Saturday, March 22, 2014

Identify - The Words of Our Testimony

March 22, 2014

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings
good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God
of Israel reigns!" Isaiah 52:7

Our church begins a 5 week evangelism study this coming Sunday. I always considered evangelism a gift--one which I failed to receive thereby excusing me from the practice of evangelism. While Ephesians 4:11 describes evangelism as a spiritual gift given to some (but not necessarily all) believers, Christ did exhort every one of His followers to discipleship. Jesus' parting words were, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20).

John 4 tells the story of an unlikely woman who Jesus intentionally reached with the message of His saving love. I enjoy reading the story of the woman at the well because of how this woman responds following her encounter with Jesus. After the Son of God reveals Himself as the Messiah to this woman she runs with unrestrained passion to tell others about her experience with the Living God. The woman's story sparks interest throughout the town of Samaria. The people of Samaria come to listen to Jesus and many place their faith in Him. People came to listen because of her words but they believed because of His word (John 4:1-42).

Romans 3:11-12 tells us that, "No one seeks God, all have turned away." In his book, Follow Me (Tyndale, 2012), author David Platt emphatically reminds us that we do not invite Jesus into our hearts. The word invite implies that we initiated the relationship. Ephesians 1:4 tells me that, "Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes."

Long before I ever took my first breath, before my great-great-great-great-grandmother ever took her first breath, God loved me and chose to make a way for me--and for you--to enter into fellowship with Him. Sin keeps us from God (Isaiah 29:2). But through His death Jesus invites us into fellowship with God. We simply accept the invitation. Our purpose is not to invite others into fellowship with God. God sent His invitation to all people through the cross. We can, however--like the woman at the well--invite others to come to know more about God's invitation. We can vouch that God's invitation is worthy of an R.S.V.P.

The prophet Isaiah proclaimed, "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings
good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God
of Israel reigns!"
(Isaiah 52:7) But Romans 10:14 asks, "How can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how
can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can
they hear about Him unless someone tells them?"
We must tell others, those who God brings across our path, the news that our God saves!

Revelation 12:11 says, "They [those accused by the enemy] overcame him [the enemy] because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony." Testimony simply means giving your account of an event. As we share with others our personal experience with God many will want to know more about God.

Remember what happened with woman at the well. As she shared her testimony with the people in her town those people wanted to hear more about God from God. People came to listen to the very Word of God and many believed. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing the word of Christ.
God draws people nearer to Himself through our story, and then saves them through His story.

Consider where or with whom God wants you to take your feet--beautiful or not--to share your experience of Him.

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