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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Being a Witness

A while ago I transcribed a message that David preached and was really blessed by it. In the message he speaks about the catch term "a personal relationship with Jesus" (which is the title too). What do people mean when they say this? Well, I wont get in to that because their ideas certainly do NOT bless me and have only served as confusion when I was an atheist.

Christ has called us to be his witness here on earth, just as the Father sent him to be a witness on this earth. And what does that mean? David shared several passages of Christ's relationship with God and used that as an example of how our relationship should be with Christ.

I'll put a quote here from the message:

"Jesus said in Matthew, “You are the light of the world. You are the salt of the earth. You are my witnesses.” Well what is a witness? We think we are a witness because we can spout off the right doctrines. We can say the right things. But a witness – Jesus bore witness of the light. Jesus was God manifested in the flesh. He came and dwelt on this earth, at one with God. He was God with us: Emmanuel (Emmanuel means God with us). He was at one with God, doing the will of God, living the will of God and set right in the middle of a bunch of people who weren't living the will of God or doing the will of God, who wanted nothing to do with God. That is what a witness is. That is you BEING God's witness. You BEING that light in this world. You BEING that salt of the earth. That is what a witness is. You BEING a Christian, not just being able to explain it, not just being able to talk about it, not preaching loud, but LIVING that way. BEING the salt of the earth."

And this is to happen ALL THE TIME, not just once in a while. Our whole lives are to be lived this way: salt and light in this dark world. We must always keep in mind the example of Christ, because there are plenty who think they are being an example of Christ yet if you but only take a few minutes to see how Christ lived and see what he taught while here you would quickly see that most who profess to be Christians are not actually Christians at all. He certainly was not afraid to stand for the truth, even knowing it would cost him his life. And that's exactly what he is telling us to do while here.

Continuing on in the message David said:

"John 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

They would rather walk with the world and have the praise of the world than to be set apart and be the light of God.

44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.

Do you see the union, the relationship that Christ had with God? It wasn't a 'touchy-feeling' thing. It wasn't an emotional experience. The relationship Christ had with God was because he was at one with God and he was representing God in this world. That's what the relationship was all about."

Are WE representing Christ on this earth? Or are we like those who love the praise of men more than the praise of God? 

I believe loving the praise of men can happen in such subtle ways. One way that seems innocent enough is by participating in their celebrations and festivities. Be it an xmas event, easter, or even something that is not a holiday. For instance, each month a few of us go preaching at the Joplin Art Walk. Each time we go we usually see some 'plain people' there [a.k.a. certain brands of Mennonites and/or Amish]. No, they are not preaching or even handing out tracts ... they are walking hand-in-hand with the world, right there among the live heavy-metal bands, belly dancers, fire jugglers, skate boarders, hip-hop dancers, and so on.

Public entertainments, holidays, amusements, etc. - participating in these things is having fellowship with the world.

Are we so afraid to tell the truth and offend someone that we end up joining with them and become their friends? Many say "Oh, but I AM Jesus' friend and he is my friend!" but what does Christ say? "You are my friends if you do whatever I command you." There is a major CONDITION there --> that tiny little word "if". Jesus was not afraid to speak the truth. Yes, he got killed for it, but he was not ashamed of his Father. He loved the praise of his Father much more than the praise of men.

Can we say the same? I ask again, are WE representing Christ in this world? In all that we do? Or is there some little bits of compromise 'here and there'? 

David says later: "You are not sent here to make a farm. You are not sent here to make a business. You are sent here to be a disciple of Christ. Sometimes you have to do a few of those things along the way to support yourself. He was a carpenter. He worked, but that wasn't his life. His life was to do the will of God." 

And might I add, we are not sent here to have fun and rub elbows with the world. This is not the example Christ gave for his followers. We are to pattern our lives and activities after the pattern CHRIST gave us, not after the pattern of the world.

I am reminded of my recent experiment to try having a facebook page for my other blog. I was hoping to build up a fan base of some kind so I could eventually share a recipe book I'm working on. A few months was all it took. All of these people 'like' my page and in order for me to get anywhere I have to 'like' their page and we have to interact with each other ... yet the only thing we have in common is cooking or gardening or some other similar, activity of no good eternal value. Yes we have to cook and yes it's ok to have a garden, but if this is where your fellowship is then it's quite shallow. No thanks, I'm not interested. It took a few months of trying it out to come to this conclusion and it's very clear to me that it's just not worth it. It takes time and effort to build it up ... and build it up for what? What is more important? I'd rather be transcribing a message :) Life here on earth is much too short. I'd rather 'redeem the time because the days ARE evil.'

Who are we trying to please?

I'm currently working on transcribing David's message from a few weeks ago titled: The Face of the Deep. If you have not listened to it, I highly suggest you do so now. There is a lot of good stuff in there, and some of it is pointed right at us women.  A blessing and encouragement for sure.

4 comments:

Shari said...

Great post! Looking forward to the fruits of your recipe book; love the recipes you have shared to date.

Vicki said...

This was one of those messages when I heard it, I knew I would need to listen again, so I really appreciate the transcribed messages as I can listen and then go back and read through when I have some time. Is it ok to print off the transcribed messages?

I'd be interested in the recipe book, as I've enjoyed several of your recipes and like that you often put things in grams, being from the UK I'm always stumped by what sticks of butter etc are! We tend to usually work in grams.

God bless you.

Martina said...

"personal relationship" is really not that hard to explain...just as a Father he will protect and lead you, just like a Mother he will comfort and guide you, just as Siblings he will encourage you and sometimes give you a hard time, just as friends, cousins, aunts, uncles etc...not every relationship is equal, and we never have the same relationship with everybody...except for Jesus he will be all the these things for us and will guide us and give us daily exactly what we need like encouragement, leadership, protection and yes sometimes a hard time

Rita said...

Thanks for this biblical words.