Prepare a testimony

When share your faith a testimony can bring the Bible and your faith in Christ to life. I have found that people love hearing stories of how God has done great things for you.

When I share about my testimony I touch on three main areas. These three things really help me to structure my story and how Jesus’ story impacted and changed my life.

My life before Christ – I share things like how I felt, my long term illness, what sort of things I was in to, my upbringing and the sense of emptiness I had inside. These things set the scene.

My conversion – I then share how I came to Jesus. I talk about how I was feeling in the year before coming to Jesus, the people who helped me and the story of Jesus coming to die on the cross for me.

How my life has changed – In this final section I share how knowing Jesus personally has changed my whole life and outlook. I talk about the love, acceptance, hope, joy and purpose I now feel inside.

You can also share things some of the things that God has done for you. I actually have several short testimonies that I share with people depending on the situation.

So why not spend some time preparing a simple testimony. It really helps when someone asks about your faith in Christ.

It is normal for God to speak to us

I was watching an old episode of House last night. A person was sick and they were trying to work out what was wrong with them. In the process of examination it came up that the person was a Preacher and heard from God. Everyone in the show thought he was delusional and thought they needed a psych consult.

But the reality for us as Christians, is that it is normal for God to speak to us. People who don’t know Christ personally will never quite understand. They might think we are crazy or we think we are special because we say we “hear” from God.

In the Bible Jesus Himself tells us in John 10 that we are His sheep and He is our Shepherd and we listen to His voice and follow Him (John 10:27). That alone is enough for me to have my ears open and expect Him to speak.

The Bible also tells us that when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour the Holy Spirit comes and lives inside us. This is the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11). The Spirit who gives us gifts that help us to hear, speak and do amazing things for God (Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11).

When the Spirit takes up residence in us, we can have an intimate relationship with Him and talk with Him at any time. He can also speak, prompt, encourage, strengthen, remind, comfort and illuminate Scripture at any time too. That is His role.

So yes it is normal from Christians to hear from God. It doesn’t matter if non believers think it is crazy for us to say God spoke to me. It is a normal part of the Christian life, because that is how God intends it to be.

Be blessed today and keep your ears open!

Obedience when it does not make sense part 2

A few weeks ago I did a post titled, “ Obedience when it doesn’t make sense“. It touched on doing what God says when you don’t really understand why. It used Peter’s example from Luke 5:4-7.

As I have reflected more on this idea I thought of some other occasions in the Bible where people followed when not knowing the full story or the outcome of their obedience. Here are a few more examples….

Abraham and Isaac – Imagine how Abraham felt when God asked him to sacrifice his son who was a child of promise. Time showed the Lord provided a ram instead. (Genesis 22:1-14)

The walls of Jericho – God asked the people to march around the city once a day for six days and then all shout. That is not the usual way to storm a city, but the walls fell down! (Joshua 6:1-20)

Noah and the Ark – God asked Noah to build an ark to save him, his family and the animals from the flooding rains. Up until that time rain had never fallen from the sky. Noah built the ark and it saved them all from the flooding rains. (Genesis 6:1-22)

Moses before Pharaoh – Imagine how Moses felt when God asked him to go to the most powerful ruler on earth and demand he lets God’s people go. History shows it worked out ok! (Exodus 5:1-5)

Gideon’s army of 300 – Imagine how Gideon felt when God told him to reduce his army to 300 men to fight and defeat a huge Midianite army. Again we see God knew what He was doing and 300 men was enough. (Judges 7:2-8)

As we can see from all of these occasions, obedience to God’s requests really does make sense. God’s knows the end from the beginning and even though He doesn’t let us know all the details, it makes sense to follow Him. Even when it doesn’t make sense to us at the time.

Drink deeply of the pleasure of God

Psalm 34:8 TPT – Drink deeply of the pleasures of this God. Experience for yourself the joyous mercies he gives to all who turn to hide themselves in him.

I can tell you how good it is to follow God and how my life has changed for the better. But ultimately you have to experience it for yourself. Not only do you have to experience God for yourself, but you have to throw yourself in to pursuing God wholeheartedly. God says in Jeremiah 29:13 that if we seek Him wholeheartedly, we WILL find Him. That wis a great promise! Will you seek Him with all of your heart today?

Prayer

Dear God, today I come to You with my whole heart. I come seeking You. I pray that I will be able to drink deeply of the pleasures of God. I pray that I will find You and You will find me today. I ask in Jesus name, Amen.

Be thankful in all circumstances

1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT – Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

The Apostle Paul was not teaching that we should thank God for everything that happens to us, but that we should be thankful in every circumstance. There is a subtle but profound difference. Evil things happen, but they do not come from God, so we should not thank him for it. However, when evil things happen to us, we can still be thankful for God’s presence (Matthew 28:20) and for the good that he will accomplish through the situations we find ourselves in (Romans 8:28).

Prayer

Dear God, right now I thank You for where I am today. I thank You for the good things. I also thank You that You are with me and working things out for long term good. Amen.