Tag Archives: witness

The Representative

family-cross-silhoutteI spent the first few days of my two week suspension bitter.  The internal investigation had been little more than a formality.  The company I work for accused me of negligence and rules violations which caused a derailment.  My union representative, in my opinion, didn’t present the best defense.  I sat in the investigation watching both sides sling accusations trying to catch each other in a lie while both ignored the statement of events.  I didn’t feel like I had been treated fairly by the company or represented fairly by the union.  Neither had seemed to take my statement into account or had much faith in my ability.

It wasn’t until I was reading through the Sermon on the Mount that I realized I had no right to throw stones.

Matthew 5:16 says, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify you Father which is in Heaven.  As a Christian, I am God’s representative to the world.  I work for Him and on occasion have been called upon to defend my faith.  I have the Bible as a guideline with which to live my life.  All I really have to do obey, have faith in His ability, and let my light shine.  But how often did my light truly shine?  How much time did I spend in His word so I was familiar with the guidelines?

 All I really have to do obey, have faith in His ability, and let my light shine.

Matthew 5:44 says, But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.  Through the Bible and the Holy Spirit, He has taught me what to say and how to react in a given situation; not just for my own good, but for His glory.  But how often did I listen?  How often did I rely on His ability instead of counting on my own?  I would get caught up in worldly views and arguments instead of concentrating on my only true job – representing God.  When someone attacked my beliefs, did I heed Matthew 7:1 – Judge not, that ye be not judged?  Or did I take it personally and attack theirs.  Instead of relying on Matthew 7:12a – Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, when mud was slung, I slung it back.

As a Christian, I am God’s representative to the world.

Most importantly, when someone was curious and asking questions about God, how many times had I chosen that moment to be quiet?  My suspension was a glowing reminder of one thing – I have been a poor representative.  This is not a job that is at stake or loss of some income.  These are souls with an eternity of consequences.  We are to represent God before the world, with the same love and conviction Jesus Christ will represent us before God.  I will continually fall short, but my life is committed to Jesus Christ and I will try with every breath I have left.  How ‘bout you?

Article by C.S. Depew

email

Articles

Advertisements

Be Evangelistic this Christmas

A story I read tells about a little boy and girl singing their favorite Christmas carol in church the Sunday before Christmas. The boy concluded Silent Night with the words, “Sleep in heavenly beans.” “No,” his sister corrected him, “peas, not beans.”

This little bit of humor reminded me that sometimes people don’t understand our message as well as we believe they do. The Bible tells us that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” (John 1:14), and that this Word was and is Jesus (John 1:1-18). Christmas is about the coming of Jesus, God’s “Word,” and what better time to talk about it than during the holidays?

The Christmas season is always a busy time of year for a lot of folks but it also serves to remind us we have a mission to accomplish. We have been commanded to testify of the coming of Christ and share with others what Jesus has done for us. Christmas provides at least three opportunities for aiding in this command:

First, people are generally more charitable during the holidays. The Salvation Army begins to take up residence on every busy street corner and store front during this time of year because they know that people like to give during the holidays. In Christian theology charity has been understood as “the friendship of man for God.” Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Christmas is a great time of year to share with others the charity and goodwill of God the Father who gave up His Son that we may have eternal life.

Second, people are generally more open to religion during the holidays. In spite of the recent “war on Christmas” that has reduced Christmas to holiday trees and merry greetings, what other time of year will you hear songs of the incarnation in retail stores and shopping markets? Even people that aren’t professing Christians tend to “get a little religious” around the holidays. Christmas provides a great opportunity to talk about the purpose for the coming of Christ with regular acquaintances.

Third, people are generally more available during the holidays. One of my favorite aspects of the holidays is gathering and spending time with family that I just don’t get to see very often. Whether we’re sitting around the table together, watching television after having eaten a large meal or just enjoying passing conversation over coffee and tea, Christmas provides doors of opportunity for conversation between friends and relatives.

