Sunday, February 17, 2013

February 17, 2013 … It’s a GOD THING!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 48

Passage of the Day: John 3: 11 [NLT] … I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony.  

Contextual Study of today’s passage: John 3: 1-21 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Matthew 5: 16 [in the context of verses 14-16]: [NLT] …  
14 “You are the light of the world — like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. 

My Journal for Today: Why is it that we Christians are so drawn to biblical stories like David defeating Goliath or God using Moses to part the Red Sea? That’s an easy one to answer, isn’t it? … It’s because we see God so readily in the stories of faith about common men doing such uncommon deeds. We see God being witnessed in the lives of people just like you and me.

But when many non-believers hear about or read those same stories, they dismiss these accounts as “legends” or “myths,” don’t they? They just can’t read reality into these historical, eye-witnessed accounts; and they have to dismiss them as mythical to protect their own reality which claims that there is no God. Jesus was having that problem when He encountered a Jewish religious leader, Nicodemus, in a garden one night; and in today’s highlight passage above, we read Jesus telling this man, who wanted to believe, why Nicodemus was having so much trouble believing. The Jewish leader just couldn’t see reality in the truths to which Jesus was giving testimony.

You know, Jesus wants others to see His Father in the witness of our lives. He said as much in His Sermon on the Mount … in the reference passage I’ve copied above, Matthew 5: 16. The question is, “Do others see God shining His light through our decisions, actions, or testimony?” In other words, what about our lives declares Christ living in and through us, … through the testimony of our choices or our actions. Oh, perhaps we’re not giving witness to God by parting the Mississippi River or slaying a God-hating monster with a sling and a pebble; but is there anything in our lives or our testimonies which shines Christ’s light so brightly that others just might see Christ instead of you or me?

That question rang out loudly for me today, having to answer it for myself; and I can recall, not too long ago having to do a cardboard testimony in our church. That’s where, on one side of a large card-board placard, we were asked to write and display some element of our lives which had changed so much that others could see God in our cardboard testimonies. We wrote the BEFORE on one side and the AFTER on the other. And if you want to see what a cardboard testimony is like, check out this You Tube link  … and maybe you can think of how your cardboard testimony would shine God’s light for others to see how Christ has changed you. Oh, your testimony may not be as dramatic as the bible stories of David defeating Goliath or Moses parting the Red Sea; but it still can be a strong witness of God working through YOUR life in a way that only God could to transform and save.

For me my cardboard testimony reads as follows …
BEFORE CHRIST“Addicted to PORN for 22 years”
AFTER CHRIST“Addicted to GOD’S WORD for over 22 years”

Others seeing or hearing that testimony may not believe me; but NO ONE can tell me it’s not true!!

What – from your testimony today - shines God’s light so brightly that others can only see Christ in your life … or perhaps they will have to deny Him? But you know that your story is a “God thing!”

My Prayer for Today … Lord, thank You for what You did to create my cardboard testimony of change. … Amen

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