Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

image_pdfimage_print

Choose to Be Careful What You Wish For

August 18, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Choices change our lives…

By Barbara Dahlgren

 

Many wish God would reveal Himself to them through a supernatural happening. They miss the fact that not all miracles come from God. Here are a few scriptures that illustrate this:

Deuteronomy 13:1-3 says that if people foretell dreams or signs and wonders that come to pass, then encourage you to follow other gods than the one true God, you should not listen to their words. Therefore, it must be true that others besides God can perform certain signs and wonders.

Mark 13:22-23 tells us to be on guard because others than God can perform miracles that can deceive us into thinking they represent Christ.

Matthew 7:22-23 tells us that many will come to God pointing out that they had performed miracles but God will say, “I never knew you. Get away you evildoers!”

2 Thessalonians 2:8-9 reminds us that Satan has the power to perform counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders.

Exodus 7:11 recounts how Moses and Aaron performed miracles such as having a staff turn into a snake, but Pharaoh summoned his sorcerers and they did the same thing.

Therefore, miracles are not always proof of where God is working. Plus, we cannot always trust what we actually see. Just watching a master illusionist in Las Vegas will prove that. Did he really make a tiger appear out of thin air or did he make you believe he made a tiger appear out of thin air? It’s a tricky world.

When we watch faith healings on television, is the person really healed? I’m not so sure. Perhaps some, but in Jesus’ day when He gave a blind man back his sight or made the lame walk, it happened in a setting where a whole village actually knew the person. They could attest to the fact that yes, indeed, that person had been blind from birth or this person had never been able to walk. A whole town had seen them struggle day after day. That was different than watching it on TV, attending a faith revival, or having someone you don’t even know interviewed on TV and claim healing. There was no doubt about what Jesus did. It wasn’t left up to speculation.

And consider this… Miracles rarely increase one’s belief in God. The Israelites experienced miracle after miracle and still they did not believe. Once people experience one miracle, they want another, and another, and another.

Do we look to God or to what we think God can do for us through a supernatural wonder? If that is our approach, we miss some of the biggest miracles of all like Christ living and dwelling in us, the peace that surpasses understanding, and fruits of His spirit manifested in our changed lives.

So be careful what you wish for. If it’s a miracle you want, you might get it. But just remember this – not all miracles come from God.

One final thought… Looking for the BIG supernatural happening prevents you from seeing the miracles right in front of your eyes. If you learn to look at life as a miracle, perhaps you appreciate it so much more!


Choose to Get Rid of Negative Self-Talk

August 11, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Choices change our lives…

By Barbara Dahlgren

We all know that words have power. That’s why we are told to bridle our tongues (James 3:1-10). Words can bring hurt or healing (Proverbs 18:21). This not only applies to how we talk to others, but how we talk to ourselves.

We are constantly talking to ourselves through our thoughts – and most of it is not too positive. We call ourselves fat and ugly. We call ourselves stupid idiots. We tell ourselves we are worthless, unforgivable losers. We call ourselves clueless jerks.

While it’s true that we are all clueless jerks at one time or another, to dwell on it and get down on ourselves is not productive. It lingers in our subconscious and plants negative seeds of doubt. These seeds can take root in other parts of our lives and lead to destructive behavior. It can also cause depression and keep us from moving forward in the faith.

Proverbs 4:23 (GNT) tells us to “be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” Proverbs 23:7 tells us that “as a man thinks, so he is.” These scriptures caution us about how and what we think.

The father of General Semantics, Count Alfred Korzybski, once marveled, “Man is the only creature who can talk himself into a nervous breakdown and the only creature who can talk himself out of it.”

Consider this… We won’t always be able to block negative self-talk, but we can certainly limit how much time and consideration we give it. We can choose not to continuously entertain it. We can choose to replace it with those things God says are worthy of our time and thought.

God says to bring every thought into captivity (2 Corinthians 10:5). We are told to meditate on things that are noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). Thinking we are fat and stupid does not really fall in any of these categories.

We also need to view ourselves as God views us. God doesn’t think we are worthless or He wouldn’t have died for us (John 3:16). God doesn’t think we are unforgivable because He forgives us (1 John 1:9). We repeatedly condemn ourselves, but God doesn’t (Romans 8:1-2). God doesn’t think we’re losers. Through Him we are victorious winners (1 Corinthians 15:57).

If we fill our mind with what God thinks, we won’t have room for a lot of negative self-talk.

