Monday, September 27, 2010
4 stories... one theme
A big tough business guy, an ex-druggy from Kentucky, a good girl, and a west african man who used to practice voodoo. These were the four who stood up in front of our church yesterday to confess their love of Jesus before they walked through the waters of baptism.
I was amazed as I heard their stories: each unique and completely opposite, but with the same ending... Jesus saving them from their complete and utter depravity in the face of a holy and awesome God.
On the face of the first guy was a look of total control, but as he went on to describe what the Lord has done in his life, humility overtook him. He said, "Humility is not one of my strong suites, but I stand before you humbled because of God's grace."
As the next lady entered the waters with her husband, she gave a sweet testimony of how she was raised in the church and always throught her testimony was ordinary, but recently God has revealed how his grace is never ordinary. One thing I love about our church is that each one is baptized by someone who has lead them in their walk with the Lord. As the husband took his wife by the hand, I was overwhelmed by the picture of our Great Bridegroom who leads us to the waters from wherever we have been.
Up next was a West African man from Benin. English was not his first language, so it took some consentration to understand what he was saying. I know what its like to speak in front of people in your second language and it is terrifying, so I was really impressed. He shared with us how he grew up in a place where witchcraft and voodoo ran his life. He began to have a reoccuring nightmare of people flying around him while he was on the ground burning. He went to every witch-doctor and paid any price to be rid of the dream, but to no avail. Finally, he met a Christian man who invited him to church. After he had gone to church several times, the dream left him, but that did not mean that he was done with church. His friend shared the gospel with him and he came to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Last, but not least was Kentucky... which was how he was announced,though it was not his name, just his place of origin. He spoke matter-of-factly about his past life in drugs and alcohol. He told us of his rehabilitation, but that it came with a lack of peace. When he moved to Dallas, he met a bunch of guys from the Village who spoke truth into his life and shared the gospel with him. This is where the straight-face stopped and the tears began to flow as his voice waved. "Jesus saved me by his grace."
I share these stories today to remind you to share yours. Whether good, bad or ugly, God has given us a story to tell, but they all should end the same, He saved me by His grace and for that, I am forever thankful!