It’s been said one of the most powerful tools that a Christian possess’ is their personal testimony. One of the reasons, during the Daily Devotional, there is so much discussion about being a drunkard is there is so much experience to share. When Jesus warns, in so many different ways, how dangerous excessive drink is to the heart, soul and mind, is all that happens when we become altered in an unnatural manner. Jesus knew the euphoric appeal would chain a great number of His children, He also knew what lay in wait as the euphoria passed into another realm, not so euphoric in the dark place just out of sight.
We have our testimony, whatever it is, that we should be proud to share at a moments notice. We should have several “copies” ready to download and lay at the feet of a nonbeliever before they know what happened. The short version (elevator), the medium version – something 5-10 minutes and the long version – 20+ minutes and the deluxe, Editors Cut version that could be wrapped up in an evening of sharing, worship, prayer and praise.
These tools, the Father has provided and the Holy Spirit is ready to assist with, can make the difference between someone coming to Christ and being saved or remaining in the dark and lost. Not saying there aren’t other ways of approaching people, because there are an endless number of paths, we are merely focusing on one of those paths today.
Having been to jail on a number of occasions, for petty crimes like public drunkenness, possession of illegal substance (marijuana), DUI x3, destruction of public property (pulling flowers from a planter box – yes, spent time in a jail cell for this “crime”) it simply becomes part of the fabric that God was working with that now the world can see. When this “track record” makes up your past and honesty is now how you live, well, it becomes a real challenge the first time that lies are no longer on the agenda.
When you fill out a job application and it ask about incarcerations and why you were incarcerated one must be honest. The absolute fear that runs through your body is beyond description. This is a situation that matches your skills, a company in which you wish to be employed but this… this could make everything crash and burn. Here’s the thing; when you’re honest, everything changes. When you’re a liar the enemy convinces you no one will believe the truth and forgive your past. The sad part is, when one is living in sin (separated from God) this lie is believed as truth.
We have Peter’s testimony, bold confession of faith! Peter was arrested but was released because the truth can not be contained, shackled or caged. The Truth is the Truth and does not bend simply because someone questions it or doesn’t believe it. Even if it means your life. As it is said, the Truth shall make you free.
Acts 4 NJKV
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel:
9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well,
10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom
you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.
11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’
12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
What’s interesting is the fact the Jewish leaders actually see, hear and understand that both John and Peter are speaking in the identity of Jesus Christ. Not that these men are speaking because of Jesus Christ or honoring Jesus Christ, but that their entire identity is in Jesus Christ. What makes this possible is the Truth shining through their every word, their every breath.
16 saying “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.
17 But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”