Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Story of Being Set Free

One of my goals for 2016 is to share testimonies with you!  These will be personal accounts from my friends & family of how Christ saved them and what He is doing in their lives today!  You can read my salvation story here.  I share a little more here, and you can also click here to read all my posts about faith. 

Today I'm sharing the testimony of my big brother!  Well, he's my only brother, actually ;)  He is eight years older than I, and he's a typical older brother - a pest! Ha!  I'm sure he'd say the same of me! :D  But I've always looked up to him, and now that we're both adults, I consider him my friend.

My brother, Vic, and his wife, Renee, have been married for 18 years and have one child, my precious, awesome niece, Acacia, who recently turned 11.  Adoption is very near & dear to their hearts, as Renee and her brother were both adopted, and Acacia joined the family through adoption as well.  She was born in China and Vic & Renee brought her home when she was almost 2.  I cannot imagine my life without any of them!

Vic shares on his blog What Path?  Go visit! :)  As well as having a passion for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, Vic enjoys being outdoors in God's creation, and spending time with his wife & daughter.

Here is his testimony:

My Desperate Search For Truth

Hi, my name is Victor Reimer, and I would like to share with you how I came to find the truth. The truth that set me free!

My beliefs started to form at a very young age, perhaps being as little as five years old. My parents attended a typical Mennonite church and of course I attended their Sunday School. I still remember that one Sunday when they brought together all the classes and showed us a film. I don't have any recollection of what the film was about, but I do remember someone going up front after and saying that we needed to “invite Jesus into our hearts” if we wanted to go to Heaven. It never occurred to me to talk about this to anyone. I simply went home and naively did as I had been instructed! It wouldn't be until I was thirteen years of age that I was asked about my spiritual condition. When asked if I was a Christian, I simply responded, “yes,” and that was the end of that conversation.

I remember, too, that my sister had done something wrong one day, and I told her that she would go to Hell. My Dad quickly responded, saying, “That is not how it works.” Yet, I don't remember hearing anything beyond that -- though I recollect that every night before falling asleep, I would confess all my sins to God. Later in life, my dad would instruct us kids that we should also be reading our Bibles.

Growing up, church attendance was a pretty big deal, though Dad eventually let me skip out on Sunday School, because all they did is talk about sports! Going away on fishing trips, or any such thing, was also good grounds to skip out on church!

However, things did not sit well with me. I had a whole “other side” to me. I had a life of sin. I was in bondage to all kinds of sins! I would faithfully confess these to God every night and then turn right around and do them again! Clearly, I was a slave to sin. This caused me to begin a desperate search for the truth.

I had begun to see that I was not in control of these sinful things in my life – I was a slave to it, and I wanted my freedom! Yet, I hadn't much a clue as to how. I wrote letters to different ministries, but nothing availed. I would try inviting Jesus into my heart many times over, but again, to no use whatsoever! I tried saying different prayers, but still there was no change. Whatever was I to do?! I needed help! I knew that within the Word of God was the answer, but it seemed as if I was blind! I couldn't understand that which I read.

By this time I was in my early twenties, and still I was not free. I still hadn't heard the gospel. It was around this time that a fellow by the name of John Cross came by my parents' place. It was shortly after this time that I read this gentleman's book, “The Stranger on The Road to Emmaus.” I would come to see a very simple, but tremendously freeing, truth. That truth, quite simply, was that Jesus Christ had taken the full punishment on the cross for all my sin! I came to see that I had been looking to myself for freedom. That I thought that I needed to somehow do or say the right thing to get saved! I was so wrong. Jesus had done it all for me! That is why He cried from the cross in victory, “It is finished”! (John 19:30) My very own sin-debt had been paid-in-full by Jesus Christ! Wow! I was free at last! Jesus won the victory for me! Hallelujah! “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”! (Ephesians 2:8)

Verses like the following now made a whole lot more sense to me: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned – everyone – to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) Well, if the Lord had already “laid on him” my iniquity, what was I to worry about? If Jesus was already punished for all my sin, why should I be anxious about being punished for it? All that was required was that I accept “The free gift of God” which “is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Wow! Here I had been trying to make it so complicated. Yet, it was so simple! Not that it was simple for Jesus, but for me it sure was! All I needed was to trust Him as my own Saviour, and I was free! No more slavery to sin! As Romans 8:1 says, “No [more] condemnation”! Jesus had already been judged for my sin. There was no judgement left for me!

After all these years have eclipsed, I'm only increasingly more amazed at the love, mercy, and grace the Lord has bestowed upon – even me! I in no wise deserved to be forgiven of my sin – to be pardoned. Yet He did, at the expense of His Son, Jesus Christ. I should have gone to Hell forever, but Jesus took the “Hell” for me upon the cross! So amazing it is, that the search is finally over, and that I now know that I have eternal life. For John 3:16 says, “...whoever believes should not perish but have eternal life.” Then too, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1John 5:13) How can I “know”? I can "know" because Jesus already died as punishment for all my sin! There's nothing left for God to punish me for. Praise God!

Still today, I enjoy the Lord Jesus more than ever before! Oh, how I long to look upon the face of Him who was willing to leave Heaven's glory to die for me upon that shameful cross! I know soon He will return and take me to be with Him! How I long for this to come about! To be freed from this world of corruption and sin. Then I will have rest for all eternity without end. Amen!

What about you? What's your story? Do you “know” that God will let you into His holy Heaven? Make sure that you “know” before it is to late. He is risen from among the dead and His judgement is coming very soon. Don't put it off! Know that you are forgiven!

Victor J. Reimer
Thank-you for reading!  Feel free to comment here or pop on over to Vic's blog, What Path?, to comment there. 

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