Monday, February 27, 2006

My 3 Minute Testimonial

A week ago Sunday (2/19/06), Pastor Bruce asked if a few of the men of our church (me included) if we would be willing to share a testimony during our Communion service. He also told us that we didn’t need to tell our conversion story, but we could testify about what God has been doing in our lives.

Well, after much turmoil and heart searching, I want to tell you what the Lord has burdened me with that He had me share with my church.

I want to testify today about the Word of God. When I look back over the last few years of my life I can see the hand of God moving in my life and directing me toward His Word.

I want to talk about what the Word is. In 2 Peter 1 we see that, “no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” 2 Timothy 3 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

For those of you who are familiar with the Sunday School class that I teach or the blog that I have, you will not be surprised to see me go to the book of Jude for one of the 2 main verses that the Lord has used in my life. Jude 3 says, “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” Jude then goes on to write about how false teachers have come in so that they can distort the Word. In 1 Peter 3, Peter is writing a letter dealing with the reality of false teachers and what they will do when he says, “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you….” Also, in 2 Peter 2:1, Peter writes, “But false prophets also arose among the people just as there will also be false teachers among you who will secretly introduce destructive heresies….”

So here’s what we have: Peter and Jude (among many other writers) have told us to know what the Lord has said because of the reality and surety of false teachers. False teachers will distort what the Word says and draw away disciples for themselves as well as deceive people. Satan has always used this trick, and he has used it with those who would or should know the Word of the Lord.

In Genesis 3, we see Satan, the serpent, deceive Eve and help bring about the fall of mankind. Satan began his deception with the words, “Has God indeed said….” Satan called into question and caused Eve to doubt the words which God had spoken to them. After many years of practice he tried this method again, and we can see the story in Luke 4. Satan tried to make Christ stumble and fall by twisting scripture and taking it out of context and distorting it to accomplish his desires. Christ was not fooled and rebuked the devil with scripture properly understood and interpreted.

This is a great example of the devil’s tactics against people who have heard or know the Word of God, but this second example is also the great example for us to know how not to be deceived. The key is to know the Word. And the only way that we can know the Word is to study it, love it, and live for it.

Now – what did the Word cost? Well, primarily, it cost the Son of God His very life to give, complete, and fulfill. It is the same Word that the prophets were ridiculed and killed for – John the Baptist was beheaded. It is the same Word that eleven of the twelve apostles, were killed for. It is the same Word that because the early Christians believed it and were unwilling to waver on that they were murdered, torn apart by wild animals, and used for human torches. It is the same Word that the reformers were persecuted for, burned at the stake because of, and hunted on account of. All of this because they were not willing to compromise on the Word. It is for this same Word that many Christians in China, Africa, and many other places are today being killed, having their livelihood ripped away form them, and are being persecuted by the authorities of their country for even possessing a copy of the Word.

This is the same Word that cost me $30.

The Bible is very clear that Christians, those people who have repented and placed their trust in Christ and Him alone, will not be judged for their sins and condemned to hell. We will be judged according to our works, and how these works aligned with the foundation that is Christ. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul tells us that our works will be judged by fire, and the works that are not pleasing will be burnt up.

How many times does the Word of God get relegated to a second or third priority behind mind numbing TV, meaningless conversation about things that really do not matter, or anything else? How will God judge me when He sees all of the times that I disregarded this expensive, or priceless, Word that He gave to me? I have no excuse as to why I am so lazy and uncommitted to knowing it, and living it, and loving it? Do you?

How can we defend the faith to those who question us, how can we contend for the faith with those who try to distort it, or how can we value the Word of God if we do not know it. And the only way for us to know it is for us to read and study it.

1 comment:

jj said...

Less is more-the shorter the post, the better chance there is that someone will read it.

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