Hi, my name is Tyler A. van der Hoeven, I accepted Jesus Christ as the Savior for my sinsÂ at the age of four. Although my salvation didn’t mean a whole lot to me then, salvation isn’t about the saved, its about the Savior, and what He does to those he has redeemed. My testimony isn’t about me and all that Jesus saved me from, but rather its all about my Savior, the only Son of God, part of the triune Godhead, born of the virgin Mary, who lived on earth as the God/man and died on the cross, bearing the full, unrestrained wrath of almighty God against all my sins.
I am the worst sinner I know, such a hypocrite, so prone to pride, to take the credit and pass the blame. It is such a wonder to me that God chooses to keep such a one as me, that He would ever, in all His infinite knowledge, look down from the heavens at the life I would live, and chose me for His. To look at all humanity, all the talent, all the better candidates for His service and chose me, who gives so little and requires so much. He took me, when I was just a small child for He knew all the evil my mind and body would be capable of committing, if left to myself.
If ever one could loose his salvation I surely would have lost mine way back down this road of sin and struggle that I have paved with my own hands. Yet, my salvation is not based upon me, nor does its upkeep depend upon me, for I did not pay for it, the blood of Christ has, and that for all eternity. My life is now a constant reflection and worship of the glory and grace of such a One to save such a one as I, and still more to keep me in sweet fellowship when so often I am a disgrace and dishonor to the precious blood that bought me. My favorite testimonial Bible verse is..
Psalm 118:17 “I shall not die but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.”
That is me, condemned and that righteously for all that I have done against the holy God. If a city can be saved by only a few righteous people surely the same city could be condemned for the sin that I alone could commit in it apart from the grace and Spirit of the Lord upon me. Yet, though I deserve so richly to die, I shall not die, but I shall live, and not to continue in sin, or continue to live as I have or as my flesh would have me, but rather to live and recount the mighty deeds of Almighty God.
My life is now a testimony to the mighty grace of God, to take such a one as I and use him to bring glory, however small and insignificant, to the one who saved him, to bring glory to God. I have been called to the mission field, to those who are unreached, to those who are being born, living, and dying, without ever having the chance to hear of God or worship His name. Not that any of us deserve to know God, but rather it is God who deserves the praise and worship of the whole earth for what he has done for us in Christ.
I have also been gifted in photography and blessed with some fine equipment and software, though I do not use it for myself, to further my name or glory, but rather to draw others to a knowledge of the Lord and encourage those who are saved to live a life more empty of the things of the world that God may fill up the gap with the things of Him. I do not speak as one who has arrived, but as one who, like you, is running the race, desiring to finish strong, to receive the prize, to honor the Lord, to fall at His feet one day and thank Him face to face, for what He did. That He brought this dead man to life and filled him with His Spirit that he might be the praise of His glorious grace. For it is there that we find abundant life.
I was the bottom of a lake, dirty, slimy, full of rottenness and death. Christ reached down and touched my life and changed me into clean clear water. Though dirt still contaminates and taints. I am no longer dirt for I am water, completely changed and new.
Thought For the Day
Will you be changed as well? Come to the light. Give up your darkness. Be changed, be renewed. The rain may come, storms may rise and the dirt be stirred within you, but water will always be water and dirt will always be dirt. You must be saved by His touch.
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him. Psalm 40:1-3