Posts Tagged ‘spiritual’

The importance of Scripture memory

May 26, 2009

Memorizing Scripture is an essential part of the Christian life.  It is even more essential to evangelism.  The Bible itself even says that it is a powerful tool for evangelism.  Isaiah 55:10-11 says, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”  The purpose of God’s Word is to draw people to Jesus.  If we use it, it will accomplish that purpose.  But honestly, who carries their Bible with them wherever they go?  I’m sure that it wouldn’t be a bad idea, but sometimes that could be impractical.  Therefore, in order for us to use the Bible in evangelism, and in order to be ready at all times, we need to memorize God’s Word.

Besides being ready to use Scripture in your evangelism, Scripture can also help us fight temptation.  The Psalmist says in Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”  Besides the obvious reason of sin essentially being spitting in the face of God, we need to not sin so we can be a good witness to those around us.  If you do things that you know are wrong and don’t hold yourself to higher standards, it could seriously hurt your ability to witness to those around you, and it could also distort people’s view of Christianity.  Therefore, we must hide God’s Word in our hearts.

In Christ,

Matt

Side Note:  I have recently discovered a great event called the National Bible Bee.  It is a Scripture knowledge and memory competition.  You can get more information about it here, though the deadline for this year is past: http://www.biblebee.org.  Also, there is a tool for Scripture memorization at http://www.memorizehisword.com.  These are great tools and motivators for Scripture memory!

Here’s another testimony

April 23, 2009

As a Christian, I feel compelled to tell others of the work God has done in my life. I also feel that it is my responsibility to help others who come from a situation similar to mine. You often hear that God works through bad to work for good. This is true, but it has been written off as a simple cliché to be glossed over and discarded.

This idea is not however one to be glossed over. It is the rallying cry for so many people. God has used the worst parts of my life to bring about the best parts. Through my pain, God has called me to a new level of closeness to him. He has comforted me and taught me things that up to a year ago I would not have seen as possible.

When I was an infant, my father abandoned my mother and me. I have seen him twice since then: once in Publix grocery store; the other time was at the local movie theater. I always wondered what it would be like if he had stayed, why he didn’t want me, and whether or not I would be accepted among my friends, because I had no father. My mother has loved me and done everything in her power to make me happy since the day I was born, but I always had these nagging thoughts in my head.

I never hated my father for abandoning me; Far from it. I longed for someone to teach me; someone to love me and accept me as their own. For years, I blamed myself for this. I called myself weak, and said if I had a son as repulsing as me that I would have left too. I blamed myself for my mother’s unhappiness, and the lines that were etched into her skin from the stress that is constantly on a single-mother. When I was five, she was married to a man named David. Though he was named as the man after God’s own heart, he was no such man. He was a weak man, vindictive and cruel. He suffered from bipolar disorder, but he was still responsible for his actions. He pretended to love me for two years, and even adopted me. A year later, my mom had a daughter and he no longer wanted or needed me to carry on the family name. For years, he verbally and physically abused me. He would backhand me to the floor, and kick me repeatedly. His reasons were things like the fact that I had forgot to make my bed, or I was going to make them late. He would hurt me, showing no mercy, and several times I feared for my life. As I grew, the beatings escalated, and three times my mom kicked him out of our house. For a time all was well.

Everything was good, except for me. The next year he returned and moved back in saying that he was better and he was on a new medicine. A week went by before he threw me to the floor and tried to throw me down the stairs. My mom had had enough. She had him arrested and filed for a divorce. During the divorce, we realized that he was addicted to prostitutes and had been with 100+ women during the marriage. My mom was devastated she cried for 3 days straight, and I hated this man even more. He had pushed this family beyond breaking point and I just wanted him to die.

I was suicidal for about two months and was checked into a children’s hospital. It helped me a lot with the fact that this was not my fault; But I still hated. It grew inside of me and ate me from the inside out. My life grew worse, at school I was bullied and actually had to change schools because of this. From there my life improved and I found the Lord. I loved him but I didn’t know him. I went on a family building retreat last October with my mother. This retreat was the single most important part of my life. I learned forgiveness, and it changed my life. I knew what he did, but I no longer hated him. I had truly forgiven him for those long years. This was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I no longer hurt. I no longer was constantly tired, or hurt. Forgiveness is the most important thing that has happened to me besides being saved. Because of this, I felt it was my responsibility as a Christian to share my testimony with you. If you have been abused in your life, or have general hurts, I want to be here to support you with empathy not sympathy. I want to help you get through this because I know how it is to go for years without any help. I pray for you even though I don’t know you, and will pray for you even more when I learn of you particular situation.

May the Lord bless you and keep you forever and ever. Amen.

They just keep coming…

April 17, 2009

Got another testimony for you all!

I was raised in a Christian home, and at the age of five I was watching a Donut Man video. The Donut Man was saying that our hearts are like a donut, there’s an empty space that we can’t fill. But Jesus comes in and fills up that empty place (the Donut Man used a donut hole for this part) and takes away our sins. So I went and found my dad, and he and I prayed on the stairs of our deck. And that’s how I initially trusted in Jesus Christ.

Some time went by, and I continued going to church, having a Christian upbringing, etc. But my faith still wasn’t really my own. I wasn’t letting Christ run my life. When I was twelve I went to church camp. The speaker was talking about surrendering all that we have to Christ, and letting him be the center of our lives. I prayed for God to change me, and let him run my life.

Since then I have really grown in my faith, and God has taken me through lots of difficulties. I am constantly shown that I can’t do anything good on my own, can’t get through anything on my own, but I can with God. I love Jesus and am so glad he saved me.

One more testimony

April 16, 2009

I’ve got another testimony to share with you!

