Thursday, August 19, 2010

GUEST POST from my friend, Matt

A couple of months ago, an old friend from high school emailed me to ask if he could post something on my blog. He was feeling a burden to share his heart for Christ with others and I decided I didn't want to stand in the way of God's leading. So today's post is from Matt. We graduated from high school together in 1994. Matt went on to graduate from Temple University in 1998 and the University of Phoenix in 2007 (MBA). He sings in the choir and plays in the bell choir at Christ's Lutheran Church (PA). He's had the opportunity to give 4 sermons over the last 5 years at the church, and is prayerfully considering attending classes at either Lancaster Bible College or Westminster Theological Seminary with the hopes of becoming a worship leader/pastor. I hope you will enjoy reading his words and be encouraged by how God took a hold of his life.

MY HOPE AND CHANGE
About 20 years ago, I came to believe that Christ was my Savior – specifically, I became born again in my faith when I began to pray to God for the first time and felt God’s comfort after my grandfather had passed away in the summer of 1992. But just after I graduated college, the passion for His redeeming message was missing in my life. Sprinkle in a few wayward missteps along the way, and my faith in Christ became more of an accessory.

This all changed for me during the summer of 2008. During that time, I started meeting people that had clearly believed in God’s message (one person believed since the tender age of five), and had consequently lived a life of true love and happiness for God. Another person that I met through my workplace had a clear “born again” moment in his life when he started to read the Bible and suddenly realized that his former lifestyle was not giving glory to God daily.

For me, though, the defining moment was when I returned to Camp Innabah later that year and saw the site where I gave my first testimony to a group of friends 16 years earlier. Being there, I started to suddenly realize what a complete fool I was whenever I mistreated someone or if I couldn’t forgive someone for foolish reasons. It clearly struck me that I had been forgiven through Christ’s death and resurrection all along. But thanks be to God! This new found revelation (along with the additions of my new friends) has motivated me to confidently proclaim that Christ is my Savior and to share with others how He died to destroy our sins in order to make us into “new creations”.

One of my heroes is the apostle Paul. I believe he wrote the greatest motivational writings that anyone has ever produced. In 1 Corinthians 15: 1-11, Paul shares with us what is the matter of first importance: “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” And again, Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

What has held you back from fully trusting God and making Him the matter of first importance in your life? I would encourage you to open a dialogue with God through prayer, asking Him to reveal and defeat any roadblocks that are keeping you from having a close relationship with Him. The psalmist writes, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts” (Psalm 139:23). Most importantly, meditate on the cross --Jesus loved you so much, my friends, that He bore God’s wrath for your sins on the cross so that you will live again. Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.

3 comments:

Julie said...

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts” (Psalm 139:23)

This is one of my favorite passages!

Wow-its a small world....he is not far from where I live! :)

Thank Matt for sharing his testimony!

Christy said...

Julie: Are you in PA? I live in Matt's area, too...outside of Philly.

Julie said...

WOW! Small world, huh? I am in the Hershey area..so let me know if you ever come to Chocolatetown! :)

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