REPOSTToday’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Pastor Charles Choe who leads Tapestry Church in Los Angeles, was first posted on March 19, 2016. Charles is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.
One of my favorite things we do at Tapestry LA Church is what we call “Threads.” Our members share personal stories during Sunday service to the power of God in their lives, as they testify to God’s rescue, healing and restoration. I love to hear the many ways God is at work in the midst of our church family.
Peter says, in our passage today, “And he (God) commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead” (verse 42). The word “testify” is diamartryomai in Greek, which is to “make a declaration based upon personal knowledge.”
There is a place and a time in which to share absolute truths from the Word of God. There is something very powerful as we hear God’s Word being preached at our weekly worship gatherings. Our pastors and church leaders have the solemn duty to preach well-thought biblical messages for the well-being of the church. However, each of us are also called to preach and testify to the person and the work of Christ based on our personal knowledge of God.
And one might even make the case that sharing personal truths can be initially more effective as a form of communication with the “gentiles” amongst us. People who are either adverse or unfamiliar with the Christian worldview may need to simply see the reasonableness of our faith in the way we live our lives. Skeptics may point to scientific inconsistencies and maybe even the problem of hypocrisy we see too often in the church, but they won’t be able to refute a truth well lived with integrity and love. If we are going to reach a new group of people, we need live in a way people are asking about our hope, as they wonder about our motivations and the clear demonstration of God’s power in our lives.
Here is a challenge I want to leave you with this day: Do you have a testimony? Can you articulate your journey with Jesus in such a way that the truth exudes from you? How about prayerfully considering a game plan for each non-Christian relationship you have, so that when they ask about your life, you can speak to the personal truth of God’s love and power in your life. Think and prepare ahead of time, “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to be intentional with all my relationships. Give me opportunities to preach Christ crucified by word and deed this day. May Your Spirit guide me and enable me to help people see the glory of Christ! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Numbers 21-22