Topics: Redemption, Testimony, Thanks, Thanksgiving
A minister friend survived a close call with death. He recently shared his testimony with a small group of fellow ministers of which I was a part. My friend was in the hospital for weeks, knocking at the door of death. Apparently, he was afflicted with a bacterial infection, which almost claimed his life. Powerful antibiotics were administered to him and he rallied in strength and getting stronger by the day. From this experience, my friend said that he never wanted to miss an opportunity to give a testimony for the Lord.
My friend was following the admonition of the Psalmist in Psalm 107, when he declared, “let the redeemed of the Lord say so”. If you are redeemed you have a testimony to give. You can speak about the “goodness and everlasting mercy of the Lord”. I cannot pretend to word your testimony but I do think that all of us have some of the same blessings and privileges in common. I would like to name a few of them as a means of helping us as the redeemed to have a “say so”.
I. We can be thank God for the blessings of being created by Him.
We are all fearfully and wonderfully made as the Psalmist trumpeted forth in Psalm 139:14. That verse hangs in a prominent place in our bathroom at home. It is a hand written note that Pam penned for one of her Sunday School classes years ago. She has kept it displayed for four years or more and I am glad.
Each day as I prepare to meet the challenges before me, I am reminded that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” by the Lord. You and I can thank God each day for the gift of life and more importantly for the gift of eternal life. We should never, ever take these blessings for granted.
II. We can thank God for the blessings of being forgiven by Christ.
III. We can thank God for the privilege of being indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
Johnny Hunt tells the story of a relative who came to know Christ. His cousin had lived a rough life for many years, well into the middle age period. After hearing Johnny preach, he became a christian. In a conversation with Johnny’s younger brother, who also was a recent convert, the cousin said, “hey, you guys have got to help me. I feel like someone has moved into my life. There is someone living within me”.
This is unique way of saying that Christ through His spirit had moved into this formerly lost sinner’s life. He was now under new management. This is the essence of the indwelling power and presence of the living Christ. We can thank God for that blessing and tell others about what this power and presence means.
IV. We can thank God for the privilege of being a student of the Scriptures.
The Bible is “a lamp to our feet and a light to our path”. In the days of the OT and the NT, there was obviously not any electricity. Traveling at night was dangerous and perilous. Therefore, people would actually tie lamps to their feet to light the way of their path before them. That is exactly what the Bible is for us. It is our lamp and light in a dark and dying world. We can rejoice in the fact that our Lord has given us the Scriptures.
V. We can thank God for the privilege of being able to trust God with our lives.
In this life filled with uncertainty, we must have someone we can trust. The trustee is often used in our culture today. Trustees are people charged with some very responsible tasks of oversight and guidance. A trustee must be trustworthy.
Jesus Christ is the only trustee of life really worth trusting. Others will fail you but Jesus never will. He is the epitome of being trustworthy.
My friend who was near death, said that he felt calm in the face of the final foe because he had placed his complete trust in Jesus. He remembered that Jesus prayed on the cross, “father into your hands I commit my spirit”.
The word “commit” can be translated trust. Jesus trusted God with His life. We can trust Jesus with our lives too. He is faithful and true. He is true and trustworthy. You will never regret trusting in Jesus.
“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so”. We are the redeemed and our “say so” is our testimony of thankfulness to the Lord. What a way to live and eventually to face death!