Posted: February 20, 2021
His Testimony Shared By: Sarah Leimeister
1 Timothy 1:15-16, NIV
“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.”
As far as I can remember, the idea of Jesus and His role in my life was not foreign to me. I had many extended family members who were committed preachers of the word, all over the world. I was in church every single Sunday and pretty involved, especially during my teenage years. I knew basic bible truths and that Jesus was the only way to the Father. Ironically, growing up with all of this, I began to have a hardened heart toward the love of Christ and the grace and mercy He offered. I lost all understanding of how great the love of Christ is and how great a sacrifice He made. I proclaimed my love and dedication for Christ, but I lived like I didn’t really need His transforming power in my life.
This brought me to a stage in my high school years where I sought acceptance from the world. I lived by the phrase, “I will have fun now and live for Christ later.” I entered into the party world, doing anything to feel accepted and a part of everything, craving attention, especially from guys. I always look back on this time, thinking about how sad and lonely it was. I didn’t realize that Christ was the only one who could truly bring satisfaction. I cared only about superficial things, obsessing over my appearance and body. I never felt content, and most days I hated myself. I was so consumed and controlled by the world.
A few years later I was in college, and I was really challenged in my beliefs. I met Isaac, who is now my husband, and our differing beliefs caused both of us to really question what the Bible really had to say. I began to ask myself why I believe what I do and spent a lot of time in scripture and prayer trying to find truth. In this time of my life, my family went through a really hard season. Some of my family made some choices that were extremely painful, almost too much to bear, and that’s one of the first times I really felt Christ’s presence in my life. He brought me comfort when it didn’t make sense. I recall a time where I was sitting alone in my dorm room, blasting music, with tears flowing from my eyes. I almost physically felt Christ’s arms around me, His deep love surrounding me in the moment. I was finally starting to glimpse how good His love and presence was.
For years, I would say my relationship with Christ lacked depth. I repeatedly begged for more understanding of His love and grace. I believe God then used marriage and parenting to teach me about grace and my need for Him. It was no longer just myself who could be majorly affected by my choices, but now my husband and children. That’s something I cannot bear alone. Only through God’s strength am I able to fully love them the way I need to. I fail constantly and I often let my failures define me. But I am reminded of what Jesus did on the cross and how my sins are wiped clean. Now, I still realize that I am held accountable for my mistakes, but the grace that comes with those mistakes, and the peace that comes with that grace, is greater than any other gift.
It’s been just in the last few years of my life that I have really began to know Christ more intimately. I don’t say this lightly when I say there’s nothing better than sitting at His feet, completely surrendered. It’s something that I cannot explain, but when I am in His presence, I don’t want to leave. It’s so silly to me how I can go days without really giving Him my time, because I know what I am missing. Things of this world can seem so promising, and after all these years, I still fall for it. Thank goodness for the grace of God, who always draws me back in and welcomes me with open arms.
My life verse has changed throughout different seasons, but I am currently holding tight to 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This is my prayer, that no matter what life brings, I will be joyful, prayerful and thankful. I have found so much peace in God’s sovereignty, knowing His ways are higher than my own (Isaiah 55:8-9). Nothing surprises God, who was before all things (Colossians 1:17). I have chosen to trust that He is good, He is love, and when I really let that sink in, I experience a peace that transcends all understanding.
My prayer for my life and for yours is this: “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole Spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NIV). I will finish with this: 1 Timothy 1:15-16 (NIV), “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.”
This verse echoes in my head all the time- that Christ came to save sinners of.
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