This Christmas season as you go about your busy schedule of planning meals, buying gifts and visiting loved ones, remember the reason for the season and tell someone about the charity of God, the visit of His Son and the hope of eternal life in Christ. “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

Article by Michael Waits

@michaelwaits

Articles  |  Bio

A Forgotten Regulation

It’s one we don’t think about. I imagine you haven’t heard a sermon on it in a long time, if ever. It first came up in Deuteronomy and was re-emphasized a few times in the New Testament. More importantly, it has incredible potential to keep you and me out of deep messes. We can hardly imagine why it is important at all, but it got enough mileage in Scripture to show us the Lord thought it a worthy concept.

What is this mysterious and forgotten regulation? The requirement that we have two or three witnesses to establish the validity of a word or matter (Deut. 19:15) is the one that needs to make a comeback in our generation. Think of how we establish a matter. We accept a whisper, we seize a rumor, and the worse the report the sooner we believe it. We so believe it that we feel it such an established fact that we have the right to tell it far and wide. Such is the genesis of broken friendships, wounded hearts, assassinated reputations, and of course, a sin itself. This doesn’t even cover the fact that it is blatantly unchristian and repeatedly forbidden.

The Lord knew what He was doing when He gave us this regulation. He knew conflict would arise among us and He knew we might not always play fair. So He took precautions for us. It protects us from both directions.  On the one hand, it’s so easy for someone to make up a charge in a moment of vindictiveness, or at least so exaggerate the situation that it no longer resembles what actually happened. If there’s a requirement of two or three witnesses, unless they conspire together, it will rule that out. At the very least, it will greatly lower the chances of a false accusation getting through. This makes a great principle obvious. Don’t form opinions by the word of one person, even if a good one, because you never know what complications in life may color his or her judgment. Also, we should check our own conclusions by those of others because it’s so cheap and easy to form a harsh opinion. You can check and see if others you respect have the same opinion.

Don’t form opinions by the word of one person, even if a good one, because you never know what complications in life may color his or her judgment.

Secondly, this can lead us through church troubles. Such crises usually denigrate into who can garner the most support as if it were but a popularity contest. But, praise the Lord, we don’t have to settle matters that way. I look for two or three witnesses, and if they are not available, I turn it over to God. Isn’t this what Matthew 18:15-20 is all about? Then personalities are irrelevant and we have a clear path through the mess.

There’s something to this two-or-three-witnesses thing. Do you suppose it has something to with why we are sent out two-by-two to witness of our Lord?

There is a lot of junk in this sin-cursed world. Perhaps, though, there wouldn’t be quite as much if we would but remember a carefully-defined, yet mostly-forgotten, regulation our Lord gave us long ago.

Article by Jimmy Reagan

fb:jimmy.reagan.5

Articles  |  Bio

Getting to the Point

There are a lot of things to debate and dissect in the Christian life today.  There are multiple denominations, Bible versions and doctrines.  Everyone from scholars and theologians to new Christians have different views and interpretations of Scripture.

Some argue these things because they truly believe their views are correct and they do not want fellow believers to be deceived.  Others use these things to create trouble, or to set themselves apart from everyone else.  I too have gotten caught up in debates over Scripture for any or all of these reasons until I read Titus 3:9; But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

I felt very convicted about how I had lived my Christian life – I had spent most of it spouting out views and opinions to prove how unwavering my faith was.  But if we are to spread the good news of the Gospel to the world and lead people to Christ, does it make sense to debate with other Christians the things that Paul called unprofitable and vain?  I could just imagine God looking down saying, “You spent so much time arguing this thing and you both missed the point.”

 I want to take as many people with me to Heaven as I can.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  The study of God’s word is a wonderful and necessary pursuit.  To read Scripture with a humble heart is exactly what Proverbs 27:17 means when it says, Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.  But Revelation 22:13,14 says I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.  Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

At some point, we will pass out of time into eternity.  Time will not stop.  It will cease to exist.  With no other plans to make, bills to pay, things to fix or schedule to keep, I will bow down at the feet of my God and Creator.  I will hold the hand of my Lord and Savior.  And I will hug my Father with the joy of a child and say, “I love you.”  And to be honest, I want to bring as many people with me as I can.  I want them to experience eternity being washed in the blood of Jesus Christ.  I would keep writing, but I don’t know how much time I have…

Article by C.S. Depew

email

Articles