Week of February 6, 2011

Witness like Jesus

Jesus tells us that God's spirit will bring power helping us to witness. We can witness by telling others about God and His son Jesus, by sharing God's healing power and by driving out demons in Jesus name, by loving others and by helping others in many ways, most of all we can witness by doing what God wants in every situation. As Jesus encourages witnessing, Jesus defined the word "witness" by His actions. Unlike some self-promoting people in ministry today who claim to be building faith when they brag, Jesus never bragged about His ministry or what God was doing in His ministry. One time Jesus told a potential follower to "Go home to your friends … and tell them what wonderful things God has done for you; and how merciful He has been". Jesus directed people to God. The way Jesus witnessed resulted frequently in people "praising God". Jesus never accumulated money to help His ministry, rather at times He allowed some women to travel with them and support them out of their personal money. Truly Jesus practiced what He taught about allowing God to provide for Him as Jesus said, "do not be worried about the food and drink you need in order to stay alive". When Jesus said, "you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for Me", we were not to be witnessing for ourselves or own ministry but witnessing for Jesus and following Jesus' example by leading people to God1.

A classic example, of the power Jesus referred to, was Peter's ministry. As you remember, Peter as a close follower of Jesus denied even knowing Jesus three times and yet after receiving power from God's spirit, Peter stood before the very men who had Jesus crucified and said without concern for his life "Jesus is the only One who can save people". Some of the people attracted to Jesus were well known like the man He called "an important teacher in Israel" and yet Jesus selected as His closest followers, men who were described as "unschooled, ordinary men". Jesus did not seek approval or endorsements from people. He lived by His statement that "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him". Jesus gave a witness that leads people to God2.

As followers of Jesus, in a real way we are all in ministry. Before we think critically of others in ministry that may not align with Jesus' example, remember Jesus encourages "do not judge others". Paul suggests that the ultimate purpose of our different ministry skills is "to prepare all God's people for the work" of ministry or Christian service, which lines up with what Jesus teaches. When Jesus commanded us to "go and make followers of all people in the world … Teach them to obey everything that I have told you", we find that everyone is encouraged to be in ministry. When we obey what Jesus teaches, we are in ministry. As people in ministry, maybe it will benefit us to privately examine our ministry3.

A Ministry Self Evaluation Test

A: When people quote what you say, do you feel personal pride or sadness because they are not focused on the teaching from God or Jesus you were trying to communicate?

B: Do you worry about money or do you focus on what God wants and praise Him for providing?

C: When you share from God or Jesus, are you careful not to offend others or do you feel bold and assertive by telling the truth?

D: When people get to know Jesus as a result of your ministry, do you feel pride and take credit for their decision or do you praise God for drawing them to Jesus?

E: When affluent, important or high profile people are attracted to you ministry, are you more excited than when homeless people or nobodies are attracted?

F: When people are excited and thank you concerning prayers you made being answered, do you accept their gratitude graciously or do you vigorously redirect their gratitude to God?

1. Mk 5:19; Lk 18:42; 8:2-3 (TL); Mt 6:25-33; Ac 1:8 (TE)

2. Lk 22:56-60; Ac 4:12; Jn 3:10 (IC); Ac 4:13; Jn 6:44 (NI)

3. Mt 7:1 (TE); Mt 28:19-20 (IC) 4.

note: click here for bible verse and translation abbreviations

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A Psalm for reflection "I raise my voice in praise. I tell of all the miracles You have done." Ps 26:7 (IC)

Understanding the Teaching: What I share in the teaching is what I believe God wants me to share. All the direct quotes from God are highlighted in royal purple. Of course the words of Jesus are in red. Rather than follow some made up doctrine, remember that Jesus said that every thing He said (Jn 12:49) and everything He did (Jn 14:31) comes from God. All teachings and all opinions should be supported by what we learn from God or Jesus (see the scripture referred to in the footnote).


To refresh what you have learned in our Workshop or entice you to experience our Workshop

"Remember, all marriages can be better, if you use what you learned."

On March 22, 2006, a pastor and his wife in Tennessee were having a discussion concerning one of their three children. Apparently they had difficulty in communication in their marriage. To get him to talk to her, she pointed a shotgun at him. Later she said, "I intended to hold my husband at gunpoint to force him to talk about his problems with our…". The gun accidentally went off and he was killed. (note; she has served some jail time and is out and has regained custody of their children) My point in sharing this is that calling time out and using the Speaker Listener Technique is a better way to communicate than pointing a shotgun at your spouse.

Research has shown that over 80% of the people who have affairs say it is "not about sex" and it is "not about the physical appearance" of the other person. It is about companionship, acceptance, friendship, feeling good about your self, being appreciated, being admired, etc. Jesus says "Treat others as you want them to treat you." Lk 6:31 (TL) The companionship, acceptance, friendship, feeling good about your self, being appreciated, being admired, etc. that we all like and need should come from you for your spouse, not from a co-worker or a stranger.

The Better Half "When your partner won't support your efforts to make your marriage better" Without your spouse's support to improve your marriage, you can still pray daily for God's will to be done in each of your lives and your marriage. Jesus said, "all things are possible with God", Mark 10:27 NIV). Obviously it is not wise to try to force your spouse to talk to you. Jesus says "Treat others as you want them to treat you." Lk 6:31 (TL) The companionship, acceptance, friendship, feeling good about your self, being appreciated, being admired, etc. that we all like and need should come from you for your spouse, not from a co-worker or a stranger. You have a better chance of improving your marriage with kindness than with meanness.

Hi Followers of Jesus,

God loves us so much. A few years ago we got 6' tall tropical cane tree for our house that recently grew an 18" bloom with lots of tiny white flowers that smell beautifully sweet as they open. Our home smells like a tropical paradise.

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