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 Issue #73 Mon, 20 Feb 2006

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Female Number of posts : 2309
Age : 26
Real Name : Alyssa
Location : Eastern USA
Registration date : 2006-12-17

PostSubject: Issue #73 Mon, 20 Feb 2006   March 11th 2007, 23:21

Dear Youth,

As promised, this week's devotional is actually a script version of what Stephanie and Talisa said at their baptism last Sabbath.

TALISA'S BAPTISMAL TESTIMONY

Today I would like to share with you some of my experience in coming to know the Lord. I know some people are able to pinpoint an exact time when God has transformed their lives. However, growing up in a Godly home and having attended church all my life, I cannot really remember a precise time. I guess it has been the Holy Spirit working in my life and slowly wooing me towards heaven.

Some things have stood out though, in my life as I've been growing up, and I would like to share with you some of those things First and foremost I would like to hanks to my parents for bringing me up the way they have, ad for always being there for me and for always showing me how to put Christ first in my life.

One thing in particular that I am grateful to my Dad for, is that he has always told me to be ready to give an answer for my faith, ad to search the scriptures so that when the time comes we may always be ready to answer for our faith.

I would lie to give you a example of when I have had to answer for what I believe. When I was about nine years old, I was asked to participate in a concert on Sabbath, which was put on by my piano teacher. It wasn't just a concert though, I was also to receive prize. I knew what I must do but I came home and I said to mum: "It isn't fair, why can't I go". Instead of just telling me what to do, Mum took me to the Bible and we opened it together, and then she brought me to the point where I was making the decision, and I decided not to attend really grateful to my mum for teaching me by principle because making that first decision has made other decisions much easier It is by these things that our faith grows.

There are also many people that have influenced my life. I'm grateful to my family, my mum and dad and Adam and Levi. I am also very grateful for church friends, and church family. But there is one family, in particular one person that I am very thankful for, and that is Stephanie. She has always encouraged and inspired me with the Bible verses ad Ellen White quotes that she has shared with me Also we often have discussions about Spiritual topics and it is in these discussions that I feel myself being drawn closer to God. So I am very thankful to have such a wonderful friend

You know, to get to know someone have to spend with them, and it is by spending time in prayer and Bible study that I have come to know Jesus, and to have a personal relationship with Him.

I would just like to say that it is because of all these things that I am making my decision for Christ today.

--Talisa Jackson





STEPHANIE'S BAPTISMAL TESTIMONY



When we decided to give a short testimony, I felt a little uncomfortable, thinking that I didnít really HAVE a testimony. I have grown up in a loving Adventist home, Iíve been a Christian all my life, and it seemed strange to give my testimony. Often we think people like Doug Batchelor have an amazing and wonderful testimony, which they do, and we seem to think that if we have never had any dramatic change or transformation in our life, we donít have a testimony.



But, I have come to realize that even though Iíve grown up in the church, I have been a sinner, and I, just like everyone else, have need of a Savior. Friends, it is only by Godís grace that I am here today. If Christ had never paid my debt on Calvary, if Christ had never given me the power to become a Christian, I would not be standing here today.



As I thought about this, I realized that I have the same testimony as someone like Doug Batchelor. The same Holy Spirit that guided these great men and woman to God, has been guiding me in my life. As unseen as the wind, the Holy Spirit gently woos and impresses the minds of men and woman.



I believe that a big part of the credit goes to my parents. It is they who laid the foundations for the commitment that I am making today. Before I was even old enough to understand, my mother read me Bible stories. I grew up learning about all the boys and girls and men and woman of the Bible who obeyed Jesus and enjoyed the rewards, or of those who turned away from Him and suffered the consequences.



At a young age, my mother taught me that all my strength comes from God. I can still remember some of the times when I didnít want to do what mum asked me to. Instead of just simply ordering me to obey her, my mum used to take me aside and pray with me. Today, because of this simple training, I know that whenever my will is crossed, I am to turn to Jesus, who is the source of all strength.



From a very early age, I always enjoyed listening to music. There was one tape in particular that I used to listen to over and over again. It was a tape full of scripture songs. From this cassette our family learned many precious and powerful promises found in the Bible. Sometimes when my dad and I were doing dishes together, we used to take turns humming a tune to one of the scripture songs. The other person would try to guess the reference. Thus the seed of Godís Word was being sown in my heart from a young age. Through my whole growing up years, my parents have always taken me to Godís Word for any of the questions I have ever asked.



My parents never pushed their views onto me, as some people think, instead they showed me from the Bible and inspiration why they taught me what they did, and why we did what we did. Because of this, I have never had reason to rebel or question the upbringing I have had.



For this, mum and dad, I am eternally grateful, and I want to thank you so much for what you have given me, and what you have taught me.



I also wish to thank Talisa for her wonderful friendship over the years. We grew up together and always enjoyed each otherís company, but as I have come into my teens, I have realized just what a good friend she really is. I know that Talisa is always willing to search Godís will and plan for her life, and she has always encouraged me in my walk with God. You could never know how special it is to have a friend who is constantly surrendering her life to her Savior's, and who will take a stand for her faith. This has given me courage and fortitude to walk the Christian life of faith.



God has not only blessed me with a wonderful family, and a good friend, but He has provided many special friends, special family members, and a loving church family. Two of these friends, Jessica & Kate, along with Uncle Neil are here today, all the way from Townsville. My nana has also flown down from Brisbane, especially for this occasion. Not only that, but my uncle Bruce and cousins, Juliet & Louis, my violin teacher, Nara and many others have made a special effort to come here today. I want to thank you all for coming along to witness one of the most important commitments I could ever make in my life! Your loving effort and support has made a lasting impression and memory in my mind, and I love you for it!



Lastly, I thank my Savior Jesus Christ. I owe everything to You. Jesus paid my death penalty when He died on the cross in my place. Friends, He didnít do it just for me, but for you too. Jesus offers eternal life to all those who will accept His sacrifice. It was through His death that He ransomed both you and me.



Jesus has the power to forgive from sin, but also to reclaim FROM sin. It is His purpose to set His people free from the bonds, which have so long kept them captive. I am a Christian because I believe that Christ has the power to change lives completely. I donít want to be bound by my self-centered will; I want to experience freedom in Christ! This is not an experience that is only reserved for certain people, it is a gift offered freely to all.



Jesus, I want thank You for paying the penalty for my sin. I want to thank You for taking me just as I am, and cleansing me from all my unrighteousness. I want You to set me totally free; I know that this cannot be done without my co-operation. For this reason, I have chosen to dedicate my life to You today. I have experienced enough to know that Your way is always best, I know that all contentment, freedom, and happiness is found only as I surrender my life wholly and completely to You. I want that in my life. I accept your free gift of salvation today, and as I pass through the waters of baptism with You, I pray that it will seal my commitment and testimony to You forever.



--Stephanie Fox



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PLEASE NOTE: All Bible verses are taken from the King James Version, unless stated otherwise.
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Issue #73 Mon, 20 Feb 2006
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