I will get right down to business as I know you must receive a plethora of emails and communications.
I stand amazed at the continual salve that knowing true identity brings. So often I am bombarded with life and only find peace and rest back to the identity of Christ in me. Sylvia, I am so grateful not only for your knowledge of these life-giving truths but by your methods of revealing these to the hungry souls. It’s always shocking(and I shouldn’t be) to me how people who are so completely opposite in human form , when relaying truths, are saying identical things. God uses everything!
I am getting ready to make a lot of life-changing decisions and I’ve been pummeled back into the ‘world of fears’. After going through quite a bit the last few weeks, some things within and some without, I came home early today….broken, tired and hopeless.
I tell you this because I received your newsletter and my soul was brought back to life. Sylvia, I heard you and Brian this morning and Brian mentioned that faith has a ‘time-release’ component. How wise! Your website with all of the precious saints’ teachings continue to lead me through this maze of living…and I know it’s the tree of Life I’m eating from.
It can be very deceiving and dark when struggle continues for some time and sometimes I’m tempted to think I’m doing something wrong to cause it….I see my resistance to God breaking down the Bastille of the false ‘I’ and it scares me at times to see my faith might not be what I thought it was…when it’s tried. But then I’m brought back to the great truth of who I am in Christ.
Thank you so much for reminding me that it’s God’s job to destroy the false ‘I’.
I have a love deep in my heart for you, your family and ministry. Please remember that you all are prayed over and held in confidence up to our Lord by prayer.
May God continue to bless you richly Sylvia. You’re a dear!
This letter was sent to the Billy Graham Association in response to an invitation to be on The Hour of Decision, Billy and Franklin’s radio program. They accepted both Scott and I and we were on once in 2009. This letter explaining our initial salvation, as well as our calling to our Ministry.
I received your welcomed request to my husband, Scott and me to tell our story on The Hour of Decision. We understand that it is only a possibility; however, we serve the God of the unlikely where all things are possible. With that in mind, here goes.
Scott and I were both saved at a Billy Graham Crusade held here in Louisville, Ky. years ago, it wouldn’t be years later after we married that we realized that Billy Graham was our founding father in Christ. We have been so thankful for His ministry and faithfulness to the call of God on his life. We know that we are only two thankful people out of hundreds of thousands of thankful people.
Now, let me tell you about us:
Scott was a very young boy who was taken to Dr. Graham’s Crusade by his aunt while his mother was dying in the hospital of alcoholism. Scott heard the call of God to accept Jesus, and went forward. To this day, Scott testifies of God’s faithfulness to a small child who hardly knew what he was doing, yet God ordered his steps right on through adulthood, and caused him to know forgiveness and peace with God. It was not until years later that Scott accepted Jesus Christ as his LIFE. Today, Scott is called to full time ministry, taking the message of liberation to Christians around the world.
Now about me: At a very young age, I was pretty devastated by an unloving mother; a failed attempted to escape from that unloving home; a failed 3 month marriage to an unfaithful husband; a young pregnancy; and a heartbreaking experience at motherhood. So when Brother Graham came to Louisville, I was truly prepared to except the fact I was a sinner and was in dire need of a personal savior. As Brother Graham called for “whosoever will” to come forward to surrender their hearts to Jesus Christ, I said in my heart, “I will.” The Holy Spirit so worked His work in my heart that I didn’t even care if I got lost in the crowd, I had to go, so go, or rather run, I did. I prayed the sinners prayer and walked away saved, cleansed, and filled by the Holy Spirit with My Lord Jesus Christ. What glory!
After my conversion, I was lead to attend a Bible class conducted by a Spirit filled Bible teacher who knew and taught grace—Amazing Grace. So, I was privileged to be taught grace from the very beginning. Once when I questioned my salvation after not acting much like a Christian, my Bible teacher taught me to drive my stake of faith and stand on the Word of God in I Cor. 6: 11…”And such were some of you, but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” So faith in the finished work of the Cross became my banner of mercy and love while miraculously stabilized me, and holding me firmly in Jesus as Lord and Savor.
