Bible College
o Saw amazing revival among the youth – going into malls, praying for sick, etc.
o Liza and I started Revolution Master’s Commission, a discipleship program
• Summer of 2001 – almost 10 years ago – my step-dad passed away (throat cancer)
• Fall of 2006 – call to come to be the Lead Pastor of BCC in Manitoba. Four years now!
• May 2007 – on a mission trip in the Yukon with our RMC students, got a call that my dad was sick in the hospital and didn’t have long to live – flew to see him.
• Sept. 2007 – my dad passed away, funeral in Calgary
• Since pastoring I’ve made a few mistakes along the way, gracious church family.
• What a joy and blessing to know God and be a part of His family!
• God is good: He brings joy, peace, hope – do you know Him today?
• Many miracles – Jesus healing sick people, meeting needs, giving peace and hope.
• VISION for Church: provide a place for people to experience hope, healing and restoration in their lives through Jesus Christ and God’s Word!
THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP:
“As they were walking along someone said to Jesus, "I will follow you no matter where you go." But Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Son of Man, have no home of my own, not even a place to lay my head." He said to another person, "Come, be my disciple." The man agreed, but he said, "Lord, first let me return home and bury my father." Jesus replied, "Let those who are spiritually dead care for their own dead. Your duty is to go and preach the coming of the Kingdom of God." Another said, "Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family." But Jesus told him, "Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62).