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Monday: The Transformative Power of Personal Testimony — 15 Comments

  1. Just last week my photographic flash (speed light) bit the dust. Like a lot of electronic equipment these days, the cost of repairing it was prohibitive so I found myself in the market for a new flash unit. And nowadays physical shopping is something that is also difficult. I would have to go to Sydney on public transport! So I found myself shopping on line. I checked the specifications of a couple of flash units and read the advertising hyperbole. Then I started reading the user reviews. Some reviews wrote a review just after they opened the box, while other reviewers wrote theirs after they had used the equipment for over 12 months. It’s a no brainer as to which reviews I took the most notice. If someone has used their flash unit for 12 months and they are still endorsing it, there is a high likely hood that it is good and will last for me.

    That is the witness of our Christianity. If it has stood the test of time in our lives, then we have something to say. If our Christianity is taken out of its box and used in real life then others have the opportunity to see Christ in us, and the potential to be drawn to him.

    We often put a lot of emphasis on theoretical Christianity. Do we have the right doctrine? Is our understanding of the investigative judgement right? ...and so on. But, the really transformational, communicative bit of the Gospel is how we treat one another. Do we go the second mile? Do we love one another? How do we react to those who despise us? These are the arguments from experience that have the most impact on our unchurched friends.

    David said:

    “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
    ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭34:8‬ ‭KJV‬‬

    Communicating the “taste” and experience of Christianity is our part in spreading the Gospel. Is our Christianity something we keep in a box, or do we take it out and use it?

    Amen!(56)
    • Hello Maurice - interesting to find you referring to a 'box' where one might keep Christianity. Yes, Christianity has been put into all types of boxes, personal and corporal, because of man's choice to put his own name or label on their box of 'Faith'.
      This makes it very difficult for the average Christian to testify to their faith in Jesus, because they do not know if they testify to their keeping the dogma of their church affiliation or to the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ.

      It is a travesty to put something so simple and so ALIVE as our Faith in Jesus' Gospel into a 'box' of man-made, restrictive requirements. It undercuts one's sense of spiritually based free-will-choice and freedom of one's own conscience to choose the Gospel entirely based on its own merits.
      Christianity's Hallmark is its Faith in the risen Christ; it is so because no one has seen the Father who sent Him or the Holy Spirit given to us to guide our faith - it is all experiencial; you have to live it to fully believe it.
      Jesus' Faith is a living, active, spiritually based principle for living one's life and cannot be put into a box - one's own faith may be weak or may be strong, but it is always FREE; it is not based on perishable things but in eternal Truth.
      If there is a defined enclosure 'box' around faith, it is not Jesus' Faith that is inside the box.

      I cannot understand that a free-thinking and reasoning person will accept restrains imposed by man's conceived and imposed creeds, dogmas, membership requirements and placing them as equal or above the straight-forward, free-will choice offered by the Redeemer's Gospel - all HE asks is to believe.
      This is all that Jesus' Gospel requires, everything else man adds as his own requirements; with this man-made 'box' around the freedom to believe the simple Gospel Message, he has made it difficult for the message to become easily applicable in the lives of everyday people - they cannot just believe, they have to also adhere to the doctrine of the denomination who shared the message.

      I believed long before I joined an organized family of believers and joined several families until I arrived at the family of faith that worships on Sabbath. Nothing about my Faith has changed from when I first believed, except the day of Worship. I hold no doctrinal requirements higher than my believe in the Love of God for mankind, manifest in His Son Jesus to reunite with us through the Holy Spirit; and with His Holy Spirit's guidance my life unfolds before me - I retired my old life on His promise of having received a new life.

      If Sabbath is the only 'enclosure' one finds oneself in, that would be fine, but to make it a segregational doctrine which excludes 'others' who want to worship on Sabbath, this should not be so (I speak from experience). It would be wonderful to invite all who worship God in Spirit and in Truth to worship Him together on Sabbath or any other occation as the Spirit leads.
      Unfortunately, it is often more important that one fulfills the Church membership requirements before any notice is taken that this person would benefit from any help extended through applying the Gospel message; at the latest, it is then that we should come out of the box, so to speak.

      Amen!(20)
    • Maurice,
      I always enjoy your posts. I look froward to reading them daily. I especially like how you use everyday things (e.g. the photographic flash) to make a point. Your posts are very thought provoking. I thank God for your insight.

      Amen!(11)
  2. I meant to post this comment under today's lesson so am reposting these questions.

    A thought that occurs to me about the transformation of the sons of thunder, it is clear that it took several years of walking with Jesus. Is this the same for us? At what stage can we become witnesses? Must we wait until we are fully transformed?

