Stephen Conn sensed that God wanted him to be a preacher. But he felt a certain disadvantage. Because he had been saved when he was 7 years old, he would never be able to hold an audience spellbound with stories of a wicked past.
He foolishly considered asking God for permission to backslide just long enough to “enhance” his preaching later on. But deep within he knew that God would not answer his misguided request. He decided to preach the Bible without a dramatic testimony.
Conn later wrote, “I realize now what a great testimony I really have. God not only has the power to deliver from sin, He has the even greater power to keep from sin. . . . God not only saved my soul—He saved my entire life!”
We know little of Timothy’s early life except that his God-fearing mother and grandmother faithfully instructed him in the Scriptures (2 Tim. 1:5; 3:15). Because of this, he might be called a “good” sinner. Yet God used him as an effective leader in the early church.
All redeemed sinners can speak of God’s matchless grace. If you’ve been spared a life of sin, you may have the most dramatic testimony of all. Thank God, by His grace He can use us just as we are.
God's grace can take a sin-stained life
And make it clean within,
Or He by grace may spare a life
From ruin caused by sin. —DJD
The best testimony exalts God's grace, not sin's disgrace.