And John testified, “I watched the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He rested on Him. 33 I didn’t know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The One you see the Spirit descending and resting on—He is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and testified that He is the Son of God!” John 1:32-34 (HCSB, my emphasis)
“I have seen. And I testify – Jesus is LORD!” It is an honor. It is a privilege to come here, to the forum that God has created in this devotion group, and testify about Jesus Christ. God birthed the idea 15 years ago and has faithfully written these devotions. All He asked of me was to be His scribe, His secretary. His Words have changed my life. I truly cannot conceive of where I would be, or even if I would be, if God had not given me this opportunity.
My maternal grandmother was a gentle, praying woman who battled severe, debilitating depression most of her life. She raised five children through the depression years with the help of her husband and my mother, her eldest child. My mother did not speak of it often but I have heard stories from her siblings that my mother baked five loaves of bread a day, cooked three meals a day, and kept the house, leaving school before she was able to complete the 8th grade. My grandmother had depression episodes so severe that she took to her bed for weeks at a time.
I believe that it is only through the powerful grace of God that I too have not followed that same path. Between 1995 and 1997 I felt a war going on in my spirit. The battles were won, not because of my great strength, but because God led me into a His presence and saturated me with His presence as I devoured His Word, both in the Bible and in worship songs. He brought people into my life that loved me and prayed for me. He gave me insight into the enemy who would attempt to bring me down into his pits of despair, telling me that I was alone and should just give up.
“When the last days come, I will give my Spirit to everyone. Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions, and your old men will have dreams. 18 In those days I will give my Spirit to my servants, both men and women, and they will prophesy. 19 I will work miracles in the sky above and wonders on the earth below. There will be blood and fire and clouds of smoke. 20 The sun will turn dark, and the moon will be as red as blood before the great and wonderful day of the Lord appears. 21 Then the Lord will save everyone who asks for his help.” Acts 2:17-21 (CEV)
My friends, do not doubt the power of God to work in your life. He has promised that He will not abandoned us. The abundant life that He has promised (John 10:10) is not a life of big homes and luxury vacations but of victory over the enemy who wants to devour our souls and condemn us to eternal despair.
Let us rejoice and live our earthly lives in the sure and present hope that we have in our Savior Jesus Christ. Let us live like we know to Whom we belong and Where He is leading us. And let us testify to this victorious life with an open hand and heart, never judging or condemning but freely giving as it has freely been given to us (Matthew 10:7-9).
My Tribute/My Redeemer written by Andre Crouch & sung by Nicole C Mullen