A Testimony by Sara
Throughout my life my parents went to church. I was enrolled in Sunday School and mid-week clubs. I really enjoyed memorizing Scripture because I was good at it. I enjoyed the prizes and the attention that came along with it.
I came under conviction through the Scripture I had memorized. Romans 3:23 brought a startling reality to me: “For ALL [and I began to realize this included me] have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” At this realization I began to resist and thought I had to do more good things. But this idea wasn’t going to work as I had also memorized Isaiah 64:6: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” And Ephesians 2:8,9 also showed me my desperate situation if I was going to try to come to God on my own merit: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
On the night of May 4, 1995 I came to the Lord Jesus; I saw my helplessness and came as a sinner to the cross finding forgiveness and grace. I went to school the next day and told my friends I had become a Christian. Some were excited and others were confused. I began to observe Christians and thought. “Okay, that is how I must live.” I read my Bible and tried to obey what I read, but I quickly found I was helpless. Past hurts began to surface and I wasn’t sure what to do with them so I thought I better do more for the Lord.
In 2004 the Lord led me into full time missions work. Moving from Manitoba to Ontario I had left all that was familiar to me and it seemed the past hurts again came up. However, this time they were more than I could bear. My ministry director recommended that I meet with a friend who is a Biblical counselor with Grace Fellowship International. In the summer of 2004 in the back yard of a neighbour, we met together for a counseling session.
The Lord brought me to the truth of Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” That night this Scripture became a reality in my life– not just something I sang about! I realized then my true standing in Christ! Not only had my future eternity changed but I had a new past as well, and that past is in Christ for I died with Him and now my life is in Him (Colossians 3:1-4). The hurts of the past were not the issue, but rather that I had not yet appropriated that part of my life as having died with Him; the hurts of the past no longer belonged to me.
As I have entered into this glorious new dimension of life in Christ I have begun to understand my Heavenly Father’s heart. I realize that He is not just looking for workers, but rather a personal relationship with Him. I realized that in my flesh I can do many works, but in the Spirit I can only abide in the vine and He will produce the fruit. This realization has changed my life, and has brought rest to my soul. The fruit that He brings is lasting!
Grace Notes Dec. 28, 2006