Thursday, August 14, 2008

Remembering Our Chains

At church last night the pastor profiled the Apostle Paul. As he taught through the conversion of Paul, seen in Acts 9, my own conversion came to mind. Honestly, I hadn’t thought about when I got saved in a while. Tears came to my eyes, though, as I thought back to that December morning nearly 5 years ago. Though there was no voice from the Lord calling me to repent, like the Apostle. There was, however, an unexpected, overwhelming sense of a guilt that I could not shake. Much like Paul, and many of you, I hadn’t done anything any different the night before. I was just living a godless life, knowing the Gospel, but thinking that I could wait until after college—when the “fun” was over and real life began. But God had other plans. The only explanation for why I am here today, writing this, is because God looked at me in my sinfulness in December 2003 and said, “Courtney, today is the day you will leave your darkness and follow me.” I didn’t know that’s what was happening then, but I know that now.

Often we are excited to hear about what God is doing in people’s lives right now, rather than asking them how they got saved 5, 10, or 15 years ago. It’s not that we are not excited about God saving people. It’s just that it only seems relevant to ask that question when they become a member of our church or get baptized. But it is incredibly relevant. The very fact that the God of the Universe chose to save any people is amazing enough. That he mercifully looked on us, in our sinfulness, and called us out of darkness and into the light of Christ is cause for continual celebration. We should remember our chains, not because want to wallow in our past, but because we are realizing that we are chained to Someone far greater than our past—Jesus Christ.

One of the things I appreciate about my church is that they have members give their testimonies one Wednesday a month. This is a great opportunity for us to remember our chains, and give praise to God for his work in our lives, and the lives of the people in our community. It reminds us that God is always working to bring people to himself, and conform them into the image of his Son. It is good to be reminded of that.

Last night’s message was good for me to hear. I don’t ever want to forget how God saved me. My favorite hymn is “And Can It Be” and the third verse gets me every time I sing it:

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon, flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.
Amazing love! How can it be, that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?


debt said...

Great post, Court! Thanks.

Andrew Case said...

Will your testimony be in the Clifton Messenger soon? I noticed that you were interviewing for membership recently; at least it looked like that. If so, I look forward to reading it.