We just finished a season of collecting testimonies from the people in our church, both written and recorded. Last Sunday, the service was comprised of 4 testimonies. It was great! (If you missed it, you can watch it on line.) We had stories of recovery from addiction and sexual abuse and incarceration. God has been good! But it occurred to me that two testimonies were particularly poignant. One was from a gentleman in his seventies who had been married for 52 years, total but not continuous. Thirty years along, had divorced his wife, then got saved and was remarried to her. Describing his character before his salvation he said, “The main thing was that I was very self-centered. I thought the whole universe revolved around me.” It was self-centeredness that caused the breakdown in his life. No drink, no drugs, just selfishness. The second great story was submitted on paper from a pre-teen boy. He said, “As long as I can remember, I have been a Christian. God has been so good to me.” He went on to relate how God had answered his prayer for a dog when he was four years old. Now that is a great testimony!
Sometimes we get captivated by the wild tales that preceded conversion for many of us – the gorier the better. Truth is, we were all sinners before we were saved. In fact, that cancer of self-centeredness is the root of most of the world’s ills. It certainly rots the foundations of many marriages. It is at the core of what sin is. Every human being needs to be forgiven and delivered from it. It is the antithesis of love, and God is love. Maybe the greatest testimony a person can have is the one the young man gave: he never remembers a time when he didn’t know God. Wow! Indeed, that is God’s desire for all of us. He designed the family that way, but selfishness and self-centeredness have done their corrosive work well. Most grow up without godly parents, or with “nice” parents who are too busy being the center of the universe to take care of their responsibility to bring up their kids in the knowledge of God. No, sin is not glamorous, and one sin is not worse than another. We all need the grace of God, and the earlier the better.
Scripture Reading: Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins. Ecclesiastes 7:20 NLT
Somebody Said: I got disappointed in human nature as well and gave it up because I found it too much like my own. J. P. Donleavy
It argues for the reality of God that He can take a selfish man and make him a servant. He can keep a life as well as restore one. The better I know the Unseen One, the less attractive are the things I can see in the world. He fashions the inside of a person and that is not only inexplicable, but impossible apart from the divine.
Check out our website at www.fcftucson.org
Transcripts of our services are available. If you want to receive them, email me with the word “Transcript.”