Pause and think about it!

Archive for October, 2014

My Testimony, by Yvonne

I was blessed to grow up in a home with parents who taught me about John 3:16—how God loved me so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to be my Savior. From the time I can remember, it was my desire to be accepted and loved by Him. Even though I was told that God’s love for me was not dependent upon what I did or didn’t do, I still stumbled through times of darkness and feeling separated from Him.

Often at night, I would be gripped with fear that the world was coming to an end and I had not achieved the perfection needed to go to heaven. I could literally hear the congregation singing, “Oh when the saints go marching in…” But the part that haunted me was, “Oh Lord, I want to be in that number…” It was as though I was crying out, Wait for me! Don’t leave me behind. Usually these night-doubts would drive me to my parents’ bedroom where I would plead with them to pray for me to have peace.

Finally, at age eleven, I had an encounter with God on my knees between my parents at the sofa of our home. Soon thereafter, I was baptized in Coal River on a cold November day—so cold, they had to crack the surface ice to complete the baptism. I expected that after that day, I would no longer be plagued with doubts about my salvation. I had such a wonderful peace—and a feeling of being on top of the world. However, I still didn’t comprehend that feelings are fickle—that salvation is by faith, not by feelings, and that I would not always “feel” saved–loved and accepted by Jesus.

My hunger to be accepted by God was misappropriated. I picked up the list of “thou shalt nots” from my holiness teaching. Conforming to outward appearance only sufficed to appease the flesh. My spirit continually hungered for more of God. I struggled to perfect my thoughts and attitudes and clung to God’s promises of being with me “always.” I involved myself in as many spiritual activities as I could—revival meetings, conferences, Bible reading, choir, classes, church services, and Bible Club at school. Each one gave me the euphoric “feeling” for which I longed, but much like caffeine gives you a lift, it soon wore off and I needed more.

Probably the most significant characteristic that derailed me was my often-untamed temper. I doubt that few outside my family knew there were times when I simply “lost it.” I was not rebellious against my parents. I was not disobedient. But the emotional outbursts came primarily when I was unable to accomplish my short-term goals or to rule over my spirit in certain emotional settings. He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls (Prov.25:28, Amp). When-ever this happened, the enemy brought accusations against me—both true, based on what I had done or thought, and false, just to torment my mind.

I had just turned 18 and recently graduated from high school when a very wise Pastor Haynie prayed with me that the Lord would “restore the joy of her salvation.” That summer, I spent many hours driving out onto the dirt roads of the countryside, finding a place to park and pray. There, in those meetings just between God and me, I confessed to Him that I longed to measure up to what I thought were His expectations of me. And He spoke to me about His unlimited love—how it wasn’t based on how I performed or felt. There, with the wildflowers blooming around my feet and the cows grazing and gazing over the fence, I gave Him my life with all of its quirks, doubts, misgivings, and frailties. I surrendered to Him my plans, my goals, my desires, and my excessive temper—all of me. In exchange, He gave me a promise of righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom.14:17).

That summer a new chapter in my life began. Did I ever fall short and fail Him in my attitudes and thoughts? Of course—but I confessed, and He forgave. Did I ever have doubts again? Of course—but I cast them down and refused to doubt my salvation. Did I ever feel unworthy again? Of course—but I remembered that it was not by works of righteousness which I have done that saved me in the first place. Did I ever have more out-of-control tempter? By God’s grace, no more tantrums, but thankfully healthy emotions remained.

God surely did lead my life from that point on—in a way that neither I nor anyone who knew me could have predicted. His unlimited love has enveloped me until this day—and will forever be mine. The Psalmist wrote from his heart, and I share his testimony: If God hadn’t been there for me, I never would have made it. The minute I said, “I’m slipping, I’m falling,” God’s love took hold and held me fast. When I was upset and beside myself, He calmed me down and cheered me up (Psalm 94:17-19, MSG).

I thank God every day for His love. It cannot be grasped. It cannot be comprehended. It is so high, so wide, and so deep that it covers every imaginable situation. And He’s given it for free. Oh how He loves me—and you!

Eph. 3:17-19, NLT – Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

(c) Yvonne Karl. yvonnekarl@gmail.com

Who is Jesus? He is…

Who is Jesus Christ to Whom we give thanks? 

In Genesis, He is The Promised Seed of the woman.
In Exodus, He is the Passover lamb.
In Leviticus, He is the high priest.
In Numbers, He is the star to rise out of Jacob.
In Deuteronomy, He is the two laws: love God and love your neighbor.
In Joshua, He is the captain of the hosts.
In Judges, He is the covenant angel named “Wonderful.”
In Ruth, He is the kinsman redeemer.
In Samuel, He is the root and offspring of David.
In Kings, He is the greater than the temple.
In Chronicles, He is the king’s son.
In Ezra and Nehemiah, He is the Rebuilder.
In Esther, He is the savior of God’s people.
In Job, He is the Daysman.
In Psalms, He is the song.
In Proverbs, He is the wisdom of God.
In Ecclesiastes, He is the one among the thousand.
In Song of Solomon, He is the bridegroom of the bride.
In Isaiah, He is Jacob’s branch.
In Jeremiah, He is our righteousness.
In Lamentations, He is the unbeliever’s judgment.
In Ezekiel, He the true shepherd.
In Daniel, He is the stone that became the head of the corner.
In Hosea, He is the latter rain.
In Joel, He is God’s dwelling in Zion.
In Amos, He is the raiser of David’s tabernacle.
In Obadiah, He is the deliverer on Mount Zion.
In Jonah, He is our salvation.
In Micah, He is the lord of kings.
In Nahum, He is the stronghold in the time of trouble.
In Habakkuk, He is our joy and confidence.
In Zephaniah, He is our mighty lord.
In Haggai, He is the desire of the nations.
In Zechariah, He is our servant, the branch.
In Malachi, He is the Son of righteousness.

In Matthew, He is Jehovah’s messiah.

In Mark, He is Jehovah’s servant.

In Luke, He is Jehovah’s man.

In John, He is the Son of God

In Acts, He is the Builder of the Church

In Romans, He is the Justifier of him who believes

In 1 Corinthians, He is the first-fruits from among the dead

In 2 Corinthians, He is the unspeakable gift

In Galatians, He is the Seed of Abraham

In Ephesians, He is head of the church

In Philippians, He is the supplier of every need

In Colossians, He is the preeminent One

In 1 and 2 Thessalonians, He is the returning Lord

In 1 Timothy, He is God manifest in the flesh

In 2 Timothy, He is the Lord, the righteous judge

In Titus, He is the Blessed Hope

In Philemon, He is Savior of Slaves

In Hebrews, He is the High Priest

In James, He is the royal law.

In 1 Peter, He is the chief shepherd

In 2 Peter, He is the day star arising in our heart

In 1 John, He is our Advocate

In 2 John, He is the confession of one who is true

In 3 John, He is source of prosperity

In Jude, He is the beloved.

In Revelation, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Several variations of this can be found on the internet and in various book collections with no mention anywhere of the source.

(Also quoted in Chapter 25 of Yvonne’s Book, East of Bethlehem, 2003).

The River of Life

An article out of the Archives

 

Click on link below

VOL 02 NO 03-The River of Life