The little church I've been attending is temporarily between pastors since their previous pastor retired at the end of August. One of the visiting ministers suggested that this time of transition might be an opportunity to do things a little differently - that's when God planted the idea that I should offer to give a Sunday message in a testimonial format. Well, I guess that's what the Lord wanted me to do because I was given the green light for October 21, 2007.
It was approved to recite my 'rendition' of The Lord's Prayer ( Our Father ) as we prayed the prayer that Jesus taught us in His Holy Word.
And for my message of testimony, following is what the Lord prepared with me to speak:
I am here today to tell you this … I am utterly, completely, wholeheartedly, head-over-heels, giddy-as-a-schoolgirl … in love. I get no greater joy than to tell a listening ear – or ears as the case may be - all about this amazing love of mine!
I haven't always loved him this deeply. He definitely loved me first and made it clear that He would always be there for me. Quite frankly, He said a lot of things and made many promises that at the time seemed just too good to be true. It took me many years and many shared experiences, but, the utter trust I now have in Him was built upon the faithful unconditional love He has shown me everyday since we met over 30 years ago.
He looks into my eyes and sees my heart; it's like He knows me better than I could ever know myself.
He is my very best forever friend – always there to listen; always thinking of me first; and I have no doubt He would stop at nothing to protect my life.
There is nothing, I have found, I can experience that He cannot in some way say He has experienced too.
His response to my trials and joys are so full of compassion; when He speaks, sometimes only in a gentle whisper, His Words are presented with a commanding wisdom and authority that cannot be denied. Call me a fool, but whether I'm right about Him or not, He has captured this girl's heart and without question, I believe everything He tells me.
When I was grieving over the death of my father – I was crushed in spirit. But my love sat with me and cried with me as He told me of how, when He was separated from His Father by death, it was the hope and faith they would be reunited in Heaven – forever – that saw Him through the pain and sorrow. It is that same hope and faith that continues to carry me.
I have what I refer to as, my 'beautiful scars' – the result of a car wreck that by all rights should have claimed my life and those of my family. For reasons known only to God – we all lived and I can talk of it today how by the experience I gained a whole new meaning to life. I found on the other side of pain comes healing. My love spoke to me about His beautiful scars – the result of injuries viciously inflicted and intended to take His Life, but He, too, is alive to tell His amazing story of Hope and Healing to anyone who will listen.
I think it's the companionship our relationship offers that truly fulfills me – just knowing I'm not alone in anything and having Someone Who really understands standing by me come what may. Just being in His Presence - able to freely share whatever is on my heart brings a restful peace to my soul.
I truly believe it is His love for me that has transformed me into who I am today with no regrets of who I was before just thankful for having One so devoted to me to be my guide and friend. He has taught me to love like He does but to say that I do can only be determined by all of you – the people in my life.
Several years ago on Valentine's Day, He gave me the most wonderful love letter in the form of a story that I'd like to read for you now ….
(… A Jewel in His Crown …)
So I say again, I am utterly, completely, wholeheartedly, head-over-heels, giddy-as-a-schoolgirl … in love with the Savior of my soul – our Lord, Jesus Christ and it is always my prayer and hope that everyone that has been given breath can say the same in each waking moment and throughout each day of this life and into eternity.
I would like to end today's message with a special request … Scripture claims there will come a day, absolutely, when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord – regardless of our beliefs and faith at the moment. Since that moment is known only to God and will come to us as a thief in the night it seems to me to be one of those better-sooner-than-later kind of things.
I know this is something rather out of the ordinary, but my request is this … in one united voice, on the count of three let us all shout out – with a shout originating from the very tips of our toes – a one-word prayer; the Name above all names - 'JESUS!'.
Instead of His Name rising to His ears as a word of profanity as it so often does, let it come to Him as a shout of praise and worship. I can promise you, as He is honored so shall He honor us. I really kind of hope you're all with me on this – but, if not, I know a lot of stones will be shouting with me. Since it is a prayer, I suggest we all close our eyes and although we will shout in unison, your individual prayer will be just between you and your God.
Are you ready? On the count of 3 …
1 … 2 … 3 … 'JESUS!'
And all God's people said, 'Amen'.
(And our closing song was the first verse to 'Jesus Loves Me' plus the 3 verses I wrote to the same tune entitled I Love Jesus. )
Overall, I think I did a decent job (with the Lord's help, of course) of shakin' things up a bit to get the focus back on Jesus in a time when man's agenda, pride and ego seems so often to get in the way of what's truly important.
Will you praise the Lord with me in thanksgiving for the opportunities He gives to spread His Good News and pray for a willful obedience whenever He presents such an opportunity that insodoing we might enjoy the blessing that comes when we say to Him, "Here am I Lord, please send me"?
What a great message you gave that day in October. I am glad you shared it. And I read the links too. One I had seen, one I had not. You have a special love for the Lord and you pass it on to all of us. I feel blessed to know you. God bless you. ... Helen