Thursday, February 2, 2017

3 Reasons Your Testimony is Good Enough

Because everyone's got a story to tell.

1. It will resonate with the people you will reach.

No one else has your story. It’s yours. If you don’t think your life before Christ was dramatic – guess who can relate? The people who don’t think their lives are dramatic.

You didn’t have to get high everyday or sleep around as a teenager, to be used by God. God can and will use every single situation in your life to bring Himself glory.

When we praise God for deliverance, the Holy Spirit is speaking through us. We can trust that God’s very own Spirit will use our stories to help touch the hearts of those who are longing to encounter the love of the Father.

He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.
(Psalm 40:3)

2. It was good enough for God. 

Jesus paid the full price for your sin. On the cross, He had each of us in mind. It's not like He was thinking of everyone's situation...except yours. If Jesus thought it cost the most expensive price in the world, then who are we to say it’s not really worth all that much?

Your small, uneventful story, cost the life of God’s one and only Son.

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
(1 Corinthians 7:23) 

3. It was probably worse than you think.

We have a tendency to downplay certain sins – like pride and idolatry. God operates totally different than people. We see each other’s actions. He sees our hearts.

For example, let’s say you had a friend in high school. You and him both struggled with greed. His greedy heart led him to rob someone at gunpoint, while you only ever took $10 out of your mom’s purse.

When we look at you and your friend from a human perspective, we see one person with a violent criminal record, and another, who’s a “typical teenager.” When God looks at you and your friend He sees two desperately greedy souls, longing for a taste of something that truly satisfies. Something eternal.

Ultimately, it’s not our story that saves lives, it’s Christ’s. It's not about us. Frankly, when testifying, sometimes we even glorify certain sin, because a small part of us still thinks it’s cool to be affiliated with sex, clubbing, selling drugs, etc. But that’s a totally different blog post.

So no matter how boring your story may seem – here’s to hating what God hates, and loving every little thing He loves!

If this post was helpful, be sure to share it on social media! Have you struggled to view your life the way God does? I'd love to hear your testimony – please share below!

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Monday, January 30, 2017

4 Practical Reasons I Stopped Drinking Wine

Because Jesus never turned water into beer.

1. It satisfied me in a way that God wanted to satisfy me.

When I got into a car accident while drinking & driving, I said I’d never drink hard liquor again. From that point on, I vowed to only drink wine. ( Not only wine. I still had water and juice and stuff like that. Just no liquor.)

One year later I began living for Jesus Christ. Every. Thing. Changed. ( Not...everything.)

Wine was still very much a thing in my life. On Friday nights, I would race home from work (as quick as one can “race” home on DC metro, that is) to get in bed with a glass of wine. I used the wine as a way of escape. It relieved my mind of the stress that came with a full-week of class, work, and adulting.

One day, while studying God’s word, the Holy Spirit revealed that He wanted to be the One to give me rest from my busy schedule. There was a void He wanted to fill. Only problem? I was already (temporarily) filling that void with wine.

I hadn’t realized before, but I was using wine to satisfy myself in a way that God desired to satisfy me. So, I wasn’t truly satisfied in Him...alone.

Because I am righteous, I will see you.When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied. (Psalm 17:15)

2. It actually was...getting me drunk.

Back in the day, I used a class system to determine my level of intoxication. 

Gettin’ there. 
There. (Where am I?)

Surely, wine was just getting me…”Good.” Okay, tipsy. At best. As long as I’m not getting drunk, I’m good. Right?

I noticed, however, as I was drinking, my mood was changing. The way I made decisions – that changed too. It became difficult to make a truly sound decision. Wine was impairing my mental abilities, which turns out, is the exact definition of “drunk.”

Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life.
Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)

3. It was causing others to stumble.

My friends, who never even had the desire to drink wine, wanted wine all of sudden. Wait. But why.

Me to them:

My best friend felt like I was pressuring her to drink.

Her to me:

Long story short, it got in the way. 

It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble.
(Romans 14:21)

4. It paired nicely with...other bad habits. 

When I cuddled up with a glass of wine, I wasn’t reading my bible. Nope. I was watching TV shows. Shows I wouldn’t have felt comfortable watching if I wasn’t…”Good.” (Disclaimer: Shows that I may or may not have used as animations to prove my point in this blog post. Ugh. Sue me.)

When I stopped drinking the wine. I stopped watching the shows. Looking back, I can't believe I even liked those shows. So weird. It's like I was...drunk...or something.

• • •

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Do you have a similar (or totally different) testimony? I'd love to hear it. Let me know in the comments below!

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This other post briefly mentions drinking wine, if you're into this!