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Thursday, July 15, 2010
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"You Also Must Testify"
"When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, He will testify about Me. And you also must testify, for you have been with Me from the beginning" (John 15:26,27).
Last night we heard a mission presentation by Jake and Nancy Shenk who first went to Africa in 1958. Jake recently had some health problems and was discharged from a 15 day stay in the hospital only the day before. Nevertheless he and Nancy were in our service and plan to return to Africa as soon as he is able. They continue to bear a burden for the needy souls of the African people after serving in that continent over 50 years.
Many years ago Brooksyne and I read a book titled "For This Cross I'll Kill You" by missionary Bruce Olson. It's the testimony of his ministry as he took the gospel message to the Motilone Indians of South America when he was only 19 in 1961. As he lived among them he discovered that the Holy Spirit had already prepared their hearts for the Gospel seed with a long-standing, orally repeated legend that could not be adequately explained by the Motilone people. Bruce had to live among them to earn their confidence and favor. In time he was able to present the Gospel message after the Holy Spirit revealed to him answers the Motilone people sought to know. *
Thank God for the witness of the Holy Spirit! In John's Gospel Jesus gives His final teaching to the disciples prior to His death. Repeatedly He speaks of the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was not only anticipating His death but His return to the Father. He told the disciples the Spirit of truth "will testify about Me." Have you considered the many ways this has taken place in your life? I've also heard remarkable stories from the mission field, such as Bruce Olson's, where the Holy Spirit has prepared the hearts of people years and even generations before the missionary came.
But consider the phrase, "And you must also testify." This verse grips me because Christ emphasized it following His teaching on the witness of the Holy Spirit. As Christians we need to be careful that our proper dependence on the Holy Spirit does not become a dodging of our personal responsibility in witnessing to others. Christ said, "You must also testify."
How are you testifying today? It begins by living a life that consistently demonstrates Christ-like character, which itself will stand out in today's morally decadent age. I hope you also have tracts, booklets and other helps available to distribute to the seekers around you. I hope your "space" bears a witness to your faith; it may be a poster or plaque with an expression of faith. But I hope you also are prepared and bold in your verbal witness of who Christ is and what He has done. The Holy Spirit is surely faithful in His part. Are we being faithful in ours?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, You have called us to be faithful witnesses wherever we live and in whatever we do. You haven't delegated this responsibility just to those in vocational ministries, but to all who have experienced Your forgiveness through salvation. By Your grace we will be shining lights throughout our darkened nation so that others will see the glory of Christ in our lives and hear the message of hope in our faithful witness. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
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Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)
"Song For The Nations" Video Jim Gilbert
"People Need The Lord" Video Steve Green
"Each One, Reach One" Video The Motivators
"Send Me" Video Planet Shakers
"Rescue The Perishing" Video Billy & Cindy Foote
* The initial experience that the book is based on took place in the early sixties. Bruce Olson is still in active ministry for our Lord. Several years ago I had fellowship with a missionary who personally knows him and he told me of Bruce's deep unconventional dedication to the Lord. The title of the book I read has been changed to "Bruchko". His website has some remarkable stories about his ongoing ministry. (FYI: This is one of those sites where music comes on automatically!) You can also order the book I referred to in today's encouragement and I can assure you it's a captivating read.
"How Can I Break The Silence?" is an excellent online booklet dealing with testifying about our faith: You can either read it online as a pdf or order the booklet here.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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