1 John 1:1-4
Jesus calls us to be His witnesses. When some Christians hear this, they worry that they need exceptional skill or charisma in order to explain the good news to others. Yet to witness is not merely to share the plan of salvation with someone. The word literally means “to see, hear, or know by personal presence and perception; testify to; bear witness; give or afford evidence of.” When John wrote that he was sharing what he had experienced first-hand, he was saying, “I am full of joy because of the experience of knowing Jesus, and I want to invite you to share in that joy.”
When you’re in love with someone, you are excited about the relationship and time spent together. Likewise, when you’re in love with Jesus, you can’t keep to yourself the joy that comes from knowing Him—it just spills over, bearing witness and strengthening other believers. In fact, as you give testimony of who God is and how He’s working in your life, it makes no difference whether you speak quietly or with great exuberance. In their spirit, others will pick up on the deep, genuine gladness in your heart that goes beyond natural happiness. And people who don’t yet know the Lord will find themselves hungering for the joy you have. In that way, they will be drawn to His Spirit in you.
Witnessing is not a matter of eloquence or talent; it’s an overflow of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As you allow the Holy Spirit to increasingly express His life and power through you, contagious joy will be the fruit of His indwelling presence.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” (Psalm 111:10)
This age has rightly been called the “age of information.” With multitudes of books and periodicals in every field of study and practice, with billions of dollars devoted to all kinds of research, and now even the “information superhighway” of the Internet. It seems everyone and every organization is posting information of some sort on its own website and email. The world is almost drowning in information.
“But where shall wisdom be found and where is the place of understanding?” (Job 28:12). Job’s urgent question can never be answered online, but only in an ancient book. “Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).
This spiritual truism is found often in that Book. King Solomon, to whom God had granted special wisdom (1 Kings 3:11-12), penned divinely inspired words when he wrote: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,” and then “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10).
If anything is missing in our information age, it is surely the fear of God, at least among most people—even most religious people. But, as our text says: “A good understanding have all they that do his commandments.”
From our New Testament perspective, we now know that “in [Christ] are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment” (1 John 3:23). Herein is true knowledge and understanding and wisdom. HMM
And thou shalt love me Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. —Mark 12:30
The admonition to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart… and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37) can mean only one thing. It means to adore Him.
I use the word “adore” sparingly, for it is a precious word. I love babies and I love people, but I cannot say I adore them. Adoration I keep for the only One who deserves it. In no other presence and before no other being can I kneel in reverent fear and wonder and yearning and feel the sense of possessiveness that cries, “Mine, mine!”…
Consecration is not difficult for the person who has met God. Where there is genuine adoration and fascination, God’s child wants nothing more than the opportunity to pour out his or her love at the Savior’s feet.
Father, may I indeed sense that genuine adoration and fascination that leads me to pour out my heart in love for You. Amen.
Make me to go in the path, of thy commandments, for therein do I delight. (Psalm 119:35)
I know that I am being repetitious—but this needs to be said again and again: our Lord will not save those whom He cannot command!
The lifetime God has given us down here is a lifetime of decisions. Each person makes his own decisions as to the eternal world he is going to inhabit. We must decide to take Jesus for what He is—the anointed Savior and Lord who is King of kings and Lord of all lords! He would not be who He is if He saved us and called us without the understanding that He can also guide us and control our lives.
The root of sin is rebellion against God, and hell is the Alcatraz for the unconstituted rebels who refuse to surrender to the will of God.
There are many arguments about the reality of hell. A man might endure fire and brimstone and worms—but the essence of hell and judgment for a moral creature is to know and be conscious that he is where he is because he is a rebel!
Hell will be the eternal domain of all the disobedient rebels who have said, “I owe God nothing!”
O Christian, do you doubt as to whether God will fulfill his promise? Shall the munitions of rock be carried by storm? Shall the storehouses of heaven fail? Do you think that your heavenly Father, though he knoweth that you have need of food and raiment, will yet forget you? When not a sparrow falls to the ground without your Father, and the very hairs of your head are all numbered, will you mistrust and doubt him? Full many there be who have been tried till at last they have been driven to exercise faith in God, and the moment of their faith has been the instant of their deliverance.