Reach • Devotion 1

Testimony  | Keaton Washburn

I grew up with the privilege of two loving parents who are both followers of Christ. I began going to church almost as soon as I was born and much of my life revolved around the church. My parents were very involved in the church as youth leaders, trustees, and faithful servants wherever there was a need. As I grew up, I was surrounded by Christians and loved so well by those around me. Being in the church so much, I heard the Gospel all the time. As a result, I “accepted Jesus into my heart” over and over. I kept thinking, “maybe it did not work last time.” I lived in fear that I had not done enough for God. However, when I was seven years old, I remember the day that it truly stuck. It was the time when I understood God’s love and the work of Jesus, which paid the way for my sins. My attitude of “doing enough for God” did not stop that day. As I continued to grow older, I continued to fall into habitual sin, over and over. Every time I would sin, I would feel shameful, hide it, and then immediately try and make up for it by praying, reading my Bible, or being kind to someone. This pattern continued until my second year in college.

One night, God, through a close friend, convicted me of my sin and need for confession. That night, for the first time in years, I confessed my sin to this friend and before God. I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. That night, the freedom from sin that God offers to us through Christ became real. From that day on, my walk with Christ has continued to grow. Before then, I was trying to work my way into Heaven by making up for my sin. However, it was not until I admitted my need for Christ’s work on the cross, rather than trying to be good enough, that I had a desire to truly know Him and grow with Him through His Word, prayer, and confession. I have been far from perfect since that day, but God has taken the weight of guilt off my shoulders and replaced it with the freedom that only comes in Christ.

A passage of Scripture that has recently become one of my favorites is Mark 5:1-19. After healing a man of demon possession, this healed man begs Jesus to let him come with him. Instead of letting him come, Jesus says in verse 19, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” This man did so, and verse 20 tells us that everyone marveled at what he said. Similarly, I tell you my story today of God’s mercy on my life so that you will give Him glory and be encouraged to share your testimony of God’s work in your life!
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