    Amen!(23)
    • Hi Shirley,
      You always ask such great questions! I do not think we have to wait until complete transformation has taken place. Sanctification is the work of a lifetime, however, we can touch others in different places all along our walk. Look at the demoniac, the woman at the well, the lepers, the blind who were healed. They had been touched by Jesus, yet that was not the end of their story. They went and shared with others immediately what Jesus had done in their life, but they still needed to grow up in Him. We definitely mature along the way and have more to share as we grow. But I do not think we need to wait. Opportunities will present themselves every day of our lives when we are living for Him, and we can have an impact by living for Him. Thanks for getting me thinking this morning.

      Amen!(8)
    • Very interesting question Shirley.

      How long did the Samaritan woman wait for her to witness?

      How long did Paul take after the encounter with Christ?

      I cant really explain what full transformation is but I feel that once you meet with Christ you are new a creature and behold former things are gone. As a result the "touch" of Jesus will be seen to the world around us as soon as we experience it.

      Amen!(7)
    • Hello Shirley - May I attempt to help answer your questions about witnessing. My advice is - 'anytime, anywhere and under all circumstances.' There really are no 'stages' established for when someone can witness, since witnessing expresses one's Faith-experience up to that point and projecting this same Faith into future spiritual experiences.
      If you witness/share that which you believe, who can argue with that? You can always point out that your believe is just that, a BELIEVE. It was your choice to believe in the God who offered Salvation from this present darkness for all who believe, and you accepted His offer.
      We are saved by the Faith of Jesus in who's teachings we believed. Sanctification is the gradual process of rebirthing our spiritual nature through applying one's believe by continuous Faith - we faithfully maintain our Faith.
      Your heart's desire is to remain faithful to Jesus' Gospel teachings under all circumstances; if you will, your faithfulness is the ongoing 'stage' to which you can testify if opportunity presents itself.

      1John5:1-5 - establishes the perfect, scriptural platform for our witnessing:
      - "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot, also loves him who is begotten of Him.
      - By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep HIS commandments.
      - For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
      - For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our FAITH.
      - Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"

      I had to look up the word 'begot' - it refers to 'being born of Him'. "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ" is the Father's child. As His children, we walk by Faith the New Way in the New Light until He calls us home.

      Amen!(3)
    • Thank you all for your thoughtful responses that helped me understand. My life can be a witness of the love and transforming power of the LORD so long as I point others to His example. I can fall and fail so I may not always be a good example, but so long as I am humble and acknowledge my short commings and ask for forgiveness I can still point to His character.

      Amen!(10)
  3. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
    12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom 12:1-2

    These passages always stood out for me and reminds me of my christian duties to Jesus. Yes, transformed by the renewing of my mind. But how can this occur? I dont believe it has to do with stage, but as we presents ourselves daily to Jesus the Holy Spirit will guide us and tell us when and what.

    Every morning and evening a lamb of a year old was burned upon the altar, with its appropriate meat offering, thus symbolizing the daily consecration of the nation to Jehovah, and their constant dependence upon the atoning blood of Christ. God expressly directed that every offering presented for the service of the sanctuary should be “without blemish.” Exodus 12:5. The priests were to examine all animals brought as a sacrifice, and were to reject every one in which a defect was discovered. Only an offering “without blemish” could be a symbol of His perfect purity who was to offer Himself as “a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:19. The apostle Paul points to these sacrifices as an illustration of what the followers of Christ are to become. He says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1. We are to give ourselves to the service of God, and we should seek to make the offering as nearly perfect as possible. God will not be pleased with anything less than the best we can offer. Those who love Him with all the heart, will desire to give Him the best service of the life, and they will be constantly seeking to bring every power of their being into harmony with the laws that will promote their ability to do His will. {PP 352.3}

    Amen!(7)
  4. Every morning I pray for the leaders that have influence in my life, especially political leaders. This lesson helped me to see that if leaders love the people they lead, they will make wise and merciful decisions. I'm so glad I started my day this way.

    Amen!(7)
  5. How well do you reflect the love of Christ to others?

    My life, from right in the family circle/setup.

    The way I treat and live with my family members, my spouse (for those who are married), my children,siblings, members of my extended family, my neighbours, work mates, schoolmates, church members and then to the unchurched folks.

    A living example i belueve, from me will reflect if I have the love of Jesus or not.

    Matt.5.16 - Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven. AMP

    If we live the above text, there will be no need of evangelistic campaigns because we will "naturally" draw people to Jesus by our way of life.

    Amen!(6)
  6. Can someone tell me what was written first, John's epistles or the book of Revelation? Because it seems to me that the spirit of the sons of thunder might be evident in the last book of the Bible. Or is that the sanctified version of the son's of thunder version?

    Amen!(2)
  7. Nic, the book of Revelation was written last in order of the bible. John was the last disciple to die after men tried to kill him by all and any means. After trying to kill him was unsuccessful they banished him away from society to the island of Patmos, thinking by doing so he will die because that was where condemn prisons were sent. He survived because of the love of God and love for his fellow humans.

    Amen!(4)

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