My life was normal until 2nd grade. I accepted Christ at the age of three, and was raised by Godly parents in a Christian environment. But when 2nd grade came around, the doctor discovered I have growth hormone deficiency by a 6-hour blood test and an MRI. Without an addition of hormones to my body, I would be around 4′ tall full grown. The only way to make my life regular was to take shots. Since then, I give myself a shot in the stomach every day. It’s not painful, but it is highly expensive and a big hassle. Just last summer (0Cool I was given a second long test (around 4 hours) to determine if I still needed to take shots. Duringthe test, I was shot with insulin to simulate a 24-hour period. Unfortunately, my blood sugar dropped very close to death and I was somewhat sick. A few weeks later we discovered that I would have to continue taking shots, to avoid obesity and to keep my body functioning. This was a hard time for me, as I struggled with what the purpose of it was. God kept bringing me back to Romans 8:28, and it didn’t take me long to get my life back focused on Him. But I still have to face the consequences, and will for the rest of my life. Obesity as I grow older could become a factor, and the outrageous price of the medicine could become a major problem in the future, plus I have a weak immune system and get sick easily. But God was with me through all of it, and taught me that He would bring beauty from my pain.

While this was a very hard time in my life, I have been blessed in so many ways. God has given me a great family, an easy way of life, and a plethora of Christian friends. Around four years ago, my mom started a small group for me and three friends. Now there are eight of us, and they are a great way to stay accountable in Christ.

Probably the greatest thing that God did for me during this time was show me what to do with my life. When I was young, all I wanted to be was a missionary. I’d try to convert my (Christian) grandmother, and practice telling Jesus’ story to her. When I was six, I handed out the Easter story as I had written it. But as I grew older, I was still very firmly a Christian but my interests swayed from misssions. But just several months ago (2008), God spoke to me and told me that missions was where I could be used, specifically in the Middle East, and possibly as a Wycliffe Bible translator. I’m not sure what God has in store for me, but if I keep on His narrow way and focus on Him, whatever it is will be the best thing for me.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

Hannnah

Start of Evangelism series

April 15, 2009

Hey all! I’ve been given the privilege of starting off the evangelism series.

So, I’ve decided to start off with what I like to call love evangelism. This is a really big subject, but I feel like God has been laying this on my heart more and more.  I have been evangelizing to my friends for a while now, but it’s only recently that I’ve started thinking about using this style of evangelism.

I think you have to start with understanding that every person you meet is just that, a person. And what’s more, if they’re hurting they don’t want you to throw a bible at them. They want you to understand them.  And if you think about it, that’s what Jesus did. He didn’t go around telling people to repent and turn to Him, he loved them and made friends.

I believe that if you live for you life for Christ, and spend more time loving people than you do preaching at them, they will notice a difference, and want to know why you are different.  I’m not saying that you should never bring up the gospel, I’m simply saying that it might be better to start a relationship first.

This brings me to another point, when you do get into a “religious” discussion, you have to be careful not to bash the person or their beliefs. Nobody wants to be yelled at, and nobody really wants to be told they’re wrong. I had the best results when I took this approach. Instead of attacking my friend and his religion, I listened to what he believed and then showed him what I believe. This particular person believes in the Bible so, I showed him what he said, and what the Bible said. While I didn’t actually bring him to Christ, I believe God helped me to plant seeds.

I hope this has caused you to think about your approach to evangelism.

In Christ,

History Maker

Another testimony

April 5, 2009

I’ve gotten another testimony that someone has given me permission to share.  Enjoy :-).

My testimony is somewhat the normal… but it still is life-changing.

My family and I had just moved to Tulsa,OK, from Lancaster County, PA, in hopes of getting involved in full time ministry. I was two months to turning 6 so I was at the age where I could get scared by the dumbest things ever. I had watched the Veggie-Tales version of David and Goliath: Dave and the Giant Pickle. That night, the giant pickled haunted me in my dreams. He was chasing me around, fisting his boxing gloves madly. I woke up, terrified to go back to sleep. I called Mom in and, as we talked, I shared with her my desire to accept Jesus into my heart. Hand in hand, we walked down the Romans Road and she explained the seriousness of sin, the reason the Jesus had to die, God’s mercy and grace tempered with rightous justice, eternity and the Christian lif. She prayed with and that night, June 5, 2000, my name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

I went on through life, reading my Bible, praying… playing the whole Christian charades. It wasn’t until I was around 11 that I learned that the Christian life includes whole-hearted responsibility. Also, I dealt a lot with guilt… how could God possibly love me after I mouthed my sister off? After I disrespected my parents? I talked to my dad about my struggle and he explained that God’s love and mercy is boundless. He is infinite in grace and forgiveness. Then he explained about baptism and the purpose for that. I didn’t understand everything about it, but I soaked it up still the same. I got baptized last year in April and it is still one of the most beautiful days of my life.

To this day, I have challenges facing me every moment of every day. I still struggle with guilt and the radical love of God that overcomes that. Do you ever stand in awe and wonder at the fact that God would rather die than to live without you? I do. It still amazes me that God would send His only Son down to live on a downtrodden earth full of sinful people… the very people that would call for His death. It wasn’t fair (for Him or for us) that Jesus had to come down from His heavenly home and pay our debt. He didn’t want to.

He didn’t have to.

He prayed three times, “Father, please don’t make me go through this!” But He chose to surrender to the will of God and die upon the cross, so that we could live under righteousness.

That’s the radical love of God.

Tips: Don’t be too pushy

October 1, 2008

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to let you in on a witnessing tip.  I know, from personal experience, that if you are too pushy and basically try to force the gospel on someone, you will have an effect that is opposite from what you want.  You will actually make them not want listen to you, or anyone else for that matter, about Christ.  It is really hard to deal with this once you realize the mistake that you have made, so be extremely careful.  Hope this Helps!

In Christ, Matt