Lips Bearing Testimony
Loving Father, I praise You that my name and my needs are known to You. I trust You and I worship You.
Read ACTS 13:16-25
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Testimony is not a synonym for autobiography! When we are truly witnessing, we are not talking about ourselves but about Christ” (John Stott).
On a high plateau dotted with small lakes stood the most important city of southern Galatia, a vibrant fusion of traditions from Greece, Rome, the Orient, Judaism and the ancient kingdom of Phrygia. Pisidian Antioch had no idea what kind of light was about to fall upon it.
The details of the passage mustn’t distract us. What is Paul doing as he stands up and draws the attention of all those in the synagogue? With great boldness, he reworks the Judaism that was deeply ingrained in the minds of his hearers. Skillfully, he appeals to their common ancestry and shows, from Old Testament texts they all know but which are so tragically misunderstood, that God has always been at work through the history of his people to bring the Messiah. He hits the big themes and names of the Old Testament: Egypt; the overthrow of the lands of the seven nations when God brings them into the Promised Land; and Samuel, with Saul and David. He refers to major events where God was clearly at work, blessing his people according to his covenant and anointing kings to lead them. It’s only a short step via John the Baptist to the Anointed One, to the Gospel of Jesus the Christ, to repentance and forgiveness.
What a clear and compelling Gospel message! You and I really can’t do any better, when the opportunities arrive. Search for the common ground, where the common values are. From there, lead people’s minds to Jesus Christ, to the cross and the resurrection. Hold out the gospel promise of the forgiveness of sins. Warn them that their response has eternal consequences. It’s not just Paul’s pattern, it’s what came from Jesus himself throughout his ministry.
Identify the common ground that you have with non-Christians. Then see how the “texts” of today’s life point to Jesus, and pray that you can speak the Gospel to them.
Lord, let the love of Christ rule in my heart. May my life authentically adorn the Gospel of my crucified and risen Lord. May I see others drawn to him.
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