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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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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Joseph’s Strong Foundation in Temptations and Trials

Christians need the same foundation Joseph had in temptation and trials

This morning I read the story of Joseph again. I thought about how, at about 17 years old, he had the personal fortitude to flee the lustful temptations of his master’s wife. His reasoning? After professing his loyalty to his master (her husband), which really was a greater loyalty to him than she had as his wife, he declares, “How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?” (Gen 39:9). It would be disloyal and wrong to dishonor his master, but it would be “great evil and sin” to dishonor God.

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Book Review: Redeeming the Feminine Soul

Anthony reviews Julie Roys’ Redeeming the Feminine Soul: God’s Surprising Vision for Womanhood.

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Grace and Peace Radio

Why would a guy read a book about “redeeming the feminine soul”? There’s a lot going on in the world and in the church about gender issues and roles And within the church especially, Complementarianism vs. Egalitarianism vs. Patriarchy, LGBTQ, and Intersectionality are all hot-button issues. I figured Roys’ take would be an interesting read.

With that, here’s my review of Julie Roys’ Redeeming the Feminine Soul: God’s Surprising Vision for Womanhood.

Not knowing much about Roys, I had read some of her work on the Internet. She struck me as a formidable Christian journalist, and still does. My wife is an avid reader and I thought she’d enjoy something different, so I bought it for her.

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Review: So You Want to be a Street Preacher by Jimmy Hamilton

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Grace and Peace Radio

Jimmy Hamilton got saved in 1975 in his mid-thirties. “In coming to Christ I was broken, in great distress. I called upon his name and he rescued me” (30). And from that moment he has desired to tell others about his Lord and Savior, “I’ve been a street preacher for thirty-eight of my forty years as a Christian. ” (30).

Now 75, Jimmy Hamilton continues his peripatetic (an English transliteration of the Greek word meaning “itinerant”) preaching ministry, daily sharing Christ on the streets of his native Glasgow, Scotland. And having just written his first book, he clearly has no plans to slow down yet. “The Lord called me to preach the gospel,” he writes, “so I’ll stop when he tells me to stop or when he calls me home” (202).

Not Just for Preachers

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