I was asked to speak in church this past weekend.
Three minutes they told me.
Three minutes to give what was called a “Christ Follower” testimony. I think Christ Follower is the trendier version of saying Christian. They asked me to do it right around the time I said on the blog that we should be prepared with a testimony.
So I kind of had to do it.
Really though, I was glad to speak, but the 3 minute limit…that was tough.
Here is what I said:
My name is Darla Baerg and I’m a Christ Follower. I made my public profession of faith when I was 9 years old at Vacation Bible School. Seeing how we are having VBS this week, this is an anniversary of sorts for me.
I think if I had to choose a phrase to sum up from then to now, it would be the line from the hymn that says…“The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows.”
I have opportunities everyday to serve Him in my marriage (being the partner my husband needs), with my children, in the church and the community. And I honestly believe that when we serve others, we are serving Christ.
In my own family, I try to pray daily for myself and most days I pray over my children on the way to school that “everything that we say and everything we do will be a reflection of Christ Jesus.” When people come into contact with us, I want them to see Christ in us. I so want the “words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart to be pleasing to Him.”
But please don’t misunderstand.
There were several times this week where my words and actions were not pleasing. In fact, a couple of times I thought I should call and cancel my testimony as I didn’t want to stand up in church and be a fraud. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought…“no, that is exactly why I want to do it”, because that is the great news of Christ…that we are forgiven of our sins and we can start over with a fresh slate.
I think keeping our relationship with Christ growing and vibrant takes prayer and also Bible Study. It is through God’s word, the Bible, that he reveals himself to us. His word, all these years after it was written, is still applicable to our everyday lives. We often just have to pray and ask Him how.A few years ago I went to a neighborhood Bible Study that a friend of mine was leading. I don’t even remember that much of what we studied, but I do remember how intrigued I was by my friends Bible. It was worn. REALLY worn. The pages weren’t gold around the edges anymore, leather was ripped off the cover and it looked like entire chapters might fall out at any given time.
And I kept thinking how that Bible looked used. That it looked like it had weathered some storms with her. And then I looked at my own Bible … the one that had my maiden name on it…and thought it still looked pretty good.
So, that year, I decided as my New Years Resolution that I wanted to wear my Bible out. I wanted to read it and use it and write in it…I wanted it to look lived in.And about two weeks into the new year, I sat down one day and opened my Bible. Somehow I simultaneously spilled a water bottle ALL over those thin, thin Bible paper pages. My first reaction was AUGH!!! I couldn’t believe it. But in that exact moment I felt God speak to my heart.
And this is what He said….“Darla, you can’t wear out your Bible if it’s not open. And more than that, I cannot spill out on you if you are not in my Word.”
And this is what I want more than anything in the world….for Christ to spill out on me and for me to be able to spill His love out onto others.
And that is what being a Christ Follower is for me.
Hopefully that took you exactly 3 minutes to read. :)