Summary: But for me I made my stand on the Gospel and I determined after reading Romans 12 that I would serve him 100% and renew my mind so that I could be a faithful witness for Jesus. I told the Lord that I was in this for the long haul.
My Testimony (renewing the mind)
Opening Scripture Text: Romans 12:1-21:
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. 9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Last week I shared how I became a Christian and highlighted my growing up years and the challenges I faced. Today I want you to understand that my story does not stop at salvation but it continues on from that glorious climax.
I watched many people pray the prayer and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and then that’s it. I see some who never grow but stay infants in the spiritual walk. I have seen others who have accepted Jesus get all fired up and eventually drift away from their Lord and even backslide and fall back into a life style of sin.
The truth is some of the guys who lead me to Jesus Christ fell away from the Lord because they did not keep their spiritual fervor for the Lord and His ways.
Thomas the great evangelist who led me and many others to Christ ended up in Stillwater Prison in Minnesota. He got 7 years for armed robbery. When I called him and asked “What happened?” He shared how he slowly drifted away from Jesus and finally started playing with sin again and again. It started taking root again and it landed him in prison. He said he got into sin worst than he had been in it before. He said it got foot hold and sucked him back into the abyss of sin. While in prison he rededicated his life to Christ and became a great witness for Christ in Stillwater Prison. He even started a Christian newspaper in the prison. I lost track of Thomas about 10 years ago so I cannot say where he is at today.
But for me I made my stand on the Gospel and I determined after reading Romans 12 that I would serve him 100% and renew my mind so that I could be a faithful witness for Jesus. I told the Lord that I was in this for the long haul.
You may ask the question: “Mike how did you make it when others fell away?”
I would say because I linked up with mentors who took me under their wings and discipled me.
1. A case for mentoring: