Obviously, Iâ€™m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christâ€™s servant.
Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.Â Â Â Â Â Galatians 1:10-12 (NLT)
Paul is offering his testimony to the people of Galatia. I encourage you to read through to verse 24. It is Paul being honest and real. He gives me the three point outline that we should all have, ready to share â€œin season and out of seasonâ€ (2 Timothy 4:2). It shouldn’t be long. It should be the truth without embellishments. It should always point to Jesus.
1. This is what I was before I committed my life to Jesus.
I grew up in a church. I went to a parochial school for eight years. I knew about Jesus but I didn’t know Him. I spent most of the first 40 years of my life hoping people would tell me I was special and good. I was one of the ‘walking wounded’ who pretended that everything was â€œokâ€ but truthfully did not see that there was anything about me to love and so my relationships with people just brought me more pain. I was good at my job but that did not fill the ‘hole’ in my heart. I had a sharp tongue and a mean temper just like my father and his father before him.
2. This is how and when Jesus changed me.
With my marriage falling apart and my children following me down the same path, I was desperate to find something that would change our course and bring healing to our family. It was through my two oldest children that I went to what has become known as the Pensacola Outpouring revival. One night I heard a message on Luke 9:25-26 where Jesus said, â€œIf you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you.â€ and I was brought to my knees. As I told Jesus that I was sorry for trying to do my life my way and refusing Him, I expected to hear a voice giving me the tongue-lashing of my life. Instead, my heart was flooded with a love that I had never known. It was comforting, cleansing, healing, and I felt brand new. A few weeks later, I was baptized and I came up out of the water feeling new! I committed myself to following Jesus and now, 15 years later, I have never looked back.
3. This is who I am now and where Jesus is leading me.
I have found that God has given me a gift of encouraging others. I really like sending cards and emails. I have found a joy in writing. Now at the age of 56 when many are talking about â€œretiringâ€, I am beginning a new life in publishing and writing. Go figure that God would do that. God has brought me through many difficult days and done it with a whole heart and strong spirit when I didn’t think that would be possible. He is so much bigger and more loving than I imagined. He continues to surprise me with His faithfulness and love. I want to share that with my grandchildren and people I haven’t even met…yet.
This is my testimony…today.