“Tell them what I have done for you”

September 16, 2004

That’s what God told us a few weeks ago wasn’t it? (September 8th?)

It’s great when the prophetic word comes and we must not despise it. My beautiful wife reminded me of this particular prophecy as we drove home from cell group this week.

It was great to go around everyone who was there and give our 60 second testimonies (with the occasional exception haha) and I was touched and moved to see how God has saved us from so much to take us into so much! It was so wide and varied, from accounts of grieving, broken marriages, near fatal attacks, to saved when a child, given hope at university – and all are valid and equally powerful and significant. My favourite first line of a testimony was: “I first went to church as a dare…” haha.

I used to despise my testimony…I was saved when I was 5. Nothing major happened in the natural. I said a prayer in my bed and I lived my life. I remember thinking how I wanted a dramatic testimony the sort of “I was on the run from the law, hiding in a basement and my food and water supply had run out – when God found me…” I loved to hear the stories and testimonies of how far people were away from God and how God had literally turned their world upside down! I thought I needed a story like that.

But I know now, and I have known for a while that my testimony is just as valid and dramatic as the sinner who repents on his deathbed, as the one time drug dealer now traveling the world helping youths, as dramatic as Saul on the road to Damascus!

The reality of salvation is not always what we see – although the natural would have us judge everything by sensationalism. But the fact of salvation is that in the spiritual God saved us from an eternity without him and brought us into an eternal relationship with himself. God broke the chains of death and the chords of sin that tangled us up and brought us from darkness into light. God sent his son to die for me, a five year old boy in my bed in Fairwater Cardiff that I might know his power and glory. He died for me – for me! That is nothing short of Awesome! In the very real sense of the word.

Now I know my testimony is outstanding! God saved my soul and saved me from the life I may have led – that is God’s grace to me.

So when the prophetic word comes saying “tell them I have done for you“, we must do what the Spirit tells us – not embellish our tales of woe and pity, and not despise what happened to us, no matter how lacklustre it seems in the natural. God will use us with those people who are like us. I have a testimony that will reach some that others may not be able to. Equally my testimony may not have the impact yours might. But together, each part of the body doing its bit, we will see Pontypridd and to the ends of the earth come into the knowledge of the glory of the Lord.

Consider what God has done for you right now…it is the greatest miracle that you will ever hear about.

Dave

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Musing on Isaiah 55…

September 1, 2004

Isaiah 55 is a well known passage of scripture and I have been reading again last night and this morning. Did you know that God’s Word is alive, living and active? I love it when it a passage I thought I knew becomes alive and fresh again…God is always speaking and I just wanted to share a thought from this passage in terms of our planting into Pontypridd.

Remember that we should always read scripture in the whole, the chapters and verse numbers were added a long time after it was written down. Yet so often I myself have divided this chapter or heard preachers seperate it into 4 different sections, in fact each one of those sections is famous and well known in it’s own right. There is the “Come all of you who are thirsty” bit verses 1-5. There is the “Seek the Lord while he may be found” bit, verses 6-7. There is the “my ways are higher than your ways” bit, verses 8-9. And there is “my word will not return to me empty” bit…which I was again drawn to.

Isaiah 55:10-11

“10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

What a great and wonderful promise we have and what an amazing committment God gives us to fulfill all that he has spoken to us. Take minute and recount the things you know God has said to you from the Word or in prayer and prophectoc word about your life and Pontypridd – what a promise, it shall none of it return to God unfulfilled.

But what God took me to this time were the verses which follow immediatley after 10 & 11. Here we have this amazing promise that God will honour his Word, all his promises….and immediatley then, he makes another promise and commitment to us. It’s like God is saying: “my word shall be fulfilled, I won’t let one bit of it stay stagnent – all of my promises shall be outworked in your life…and just so you know – here is another one.”

“12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.”

I was struck by the fact that the first promise God makes after saying he will keep all his promises, is a promise about going out, stepping out, reaching out.

God want’s us to reach out to Pontypridd – and here is his promise. As we go out into the town…we shall do so in joy and we will be led forth in peace. Creation will welcome us as they will sense the coming of the Lord (for we are his ambassadors) and Pontypridd will welcome us and there will be great singing and rejoicing. And all of this will be to establish an everlasting sign for the Lord’s renown.

So be encouraged as I was – we are on a journey where God is going before his, leading us in joy and peace! It is a promise for all our lives as individuals – it is a promise for our planting into Pontypridd!

Dave