A couple weeks ago we celebrated a Baptism Service at Redeemer. These services are always a sweet reminder of what the Lord has done in the life of each follower of Jesus. The testimony below is from Jim Spoonts.
‘the seed of the word sown among the thorns . . . the worries of the world . . . deceitfulness of riches . . . choke the word and it becomes unfruitful . . .’ Mark 4:19
The seed of the word was planted in my heart early in life. Raised in a home with Christian values, I attended church and occasionally read the Bible. But I did not truly understand what it meant or how it applied to my life.
In my twenties, I fell under the influence of worldly men seeking worldly gain and glory.
My life looked successful on the outside - with many friends and much to do. But underneath, the worries of the world and deceitfulness of riches choked out the Word. I felt a burden of guilt in my alone time. There was little evidence of spiritual growth or fruit in my life.
In my thirties, my wife Liz and I attended a church that taught biblical doctrine. We were discipled in the Word through bible studies in the home and office. From the watering of the Word and the discipling of mature believers, the seed in my heart began to take root and grow.
I began to realize that my worldly plan lacked meaning and fulfillment. I submitted myself to God and prayed that he would reveal His plan for my life.
Before revealing His plan, God began to prune away the weeds still in my life. We lost our material possessions so that we would have to rely upon Him even for basic needs. During this time, I grew closer in my relationship with the Lord. We learned to trust Him and understand that He is faithful. His pruning prepared me for service. He began to reveal His plan for me that would result in the bearing of fruit.
In my early forties, I joined a team on a short-term mission trip to the Ukraine. That week my life was changed. I saw God use me for His purpose and began to realize His plan for my life. Upon return, I left business to enter full time missions ministry. In the next 25 years, the Lord used my life to change the lives of others. The seed that was choked out for so many years would now bear fruit 30, 60, a 100 fold!
My passion is to grow in understanding of God and His word - to serve His faithful servants helping others to know Him and to see He can use them for His purpose in the world.