At Forestville Baptist Church, our Life Groups (small groups) began last week, June 24th, a new series by J. D. Greear called Gospel. In our Life Group meetings, we were given this challenge:
In three words describe what the gospel means to you personally… and discuss why you chose those three words (Greear, p. 14).
One of the ladies in my Life Group so clearly shared the gospel in her own words, and I could not help but ask her to share with all of you. Her name is Dona Davenport, and I hope her testimony of God’s grace and love will encourage you and lead you to praise our great Savior. – Daniel Barta
LOVE, FORGIVENESS & HOPE
LOVE | God loves me so much that he pursues me. When I first accepted Christ as my Savior, I thought that was because I pursued him and he answered my prayers. Boy, was I wrong! John 15:16 says, “You did not choose me, I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last”. I am in awe that the God of the universe would pursue me. He loves us with an unending love there is nothing I can do that will make him love me more or cause him to love me less. You see, if I was the only person created, he still would have sent his Son to the cross to save me from my sins. When I look at a beautiful sky or rainbow, I am humbled that he created that just for me. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not worthy to receive what he gladly gives. Love is not based on me; it’s based on HIM.
“God love me so much that He pursues me!”
FORGIVENESS| Forgiveness means that the wreckage of my life has been forgiven and forgotten. I didn’t grow up in church, and my life was a series of bad choices without regard to anything other than me. I started abusing drugs when I was 14, and that continued to be my life style for the next 20 years. God was still faithful to watch over me; He literally saved my life on more than one occasion. You see, He knew then that I would one day be his child!!! He blessed me in the midst of my rebellious life giving me two wonderful children (adults now). I was 24 and 26 when I had my children and had been shooting drugs for 10 years. But, by his grace and mercy, I didn’t use drugs while I was pregnant. God had his hand on me when I was so far away, and He was not even a passing thought to me. Now I know that I am forgiven, and all of those years of rebellion He has removed as far as the east is from the west. That was a hard concept for me to wrap my brain around – for my sin to be remembered no more. I don’t know about you, but for me, forgiveness is one thing but to forget is quite another. He has removed the years of regret that I carried like a cloak of shame. I wasn’t a good daughter, sister, friend, wife or Mom, and the regret consumed me. Now I am free because the wreckage is remembered NO MORE.
“He knew then that one day I would be His child!!!”
HOPE| My HOPE is now eternal not external. I know that I am LOVED and FORGIVEN by God and I am His child. He is the author and finisher of my faith. There will be hardships in this life, but He is faithful to me; I can trust him in the storms. He has always walked beside me and will not leave or forsake me. His promises are true… in John 14 Jesus says, “I will go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may be where I am.” My hope is based on his love alone; not any good works I do. I cling to the hope in His inerrant word that promises me an abundant life on earth as well as a heavenly home. His redemptive power has secured that abundant life on earth in that he has repaired shattered relationships that I created. He has used the worst in me to show the magnitude of His love and forgiveness to others. My only hope is in the Lord; without Him I am hopeless.
“He has used the worst in me to show the magnitude of His love
and forgiveness to others.”
– Dona Davenport.
We have the opportunity to rediscover the Gospel over the next several weeks. For those who are not already part of a Life Group, there is room for you. If you are interested, please Follow the link to let us know: https://forestville.tpsdb.com/OnlineReg/365. We look forward to connecting you with a Life Group!
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