Greg Stokley | @gregstokley
I have a confession to make.
I've never been addicted to anything. Not really.
I grew up in a conservative Christian home. I went to church every Sunday. I received salvation at a young age.
With the exception of a season of backsliding in college, I have always been chasing after God. Even in that season, my convictions made me miserable. But that season ended. God put a stop to all of that nonsense and I set my face to seek His again.
So what am I even writing about? No deliverance from drugs? Pornography? No immensely radical testimony to speak of? Then what have I recovered from? What is this post about?
It's about the Gospel. It's about grace.
I used to suffer from a condition I like to call Testimony Paralysis. Simply put, this means that, due to the fact that I don't have a dramatic conversion story, I assumed that I didn't have a testimony at all. No drugs or wanton behavior for me. My story is sheltered and tame compared to many others.
But here's something we often don't think about. If we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, we are a living, breathing miracle. Just because you don't have a dramatic story involving crack houses, jail time, and an incident involving a pineapple and a night club, doesn't mean you aren't every bit a miracle as the person who owns that story. Ephesians 2:1-5 says this:
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved."
You were dead. Now you are alive. My friends, there is no greater miracle. If you don't think so, consider this analogy.
If you have two people freshly dead, one from natural causes and the other from a horrific accident, and God raises both from the dead, who gives more cause for praise? The accident victim? Or the one who went quietly in their sleep?
The answer is neither. Both were dead, now both are alive. We wouldn't give God more praise for one or the other. He has raised them both from death, no matter what that death looked like.
Consider this quote:
“The greatest miracle that God can do today is to take an unholy man out of an unholy world and make him holy, then put him back into that unholy world and keep him holy in it.”
― Leonard Ravenhill
That is my testimony. I was a dreadful sinner before Christ saved me. I was just as dead as everyone else. Now I am alive with Him and all those he has adopted into His family. Make no mistake; we should praise Him for the radically saved. But don't forget, even if you don't have a jaw-dropping, gut-wrenching, tear-jerker of a testimony, you are still a testimony to the gracious love and immeasurable power of our God, who is always mighty to save.
Greg Stokley is a ginger from southern Alabama. He loves reading, writing, but not arithmetic. He serves in youth, college, teaching, and preaching ministries. An amateur theologian, he's not afraid to point out bad doctrine, with love of course. He also writes at his own blog, To Be Prophets and Priests. You can contact Greg on Twitter at @gregstokley or at his email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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