However, can I be so bold as to say that assurance of ones salvation is not enough. I knew that my past sins were forgiven, and I knew that my future was eternity with Christ in heaven, but what about living life NOW? That I didn’t understand. Our first steps into Christ are enough to cause me to know Jesus as Savor, and Jesus as Lord, but what about Jesus as my life. That I didn’t know. I thought that I had to live the life, I had to perform righteousness, I had to be a good Christian, I had do good works for Jesus. What I didn’t know is that I was operating from a false self. I knew Jesus and I knew that He lived in my heart, (Spirit center) but I thought I had to perform for Him in order to bear fruit, to witness and lead other to Christ and on, on and on. My strivings to become righteous went on for some years, until I was more desperate than when I was a young person coming to Christ in the first place.
Romans 5:10 set me free. “For when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, MUCH MORE, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” The Amplified version says, “Saved daily by His resurrection LIFE.” Then I saw, Jesus not only died for me, but He is living in me. Life doesn’t depend on me, it depends on Jesus. I had accepted Jesus as my Savior, and Lord, but now I have accepted Him as my very life. And His resurrection life in me saves me from me, or should I say, a performing me. I always wanted to be like Jesus, but didn’t know how. Now I can… Jesus said, “I can of my own self, do nothing,” I am like that, because I know now that I can do nothing of myself either. My only part is to believe in Him…… I can believe in Jesus as my life, as the power for witnessing, as my peace, as my understanding, as my inner surety and as my very existence.
Now lastly I have accepted Jesus as me, the bodily form of Him, that is. It is just like a head not trying to operate separate from the body, “the two become one flesh” or one person, so I am joined to Him as one being. He is the vine and I am the branch, but I like to say that I am the branch form of the vine. I have exchanged lives with Christ. His was made sin on my behalf, in order for me to be made His righteousness. I have accepted that truth whole-heartedly. I am joined to Christ, my spirit joined to His Spirit and we are one. Only Jesus is Creator and God, yet I, the created form, have inherited His very nature, and now we are joined together in a union relationship. He overcomes my temptations, He resists the devil when He torments me, He is the glory in my sufferings, He is my peace when trials come, He is my victory when I feel defeated, He is my love, and my very life. I have all of Him by faith, not always by feelings, and not always by appearances, but by an affirmation of faith that boldly declares, I have Him all, and as I drive my stake of faith, God makes it real to me every day.
Thank you, Doctor Graham for starting me on the road of faith in Christ. Jesus is all and everything to me now. “Christ is all and in you all,” this verse in Colossians 3:11 rings true for all born-again Christians, yet few really have accepted Jesus to this extent. My life’s calling now is sharing with weary Christians the Liberating Secret of “Christ, who is our life.” Colo. 3:3-4. He is not just apart of our lives, like some suppose, HE IS OUR LIFE.
Grace started me off and Grace leads me home, All this is ours as believers by faith, and NEVER by our own efforts, our own works, or by our own life. No, it is all of Jesus, and not any of me living, for it is Christ living in me.
By faith, I accepted Christ as my Savior; I accepted Christ as my Lord; I accepted Christ as my forgiveness; I accepted Christ as my baptism of the Holy Spirit; I accepted Christ as my wisdom (I Cor. 30); I accepted Christ as my keeper (Jude 1:24; 1 Peter 1:5); I accepted Christ as the bishop of my soul (1 Peter 2:25) ; I accepted Christ as my victory over the power of sin (Rom. 6:2;14); I accepted Christ as my victory over the torment of trying to keep the law (Rom. 8:2); I accepted Christ as my health; I accepted Christ as my peace (Eph. 2:14); I accept Christ as my faith, and faithfulness (Gal. 2:20b; Gal 5:22); I accepted Christ as my indwelling life, and nature (2 Peter 1:4); I accepted Christ as my true identity (Gal 2:20); and by faith, I accepted Christ as the real me, for it is not I that lives, but it is Christ that lives as me (Gal. 2:20).
And this life of faith all started with a small little girl who was desperate for love and acceptance, and heard the call of the Holy Spirit through a faithful Evangelist, and dared to came forward and accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Thank you Billy Graham Association for all your work, “for it is God who works in you both to will and do of His good pleasure.”
Scott and Sylvia Pearce