Summary: Pastor John teaches on the importance of your testimony- the story you have of God's presence, provision, and blessing in your life.
This is MY Story
CCCAG August 5, 2018
Scripture- John 9
Today I want to speak to you about the power of your testimony
Most of you have heard my testimony. I got saved out have some pretty significant sin. Most people that knew me knew that I've been a wild child for quite a long time. My childhood was surrounded by drugs and partying and I carried a lot of that into my adult life.
After I accepted Christ, I wanted to tell everybody about it. Many of my friends were immediately alienated by my newfound faith and zeal. My family didn't know what to do with me. Most of them were backslidden Lutherans who had no idea what real faith in God looked like.
What I learned was that very often when we come to faith in Jesus Christ the first Hardships we have or the first persecution we feel comes from those closest to us. In my case my whole family thought I went nuts.
My mom thought it was just a phase I was going through being a first-time parent.
My brother wouldn't even talk to me.
My grandparents held an intervention in my boy hood room at my mom’s house trying to explain to me that Jesus is actually the Lord and not whatever kooky religion I got involved with.
Everyone who was closest to me try to talk me out of my newfound faith.
I remember those days because in one sense they were very lonely- I lost all of my old friends. What helped is that I had such a fire for God and hunger for his word and for his presence that it helped me through that difficult time until my faith grew strong enough to stand up to the questions and mockery of my former friends and of my immediate family.
As we watched the video portraying the events of John Chapter 9 we see the main character in this section of scripture is not actually Jesus. It is the man that Jesus heals.
The man born blind is the subject of John 9 and he is going through the same thing that many of us will go through in life after we accept Christ, try living for Christ, or after Jesus elevates us to a new position in him.
The main subject of John 9 is that
This man’s testimony about Jesus is being challenged.
That’s going to be the subject that we explore today
What I want us to walk away with today is this idea-
Your testimony about how God has saved you and changed you is the most valuable thing you own.
It’s your story about the greatness of God in your life.
In fact, your testimony should reflect that no matter what happens in your life- you reflect His goodness and His power at work- even through hardships, whether they be persecution, sickness or tragedy.
And that brings us to the first thing I want to address this morning from John 9-
I. Why God allows hardship
This last week I got an email from Lee Henschel saying that the pastor who was supposed to submit his article for the Blair Free Press was unable to do it this week and he asked if I could do an extra one. The guidelines to write an article for that newspaper or to submit between 250 and 300 words on any subject you want to talk about as long as it's Christian or religion based. I got the email I was studying for this message and praying and mulling over in my mind the subject of human suffering as it relates to our life with God. I wrote a very brief article about it for that newspaper, but in all honesty the subject of human suffering and god's sovereignty could be a PHD level dissertation that would require hundreds of paid pages to appropriately discuss.
Don't worry, I'm not going to do that to you this morning. But I would do you want to give us a couple of things to think about regarding suffering hardship or persecution as it relates the idea that God loves us, cares for us, and is personally leading us through this life and how it affects our personal testimony that we show the world.
A. 1st thing- Hardships soften us
Zech 7:12 (Speaking about the rebellious) They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets.
There is a great deception the enemy puts into our lives. It’s one of his greatest deceptions before we know Christ and it even works after we come into salvation.
That deception is that we need to be strong in our own strength.