Return to thine own house
‘Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee.’ Luke Chapter 8 Verse 39
Well do I remember when first I met the Lord. The change in my life was extraordinary. For months I had carried a great burden of guilt and fear. It weighed me down and often I felt that my knees would buckle under the load. I was so scared of dying in this state!
The Lord had started to work in my soul at the end of the previous year. Now I was consumed with being saved. Nothing else mattered. I was desperate! My understanding had been opened and I had started to read my Bible. I say ‘my Bible’ but in truth I had to buy one, rather than borrow my mothers! I had had no previous need of a Bible as I did not attend church apart from weddings and the occasion funeral.
Prior to those Evangelical meetings in my home church in Garrabost, I had no thoughts whatsoever about God, heaven, hell or eternity. I was truly dead in trespasses and sin. I did not own a Bible and my know ledge was limited to what I had learned in Sunday School as a child. That wasn’t much knowledge as my mind then had been taken up with football and not on learning!
I came to a point when I realised that I was not only a sinner, but the greatest sinner of all. I was going to face the Judge and He would have been Just in sending me to a lost eternity. I wanted desperately to be saved but I could not fit the pieces of the jigsaw into place. I was dealing with God and I just did not know where this Jesus fitted in!!
When the penny finally dropped and light entered my needy soul the joy was unspeakable. Release, freedom, life, forgiveness and an Advocate on Judgement Day!! The Lord had set me free. He had forgiven me for all my sins and now I was righteous in His eyes. I was clothed with garments so bright I felt that my face was shining!
I had such a feeling of elation and relief that I honestly believed that if I touched someone else they would be able to feel it also!
I could not wait to tell others about what had happened. I spoke to every one I met and told them my story. Some I remember shed a tear while others laughed me to scorn.
As time went by it became more difficult to witness and to tell people about the Lord and His Salvation. My boldness was being replaced with embarrassment.
Life would be far easier if I just kept my mouth shut. If they ask me then I’ll tell them but if not, why rock the boat? If I keep the law then all will be well and as long I do not backslide then no one can point the finger at me.
I was all for ‘hassle free Christianity!’
I could easily follow why Legion wanted to go with His Lord and away from the village where there was no hiding. Everybody had known about Legion. He was the topic of local gossip.How were they going to accept what he was to tell them? It would be far easier going somewhere new where people did not know him. There he would gladly tell his story without fear.
‘Return to thine own house.’
The Lord could not have asked a more difficult thing for Legion to do. We are no different. The hardest place for us to witness is in our own home. We must though. It is imperative! There is no way that we can allow our loved ones to go to a lost eternity. We must do all that we can to win them for Christ.
A word of warning here. We must at all times be aware of the sovereignty of Christ. Salvation is all of grace! It does not run in the blood. If our loved ones are eventually lost, then we must put our Amen to that. This requires great grace! Remember, we could not even save ourselves, how then can we save others?
I was desperate to serve the Lord in my life, preferable somewhere other than this Island! Preferably somewhere other than Scotland! You see I had enjoyed telling folk in Romania about the Lord and there was no embarrassment attached to my witness. I simply told everyone that I met about Jesus. It was easy because nobody knew me!
It was so difficult to tell those at home and in my village the same story. I feared the embarrassment, the laughing, the scorn and the snide remarks. For much of the time I kept my big mouth shut.
God had other plans!
It took several health problems and ‘shouts’ from the Lord before I eventually listened. I was not going anywhere! If I was to serve God it was to be here in my own home and I had better get used to it.
It’s not ‘cool’ for Dad to be building ‘Christian’ websites. It is even worse that he has his own ‘Christian’ website. I mean, how embarrassing is that? Not only that but he has put his testimony on the site for the whole world to see!!
Dad’s can be so embarrassing!
‘Why can’t you just be normal Da?’ ‘Why do you have to talk to everyone about Jesus?’ ‘Nobody else does it, why should you?’ ‘Why can’t you just take photos and leave the text out of it?’ ‘Why do you keep asking folk in the street for their testimony?’ ‘Da, you are such an embarrassment!’
I love my kids with all my heart and I have prayed for their souls since first I realised that they had been conceived. They have been surrounded in prayer and they also know their Bibles. I know that I have been an embarrassment to them, but as they get older I am finding that respect for their Da and what he believes is slowly creeping in.
They are beginning to see that I am not ashamed to have Christ as my Lord in my life and in a strange way they are proud of that.
I have often felt as though I have taken my last breath on this earth, only to pull through. This has made me so aware of the nearness of eternity. We are all but a breath away. Since I no longer hold back on spiritual matters I have found that the Lord has given me courage to go and speak to those who had frightened me before.
If we are naturally shy it is no excuse for not telling His Story to others. We may not be as bold as others but openings will come and when they do, we must speak.
There are many who would love to see ‘so and so’ saved, yet they are happy to leave the witness to someone else. What if there is no one else?
What should I fear? God is on my side and it is His Story that I am telling. If people shun me, then so be it. Their blood is no longer on my hands. This to me is now a reality. I simply cannot afford to allow folk to walk away and not tell them about salvation. It may the last time they will ever hear it.
For many, it may the first and only time that they will hear it.
Like Legion, we have a story to tell and come what may, we must begin at home. Then it must be our relations, our friends, our neighbours, our workmates and even our enemies. The Lord used Legion in a mighty way. His witness was truly blessed and when Jesus made a return visit to that part of the country, they were all waiting for Him.
Will my embarrassment prevent telling someone about Jesus? Will a red face send a friend or a loved one to a lost eternity? Them that honour me, I will honour. ‘Return to thine own house and shew how great things God hath done unto thee.