Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Testimony for Christ

MY TESTIMONY

~Up until the fall of 2003, I lived the most sexually immoral, godless life one could imagine. My sin of choice was homosexuality.

~Before I continue, I want to make clear that homosexuality is not genetic; it truly is a sin of choice. Homosexuality is birthed out of lust. Romans 1:24 says, ‘wherefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves’. God gives them over because they refuse to repent and believe. An interesting find on a word study of the word ‘lust’ took me from the Greek word ‘epithumia’; meaning -‘a desire for what is forbidden’-, to the root word ‘thoo-mos’, which translates ‘the wine of passion, inflaming wine, which either drives the drinker mad or kills him with it’s strength.’

~ The more I read God’s word, the more I come to understand just how wicked and vile the human heart truly is, which is where lust lies. In Matthew 15:19, Christ teaches this, “for out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies; these are the things which defile a man”. The word fornication is from the Greek word ‘porniea’ from which we get our word ‘porn’. It means ‘to act as a harlot, or indulge in unlawful lust, things that are forbidden’, it is defined by Thayers Greek definitions as ' adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.' You can take it all the way back to the root word ‘pe-prasko’- which metaphorically means ‘sold under sin, entirely under control of the love of sinning’ .  Homosexuals are acting out and living out what lies within their own hearts! This is true with all sexual immorality; it is birthed out of the lust of the sinful human heart. It is also what defiles man, as Christ Himself teaches.

~Another key verse is found in James 1:13 and 14. James says,” Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed {or allured, deceived} by his own lust {or forbidden desires}.” God’s word makes it clear that all sin is chosen and acted upon by the sinner, as he/she gives in to the forbidden lust within their own hearts; not one person will escape accountability apart from repentance and believing in the Gospel. The body of Christ must understand this in order to prevent from compromising the truth when proclaiming the Gospel to homosexuals.

Now, back to my testimony…

Things had started to unravel for me not long before the fall of 2003, I was miserable, depressed, suffering financial problems, and drinking constantly. I even asked God at one point why he didn’t help me, but my conscience replied, ‘he’s not going to help you as long as you continue to live the way you are living.’ There comes a point when the conscience becomes seared, the mind given over to total depravity, and all hope is gone. I praise God that wasn’t the case with me. For anyone here who has come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit in regards to your sinful condition, I urge you to cry out to God as the tax collector did,- ‘O God, have mercy on me, a sinner’. There may not be another opportunity for you to do so. I say that because of the affect sin has on the heart. It hardens; after a period of time, the gospel no longer penetrates such a hardened heart. From his book, “Justification and Regeneration”, Charles Leiter says this,~quote~ “One of the most fearful things about sin is its power to harden the one who practices it. The deeper a man goes in sin, the less sin bothers him. It should shock us to remember that Adolph Hitler was once a little boy playing with toys just like other little boys. Yet, we must face the fact that the world is NOT the way it is because it has a few ‘bad’ people like Hitler; the world is the way it is because it is made up of MULTITUDES of people just like us. There is deep wickedness in each of us. If a motion picture of even our past thoughts, let alone our past actions, were to be played on a large screen before our family and acquaintances, EVERY ONE of us would run from the room in shame. Man knows the beginning of sin, but NO MAN has ever known the end of sin”~ unquote~

~The woman with whom I’d spent 13 years of my life had a daughter, I loved this child like she was my own and the thought of not seeing her every day was heartbreaking to me. So this weighed heavily on me as well. But, God does work all things for His glory.

~ In November of 2003, I received the most devastating news that anyone could ever hear, and I was brought to my knees. My proud sinful arrogant heart was shattered into a million pieces…my mom, who I love so much, was diagnosed with lung cancer. I remember driving home from work and crying so hard, I could barely see to drive; it was at that point I cried out to God, and he heard me! My mom has since gone on to be with the Lord, and I am thankful God used her to humble me, and save me! The best way I can explain what’s happened to me is with God’s word, from Ezekiel 36:25-32, God says, “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will be careful to observe my ordinances…so you will be my people, and I will be your God. Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness, then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations. I am NOT doing this for your sake,” declares the Lord God. GOD and GOD ALONE is responsible for changing me from the inside out.

~ In his exposition of Psalm 51:2 “Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin”, Charles Spurgeon says this…’it is NOT enough to blot out the sin, - his person is defiled. The dye is in itself immovable, and I, the sinner, have lain long in it ‘til the crimson is ingrained. But Lord, wash, and wash, and wash again ‘til the last stain is gone, and not a trace of my defilement is left.’

~I am a miracle of God, He took a middle aged woman who had lain long in sin; and in His timing, by His grace, He broke through years and years of rebellion and hardness in a way that only He could…not because I prayed a prayer, or made a decision, or walked an aisle; ~Paul Washer says this about these methods of salvation, quote- “As a result, the majority of Americans believe they have been born again/regenerated even though their thoughts, words, and deeds are a continual contradiction to the nature and will of God” unquote. God has done a work in my heart; that is why I can say ‘I am a new creation in Christ’! I have been born from above!
By the way, the little girl I mentioned earlier now lives with me; God has been gracious and is allowing me to raise her.

~ I praise the Lord Jesus Christ for taking the wrath of God upon Himself on that cross, for suffering the full force of God’s anger at my sins and satisfying that anger. I praise the Lord Jesus for being raised on the third day and giving me all hope of complete forgiveness, and eternal life. I praise the Lord Jesus that he saved a wretch like me….