REPOSTToday’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Cami King—now a friend of AMI—was first posted on March 21, 2015. Cami served faithfully as a staff at several AMI churches in the past.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“What Gives Us the Right to Speak into Another Person’s Life?”
While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s. 12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.
A well-known Christian apologist writes: “I recall on one campus some years ago finishing a tough series of meetings. On the day I was departing from that city, my host mentioned to me that he had brought his neighbor, a medical doctor, to the last meeting. ‘She is a skeptic through and through,’ he said. ‘Would you like to know what her response was to your presentation last night?’ he asked. Knowing full well that I had no choice, I answered rather eagerly in the affirmative. This was his reply of sentiments: ‘Powerful… simply powerful… I wonder what he’s like in his private life.’ That was her one-line response to a three-hour evening. In short, the entire weight of the argument rested, for her, on the coherence between the argument and the enfleshing of the argument. The reasoning was not good enough. The practical impact in the private life of the reasoned was the final test.”
What gives us the right to speak into another person’s life? As someone in full-time ministry, I’ve had to ask this question quite a bit regarding people within the church. But what about people outside the Christian community? In our politically correct, tolerant society, it can feel not only inappropriate, but down right rude to speak (let alone preach) into someone else’s life – particularly if our words are unsolicited and potentially offensive. So how do we get a foot in the door and a listening ear? How do we get license to speak the Gospel to the outside world? In our passage for today, Peter and John’s healing of the paralytic man gave them the platform from which to speak. It was the Spirit at work in them, as they simply lived a faithful life of worship and devotion, that granted them the attention of the outside word.
As the story above illustrates, more so than our well-formed arguments and eloquent words, the message of the Gospel is taken seriously when the people who preach it live a life that is harmonious with the message they preach. Our lives are a better testimony than our words. Many of us never find ourselves needing to be ready to give an answer for the hope we have (1 Peter 3:15) because no one ever asks. May our lives bear witness to the goodness of God and give us a platform from which to share His good news.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, make my life a living witness to your goodness. May I live in such a way that others want to know more about the hope I have in You. And when I’m given the platform to speak, may I proclaim your truth in the power of your Spirit, to the glory of Your name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Esther 8-9