Monday, March 13, 2017

March 13, 2017 ... This Is My Story…!

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 72 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of lyrics from the group Third Day singing a contemporary arrangement of the old hymn … Blessed Assurance … powerfully singing of the power of sharing one’s story of how God’s love changes lives.

Highlight Verse[s]: Acts 9:19b-21 [NLT] … 
19b Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days. 21 And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!” 21 All who heard him were amazed. “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” they asked. “And didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests?” 
… After Saul’s conversation, he became the Apostle Paul, sharing his testimony and preaching the Gospel wherever he went; and many came to faith in Christ thru his story.
Highlight Passage [context]: Acts 9:1-31, 26:1-32 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Paul openly and strategically used his testimony to show the power of God to change a life. 

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … Luke 4:14-21 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Jesus shared the prophesy of His story (prophesied by Isaiah - Is. 61:1-2) in His synagogue; and revealed that He was the Messiah. It was to become Jesus’ story and His life, death, and resurrection - i.e., His Gospel of deliverance.

Reference Passage #2 [NKJV] : … Acts 1:8 [NLT] … 
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 
… Jesus’ command for us to go forth and share our testimony (i.e., witness) with anyone and everyone we can.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Mart DeHaan, opened today’s entry with a personal story to illustrate how a story can impact the lives of others. And then the ODB author went on to show how the Apostle Paul’s conversion story was so influential in showing how Christ changes lives thru the witness of others [see highlight passages].

And the ODB entry today reminded me of how powerful our witness, thru testimony, can be to show others how the Gospel can (and will) change lives. And really, that’s Jesus’ command to all of us, isn’t it? [see Acts 1:8]

And an illustration of this is the sharing of “cardboard testimonies.” Some time ago in my church, a group of our partitioners came on stage during a Sunday service, carrying cardboard signs. On one side was a brief testimony of what our lives were like BEFORE Christ; and on the other side was our declaration of how becoming a Christian [i.e., AFTER Christ] had changed us (see photo). My “before” card read, “Addicted to PORN!” … and the “after” side read, “Addicted to God’s word!”; … a pretty obvious witness of how Christ changed my life, right?! If you did a cardboard testimony today, what would yours read?

And how many of us have shared our testimony with anybody recently? Perhaps, if we prayed for the opportunity, today might be our chance to show others how Jesus has changed our life.

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … LORD, … Have testimony, will travel and share ANYWHERE!! … Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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