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Tag: know

The Power of a Testimony

One of Jesus' most famous cross-cultural encounters involved a woman in Samaria.

Written by Hope on 06/10/2013

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: EvangelismFaithJesusTestimony


 

“So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord. As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece — throughout both Macedonia and Achaia.” (1 Thessalonians 1:6-7).

 

One Person's Story

One of Jesus' most famous cross-cultural encounters involved a woman in Samaria. We are not told her name, and so she is known simply as "The Samaritan Woman" or "The Woman at the Well."

When Jesus asked her for a drink, she must have been shocked. It was highly improper for men and women to converse in public. Not only that, but all Samaritans were despised by the Jews for their idol-worshiping and mixed blood. Jesus reached across both those divides with His love.

Despite their vast differences, Jesus began to tell her about God's love and plans. He said to her, "If you only knew the gift God has for you and Who you are speaking to, you would ask Me, and I would give you living water" (John 4:10). He explained that "those who worship [God] must worship in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24), and revealed to her, "I Am the Messiah!" (John 4:26).

Repenting of Sin

Jesus then challenged the woman about her lifestyle, shameful even by Samaritan standards: "You don’t have a husband — for you have had five husbands, and you aren't even married to the man you’re living with now." (John 4:17-18). No normal person could have known all this about her–she realized He was a prophet, and believed His teaching.

God's people had been instructed that sinners should "Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you!" (Ezekiel 18:30). In Jesus' day, John the Baptist had been preaching for people to "repent of your sins and turn to God" (Matthew 3:2).

Many Believed

Jesus's words so excited the woman that she "left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 'Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did!'" (John 4:28-29). "Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because [of what] the woman had said" (John 4:39).

In a few minutes’ time, the Samaritan Woman had gone from being a great sinner, to being greatly forgiven. She believed in Jesus not just as a prophet, but as The Messiah, and was unashamed to tell everyone she could about Him. Her story — her testimony — inspired her fellow villagers to worship Him too.

What story helped you decide to accept God's Salvation through Jesus Christ? Has telling your own testimony ever brought someone to a point of decision?

Prayer, Care, and Share Jesus

Using Your Testimony

Scripture: Thessalonians 1:7-9

In the Bible, the Apostle Paul points out how important the testimony and example of the Thessalonians were to other people. He also says that our example speaks more loudly than words. As a believer, your testimony is one of the strongest tools you have for telling others about Jesus.

People you’re sharing the gospel with may disagree with the message. But as the Samaritan Woman showed, a life radically transformed by God is compelling, and very hard to argue with.

Here are some suggestions for sharing your testimony:

  • Write it out.
  • Keep it short (3-5 minutes).
  • Practice with friends and family.
  • Divide it into sections:
    • Section 1 — How was your life before you met Christ?
    • Section 2 — How did you become a Christian? (you may summarize the gospel message here)
    • Section 3 — How has your life changed since you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

Your story is unique and amazing. God will use your faith stories in powerful ways to change lives! Let the Holy Spirit work through you.

It might be difficult for you to answer Section 1 of sharing your testimony. Maybe you accepted Jesus at a very young age and have always been close to Him. You can share why you love and follow Jesus. You can also describe an experience where Jesus intervened in your life and use this point to then share the gospel.


Pray this week:

God will use testimonies of believers everywhere to help people know Jesus.


We all have a story of how we came to know Christ… could you share your story with someone who asked? Practice sharing your story by sharing it with us in a message. We would love to know your story!

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How To Share Your Faith With Your Friends

Do you really love your friends if you don’t tell them about Jesus?

Written by GodLife on 12/04/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Evangelism, Heaven, Hell, Hope, Jesus
So I tell you today that I am not guilty if any of you don’t believe. I haven’t let anyone keep me from telling you everything God wants you to do.

Acts 20:26-27
My little daughter’s friend was playing at our home one day. Suddenly, I shouted “no!” and she burst into tears. Why? She was about to put a fork into a nearby electrical outlet. I hated to upset her, but her little life was too precious to risk, and her parents trusted me to protect her.

