Friday, March 15, 2013

Personal Testimony

I was raised in a Christian home. Therefore, I do not consider myself to have had a dramatic “conversion experience.” However, there have been certain moments in my life that I look back upon to see the grace of God being bestowed upon me. First, I was born into an Evangelical, Bible believing home and was baptized and dedicated into my church as an infant. I see this as having profound significance in my life. Just as in the old covenant, a Jewish boy would have been circumcised on the eighth day and brought into the covenant community, so was I baptized and dedicated into the new covenant by faith. The second time when I saw God’s grace in my life is when he laid it upon my heart to live for him. When I attended Camp Fireside (Barrington, NH), I decided to live for Christ with my whole life. This was not a “conversion experience” but rather a realization that I need to decide every day to remain in God’s new covenant; within Christ. Third, I was baptized by the same church in which I was dedicated in the sense of “believer’s baptism.” I see this as a sacrament and another sign of God’s grace in my life. Like Martin Luther said, my baptism is a point upon which I can look back and see God’s grace in times of trial. These experiences in my formative years structured a foundation of commitment to Christ and his Kingdom that is unwavering. 

Since these experiences of deciding to live for Christ, I have had many opportunities for spiritual growth throughout the years. In addition to the ways that I have grown spiritually described above, I have grown the most in the past through my relationships and shared experiences with other believers. I have always had people in my life that have challenged me in my faith toward spiritual growth. The most important of these are my parents. They encourage me to stay strong, and remind me to pursue God. I have learned a great deal about the importance of keeping Christ the center of a family life through them. Second, my youth pastors in middle school and high school were instrumental to my spiritual growth, and were always challenging me to go deeper with Christ through teachings, relationships of discipleship, and meaningful ministry experiences. Third, my professors at Gordon College, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Boston College School of Theology have challenged my mind and my will to be a Christian who is smart and knowledgeable about many areas of the Christian life. They have encouraged me to challenge my foundations of faith and life, but were there to help me rebuild them and strengthen them. My wife is the final person that should be included in this category. She has also challenged me in my beliefs so that I truly own them. She is constantly encouraging me to use my gifts and calling to serve God’s purposes. She is always in support of decisions I make to that end. 

My current relationship with God is this: I realize that I am nothing, and am in total and utter dependence on Jesus Christ in this life and after. He is everything. I have decided to serve him with my entire life because it is his anyway. It is my prayer that every aspect of my life will glorify him. I am trying to live my life in the tension of this world in which the Kingdom of God has been inaugurated but not yet consummated. I am thankful to God that he has given his Spirit to be our guide as we stumble through life still in this present evil age. I am trying to figure out what it means truly to “live life in the Spirit” (Gal. 5-6).

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