One final thought… It’s been said that you are what you think about all day long. It that’s true, then it’s best to keep your mind on things above (Colossians 3:2).

 


Choose to See blind Spots

August 4, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Choices change our lives…

By Barbara Dahlgren

 

A blind spot is something we cannot see that can negatively impact us.

Drivers are very familiar with blind spots. A car or truck’s blind spot can be quite large. It’s the area where another car, truck, bicycle, or motorcycle cannot be seen with the rearview or side mirrors. Many accidents occur when drivers don’t take a moment to actually turn their heads to glance quickly at those areas before changing lanes. If they don’t look, they won’t see what is in their blind spot.

All of us have spiritual blind spots as well. We have weaknesses we may not be aware of.

Once I was talking to my doctor about how a certain health problem I had was handled by her colleague. She said, “Yes, that definitely should have been done differently and I can see that you are angry.”

I responded quickly, “I am not angry.”

She patiently said, “Yes, you are.”

I thought for a moment, said a quick prayer, and then said, “Maybe I am angry.” I didn’t think I was angry but I’m sure my body language and tone of voice revealed my true feelings – feelings I wasn’t even aware of until pointed out to me.

Anger is a tricky thing – as are so many areas of our lives. In fact, our lives are full of blind spots we can’t get a handle on because we don’t know they are there.

Psalm 19:12 says, “Cleanse me from secret faults.”

Could some of our faults be so secret that even we don’t know what they are? I think so! And to make it even worse, sometimes we don’t want to know the truth about ourselves, especially when it comes to our hidden weaknesses – weaknesses we aren’t even aware of – blind spots!

These blind spots not only impact our lives but the lives of those around us. So it would be a good idea to ask God to gently reveal them to us and help us to make changes. Blind spots hinder our relationships with others and with God. They also block our spiritual growth. God’s Holy Spirit can search us and keep us attuned to the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:10-16). David asked God to search him and lead him towards God’s truth (Psalm 139:23-24). We need God’s guidance even when we think we don’t. Inviting God to lovingly help us see our blind spots can make it easier for us to deal with them.

Good friends whom we trust can also help us get a grip on reality with a “spirit of gentleness” (Galatians 6:1). It is so easy to deceive ourselves into thinking we are okay when we really aren’t (Galatians 6:2-5). Psalm 19:12 also says, “Who can discern their own errors?”

Usually, we can’t discern our own errors because blind spots are hard to see. Are we stubborn, selfish, or angry? Are we bitter, or resentful? Do we feel entitled? Are we ignorant and proud of it? Are we performance driven or Spirit driven? Not only do blind spots keep us from seeing the truth about ourselves, they can keep us from seeing the truth about others.

Consider this… David asked God to “forgive his hidden faults” (Psalm 19:12). Hidden faults are blind spots, and even if we don’t know what they are, we are held responsible for them anyway.

One final thought… Blind spots become visually clearer when we walk in the Light! (1 John 1:5-7 ESV).

 


Choose to Ask God to Tune Your Heart

July 28, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Choices change our lives…

By Barbara Dahlgren

 

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing is one of my favorite songs. The first two lines read:

Come thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace.

Streams of mercy never ceasing call for songs of loudest praise.

Those thoughts are profound and seem to represent the contemporary worship music movement so prevalent in churches today. “Tune my heart to sing” and “songs of loudest praise” seem like phrases tailor-made for today’s contemporary Christian. It’s hard to believe they were written in the 1700s.

The author, Robert Robinson, was born in the mid-1700s. His dad died when he was eight and for years he was associated with a notorious gang of hoodlums in London. According to Kenneth W. Osbeck’s book 101 Hymn Stories, at the age of seventeen Robert and his friends went to a church meeting with the purpose of scoffing openly at the preacher. However, the Lord had other things in mind because that night Robert Robinson became a Christian. He went on to become a minister. He wrote Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing at the tender age of twenty-three. Although his words were the contemporary thoughts of his time, by today’s standards this song is classified as a traditional hymn.

Worship music is a volatile topic in many churches. Older members tend to like traditional hymns while younger people lean more toward contemporary praise songs. A lively discussion of both points of view could ensue. What one might consider sacred, another might deem secular. Indeed, during the 1700s, 1800s, and early 1900s, it was quite common for sacred songs to be sung to secular tunes. So you see, controversy surrounding worship music is nothing new.

