My devotional communion message went well on Sunday. It was interesting how God set an Isaiah theme, where the scripture for the service that was chosen to be read by another person was Isaiah 55. I shared Isaiah 1-6 and 52 – 53 and our pastor shared on Isaiah 56:7 on God’s house being a house of prayer. We had a good time after the service as our fellowship continued over a fellowship over lunch, and a few guys planned a men’s BBQ breakfast for next weekend. Then once again in the night, a group of dedicated people from church came together for our fortnightly church prayer meeting. There were a number of praise reports about a number of answered prayers of which we say, thank you Lord.
While I posted the gist of my communion message yesterday, I added the following personal story to the beginning of the message. I shared how nearly 20 years ago, a prophetic intercessory type of person said to me one night, “Craig, I know your called to a 5 fold ministry, but, I don’t know which one.” I said in my heart, “Who would want to be a pastor, how blinken boring. Lord, make me a prophet!” And for the next 8 months or so, I prayed, I fasted, and I begged God to make me a prophet. Over that time, he slowly showed me that he hadn’t called me to be a prophet, and that I had no choice about the callings he had placed on my life. OOPS!!! And moved from there into my already shared talk.
There is power in sharing our own personal testimony; whether it be within the structure of a sermon, or telling someone the good news of what Christ has done for us. I’m a firm believer in apologetic’s. I am a firm believer in being able to explain the Scriptures and why we believe they are true, and the word of God. And indeed, there are very good reasons to believe in the historical accuracy of Christ.
But, I remember reading Tozer who said, “that if you can argue a man into believing Christ, someone else can argue him out of believing in Christ.” What is needed is that we introduce a person to Christ.. In 2002 I became involved in a discussion with someone on a building site where an discussion took place about the veracity of the Bible. One guy thought he had all the right answers and all the right questions which disproved the Scriptures. I was praying, “Lord, show me how to witness to this man?”The words came to mind, “Tell him, that you know Christ is real, that Christ is alive, because Christ, lives in you.” And I told him, I know Christ is the resurrected son of God, because, he changed my life, the day, he came and lived in me!”
Immediately the man dropped his hands to a surrendered position by his side. His words were profound and made a deep impact on me. He said, “How can I argue against that? I can’t argue against someone’s personal experience!” That opened the door to another dimension in the conversation, “Well, the NT, is full of people and their personal experience of God, through Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.” And I left it at that.
I am firmly convinced, that you cannot receive Christ and not know about it. There will be a heart change. There will be a mind shift. A God focus will replace the self-centredness. So by all means, continue to learn apologetic s, and continue to learn about the Scriptures – but, lets always remember, our relationship is with the God, whom the Bible tells us about. Our God relationship is never the Bible its self.