“You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:2-3
Yesterday, Rose a friend from church, lead women’s Bible study. She shared a message entitled don’t let your story get in the way of the truth. She reminded us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and that ultimately our stories are His story. I immediately thought of this passage, because as we took turns sharing our testimony, for the most part we each shared from our perspective not His truth. We focused on the sin, and then briefly share the transformation in our life. However even as I write this, I recognize that He no longer sees that part of my life. Instead of focusing on my life before Christ and what it was like, I need to focus my testimony on Christ.
Rose asked each one of us to share 5 words we use to describe ourselves, good or bad. Later she asked us to share 5 words that God said about us. A few of mine overlapped, but part of my own description was focused on the old nature. The spirit of the living God is writing the letter of my life and I have to get my story out of the way. The simple version of that is “I was a sinner, but God.” My testimony is not about what God delivered me from, but about what He delivered me to. Yes, there is a time for the from; when I am among believers though my focus, our focus, should be the to. What He has brought me to is the Truth available to all believers. And the Truth is we were all sinners. There are not levels of sinfulness. There should be no “I was deeper in sin.” “I was a bigger sinner.” All sin separates us from God. But Jesus, when we receive Him, washes it all away. The Truth then, is I am a new creation in Him. If old things are passed away, it’s time for me to let go of it completely. I instead should let Christ’s story be told through me.
I’m reminded of Aaron when I think of this. In Exodus 32:1-6 we read of Aaron intentionally making a golden calf when Moses delayed coming down from Mount Sinai. While he is doing this Moses is receiving instructions from the Lord about Aaron being the priest in Exodus 28 and 29.
God was calling Aaron by his destiny not his past or even present actions; that was pre cross. We are now under the finished work of the cross and we are seated in Christ Jesus. Our story is written. We need to stop allowing our version of our story to get in the way of the truth. Our story should be told from the truth of the cross not the past before the cross. So the truth of my story, of our story, is:
I was a Sinner (Romans 3:23). The Holy Spirit drew me to God, revealing my need for a savior (John 16:8) and leading me to the truth of the gift of Jesus sacrifice (John 15:26) that I can be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18). By faith I received this free gift (Romans 6:23). I was made a new creation in Christ old things are passed away period now Christ lives through me (2 Corinthians 5:17).
So who am I now? What is Christ written story of my life?
John 1:12 I am God’s child.
John 15:15 I am a friend of Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1 I have been justified.
1 Corinthians 6:17 I am one with Him in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:20 I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 I am a member of Christ’s body.
Ephesians 1: 5 I am adopted as His child.
Ephesians 1:6 I am favored by God.
Romans 8:1-2 I am free from condemnation.
Romans 8:28 I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
Romans 8:38-39 I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
Colossians 3:3 I am hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 1:6 God will complete the good work He started in me.
Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.
2 Timothy 1:7 I have power, love and a sound mind.
1 John 5:18 I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.
John 15:16 I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
1 Corinthians 3:16 I am God’s temple.
2 Corinthians 5:18 I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
Ephesians 2:6 I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.
Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
These are just a few of the truths in my story; in the story, written by Christ, about his followers. The truth is so much more powerful than any story I can tell about my life. That is the story I want others to hear.
Prayer – Lord, thank you for driving this message home for me. Thank you for allowing me to see the error in my thinking. My testimony has nothing to do with the old me. It is all about the new man that that you have made in me. The truth is available to anyone who is willing to follow you. Thank you Father God!