Test Your Testimony

“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.” John 4:39

 

The story of the woman at the well is perhaps the most influential story of sharing Christ in the whole New Testament. For one thing, she not only shared about Jesus, she shared Jesus—running back into town to invite everyone to “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did…” (29).

 

I’m not one to be drawn to history or sports. Part of the reason is because it is all too detached for me. Another king. Another war. Some country far away. Some team that won or lost. Whatever.

 

But when someone is enthusiastic and describes the king, the underlying conflict, or the personal drama of why that particular game was so important to a player, coach, or the whole team, I’m drawn in. I suddenly care about something I had no interest in before. Likewise, when I hear someone’s testimony of how Jesus changed their life, I’ll stop what I’m doing to listen.

 

Yesterday I listened to a man tell his story of 12 years of drug addiction and how Jesus set him free. That was 12 years ago, so he’s now been clean for as long as he was using drugs. He had ruined his life but God, in the miraculous way that he does, reached down, saved him, and made him whole. God not only gave him new life; he gave him a story to tell. A testimony to share. “Come and see a man…”

 

Not coincidentally, the same day I heard that brother’s testimony, I read the story of a professional baseball player who had become a Christian. He was “fired up” about Jesus as the story was told. He quit all the vices of life on the road and was a changed man…but not for long.

 

Years later, the writer met that famous baseball player at a ballpark where he was doing a meet and greet with fans, signing balls and hats and having all the usual fan interactions retired baseball players do. When the writer asked him if he was still “fired up for Jesus” the man lowered his head and admitted, “Not like I used to be.”

 

How about you? Is yours a life radically and permanently changed by Jesus? Or did you have a go at following Jesus but, like so many others, eventually left him when things got too difficult? If you ran into your town today, would many “Samaritans” believe in Jesus because of your testimony?

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Ep018 Disagreeing in Love

In this episode of Grace and Peace Radio we’ll go to the Word of God to answer the question: How can brothers and sisters in Christ disagree in love?

As I record this, the world seems to be on the other side of all the projected curves of the COVID19 coronavirus. Statistically, it wasn’t nearly as a bad as was first thought, thank the Lord. In my state, South Carolina, most retail stores opened up this week and by the time you hear this, restaurants will be allowed to serve patrons inside again—albeit with plenty of caveats. Almost everything is coming back online, at least here in the South. We have no idea what the world will be like when it emerges from its global quarantine, but it is slowly starting to happen.

Along with all of this, there are a whole host of related issues and questions: What will the economy be like? When will it bounce back, or will it? And especially questions around how reopening should look, how fast, how slow, should we wear masks in public? Should we not? What should church services be like as we move to restart?

The one thing we can agree on is that there is certainly NOT agreement!!!

How, then, can brothers and sisters in Christ disagree in love?

We’ll talk about it on today’s Grace and Peace Radio!

Two Musts

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30

When a believer comes to these words of John the Baptist, they should hit home with zeal. They should find fellowship in our heart. Like one string struck on a guitar vibrates the ones next to it, John’s desire to see Jesus exalted and himself brought lower should resonate in our own hearts.

There is a worldliness that has crept into most everything Christians do today. We aren’t primarily concerned that Jesus must increase, and even less so that we should—let alone “must”—decrease. I see this a lot among Christians who produce content. Often it is about promoting their blog, book, podcast, merchandise, etc. over primarily wanting to see others genuinely come to know and love the Lord Jesus Christ. That ought not to be.

Christians have just as much right in this world to enterprise and entrepreneurship as non-Christians. Being industrious is virtuous; God’s Word says so in many places (read through the Proverbs, for example). But if we are building something off the name and Person of Jesus Christ, we had better be sure we are putting him first. Our primary goal ought to be that his name be great among the nations (Malachi 1:11), even if that means our venture eventually fades out and the machine we spent so much time building turns to rust.

Do I want people to listen to Grace and Peace Radio? Sure.

Do I want them to maybe buy a coffee mug or something in the store? Sure.

Do I want them to tell a friend? Sure.

But do I want those things because I want them to know my name? God forbid!

There are two correlated events that must happen daily in our lives: He must increase and we must decrease. Both of those should cause us to rejoice.

Today, may God use my life and yours to exalt himself. May he be glorified whether he chooses to elevate us or remove us to make way for another.

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Ep017 Faith that Works

In this episode Anthony talks about keeping our faith “charged up” even in uncertain times.

The Bible speaks of several kinds of faith.

The two most commonly talked about are believing faith to be saved and justified before God, through believing in Jesus as Lord and his atoning sacrifice for our sins on the cross.

The other kind of faith we often think of is what comes after—that new life of living by faith.

Over several of the last episodes of Grace and Peace Radio we’ve looked at various helps for us in these strange and uncertain times—hope (Ep011), patience (Ep014), persistence (Ep015), and God’s providence (Ep016). Today, we’ll be talking about Faith, specifically that second kind. What is faith? Where do we get it? What, if anything, is our part? Daily faith. And, of course, faith and works.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians that “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7).

As Christians, we don’t just have faith in uncertain times or difficult times—our whole lives are supposed to be marked by this walking faith!

We’ll talk about walking by faith, in good times and difficult uncertain times, today, on Grace and Peace Radio!

Show Note: Here is the story from the China Inland Mission about how faith sets the table.

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Ep016 Remember God’s Providence

In this episode Anthony takes a different approach as we consider God’s Providence.

Continuing the series we began in Episode 11, where we’re looking to encourage ourselves in the Scriptures in the strange and unusual times we’re finding ourselves in, in this episode we’ll consider the topic of God’s Providence.

This episode is departure from the routine in at least two ways:

First, Anthony presses “pause” on the pre-written show notes in order to check-in with listeners to see how they are doing and to share how things are going in his life and what’s new with Grace and Peace Radio.

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