Are your friends precious to you? Do you know that God holds us responsible for one another? He tells us, “If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths.” (Ezekiel 3:18) If worries are keeping you from sharing your faith with your friends, these simple ideas can help overcome those fears:

Be Prepared
Think about how a discussion might go. You can’t expect to agree on everything, can you? A former U.S. President said, “If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing the thinking.” Don't be afraid to disagree sometimes, especially about important things. Be ready to share hope with others. (1 Peter 3:15) God tells us to make a stand, “having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Good News of peace;” (Ephesians 6:15). Valuing friends means even more than this…

Be Compelling
It is good to memorize a gospel presentation, so that you include all the main points. But don't just repeat the words. Tell your friend that this news is too good to keep to yourself. Jesus said, “go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.” (Luke 14:23). Don’t give up easily — and don’t be afraid to let your urgency show.

Be Creative
A standard approach may help with a stranger. But if you know someone well, share in a way that will relate best to them. “And have mercy on those who are wavering—save them by snatching them out of the fire; but on others have mercy with fear—hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” (Jude 1:22-23). Starting gently works best for some, while a warning about judgment works better for others.

Sharing Jesus with your friends can bring discomfort for a moment. But don’t let it keep you from telling them about God's love for them. Imagine the joy of seeing them embrace Jesus — or the regret of knowing you kept your hope a secret, locked behind silent lips.

Pray this week:
Lord Jesus, the love that sent you to the cross for my friend is the only hope he or she has. Please prepare me to bring that message, and prepare him or her to hear and receive it.

If a building was on fire, would anything keep you from warning those within? If a cure for a deadly disease was available, would you keep it secret? What keeps you from speaking to others about Jesus? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Forgive Those Who Hurt You Long Ago

No matter how difficult a situation, you can remember that God wants us to forgive one another “just as God through Christ has forgiven you”

Written by Hope on 07/07/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Forgiveness, Hurt
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)

When someone hurts you or you experience an injustice, God knows about it. In fact, of course, He knows every wrong that has ever occurred on earth, as well as the good things. "His understanding has no limit" (Psalm 147:5), and He knows that, as with all human action, "it has all been done before" (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Earthly Injustice
King Solomon wrote, “I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless” (Ecclesiastes 4:1). He noticed that people should not “be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land” (Ecclesiastes 5:8). He said this because, "not a single person on earth is always good and never sins (Ecclesiastes 7:20), so we need to recognize that we, too, are sinners in need of forgiveness.

God's Justice
No matter how difficult a situation, you can remember that God wants us to forgive one another “just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ecclesiastes 4:32). And because “The Lord loves righteousness and justice”(Psalm 33:5) , you can rely on God to help you overcome injustice by being a loving and forgiving person. It will probably be difficult, but “those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right, for there is a time and a way for everything, even when a person is in trouble” (Ecclesiastes 8:5-6).

Prayer, Care, and Share Jesus
Have bad things ever happened to you or the people close to you? Whether these things have happened recently or long ago, we know God is very serious about us forgiving others, just as in Christ, God forgave us.

Maybe you’ve experienced something like this or similar:

Somebody caused an accident and someone close to you died or was injured for life;
A parent, school teacher or another authority figure abused you or someone close to you;
A criminal killed or injured someone close to you in a robbery or attack;
Someone close to you betrayed you. Whether or not you know the person that hurt you, your friend or family member, it is very tempting to harbor anger, hate or bitterness towards them — even if you’re close to God.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling angry in your loss. Jesus understands your pain and anger because He suffered on your behalf. Because of the sacrifice He made for you, and the forgiveness He has already granted you, Jesus asks you to forgive people who bring hurt and pain into your life.

You may not even know where to start when you realize you need to forgive someone. You might ask, “How can I forgive?” Well, here are some suggestions:

Realize and accept you have the anger or bitterness in your heart about the incident (however deeply buried in your memory;
Accept from the Scripture that you have to forgive as you are forgiven;
Surrender the hurt and anger to Jesus in prayer — If possible, pray this out loud with a friend
Forgive the person(s) in the Name of Jesus;
Start praying the Lord's blessing on the person that you need to forgive.
A Helpful Tip: Don't worry if you don't know the name of the person that wronged you or if they may not even be alive now. Forgive them anyway — the Lord knows them. If the process is very difficult, — get help from trusted friend or a counselor.

Pray this week:
You will forgive people who hurt you and start to pray for the Lord to bless them.

Roots of bitterness grow deep and spread to cover all areas of a person's life. Have you chosen to 'forgive' those who have done evil to you in your past? You should ask God to forgive them for you and through you. Forgiveness is for your healing. Do you have a situation you're having a hard time with? Talk to a caring Christian about it.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member