I think we miss the mark believing it’s a certain style of music that pleases God. God is more interested in substance than style. That’s why it’s important to have a heart full of worship for Him. The phrase I love is “tune my heart to sing.” Robinson is wanting God to “tune” his heart. Do we want a heart tuned by God or a heart we’ve tuned to give God what we like?

People who play musical instruments know how important it is for them to be tuned. For example, if a piano has not been tuned in years, the piano tuner will tune it once and then return a few weeks later to tune it again because the piano will have a tendency to waver and not stay in tune. The process takes quite a bit of time. Once a piano is tuned properly, it still needs to be tuned twice a year to really stay on pitch. Extreme cold or heat or even humidity can affect a piano’s pitch. If a piano is moved, it needs to be tuned again. That may seem like a lot of work to those of us who don’t play the piano, but to a pianist, it’s a necessity.

An analogy can be drawn for Christians. It should be important for us to have God tune our hearts often if we want to worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24), and if we want our song to truly be a sweet, sweet sound to His ears. A tuned piano can sound good whether the pianist is playing classical or rock ‘n’ roll. Christians whose hearts are tuned to God will please Him whether they sing traditional hymns or contemporary praise songs.

Consider this… Asking God to tune our hearts so we can sing His praise is a simple little prayer, but it could have a profound effect on how we worship.

One final thought… A God who rejoices over us with singing should have no problem tuning our hearts to sing His praise. (Zephaniah 3:17)

 

 

 

 

 

 


Choose to Serve

July 21, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Choices change our lives…

By Barbara Dahlgren  

A Christian is called to a life of service. We need to be serving God and we need to be serving others. This is actually a circular area because when we serve others, we are in a way serving God. Jesus said that what we do for others, we are doing for Him. (Matthew 25:40-45)

Jesus came among us as one who served. (Luke 22:27) He didn’t come to be served, but to serve others. (Matthew 20:28) Paul even described himself as a bondservant for Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:5)

It isn’t just those ordained who are called to ministry. Every Christian is called to be a bondservant for Christ. However, being called to ministry is not being called to be above others. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. Those setting spiritual examples should not only be ready to teach the gospel to others, but be willing to do something like wash a disciple’s feet. In other words, be willing to do those things that seem unimportant in human estimation, but count as everything to God.

True Christians will be serving others. Service is the overflow which pours out from a life filled with love and devotion. Service is what we bring to the relationship with God and is a reflection of our identity in Christ. In fact, being willing to serve is one of the main attributes of Christians.  Let’s look at a few reasons why.

Serving fulfills God’s purpose in our lives. Paul tells us we were created to do good works.  (Ephesians 2:10) These works have nothing to do with whether or not we receive Christ’s gift of salvation, yet these good works should be part of the Christian life. When we aren’t looking for ways to serve others, we are robbing ourselves of blessings built into God’s plan for us.

Serving follows the example of Christ. He set an example of service for us to follow and we have a responsibility to model that example to others. (John 13:15) Christ did not come to be served, but to serve others. (Mark 10:45)

Serving reflects God’s glory. As we serve others, they get a glimpse of Jesus. Peter told us to live our lives in such a way that when others see our good deeds, God is glorified. (1 Peter 2:12) These good deeds are ways we serve others.

Consider this… Every Christian has opportunities to share in the ministry of Christ. It isn’t just a pastor’s job to visit the sick, the fatherless, the widowed, the homebound, those in hospitals, those in hospice care, those in nursing homes, or those in crisis. It isn’t just an elder’s job to be sure everyone feels included in God’s plan, send notes of encouragement, extend the hand of fellowship, and invite people to their homes for a potluck or Bible study.

Remember this quote from Martin Luther King: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

One final thought… When you are in the service of others, you are in the service of God.

 

 

 

 


Choose to Have a One Day at a Time Philosophy

July 14, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Choices change our lives…

By Barbara Dahlgren

Life can be overwhelming and very intimidating. Just thinking about what needs to be done tomorrow and the next day and the next day can drain our energy and make us feel like doing nothing.

Sometimes it’s easier to think of life in smaller increments – like one day at a time or even one moment at a time. I remember the old gospel song One Day at a Time by Christy Lane. She asks God to help her make it through – one day at a time. Sometimes we might even need to ask God to help us make it through – moment by moment.

 

Here’s a little poem I found in my file that’s worth remembering…

Moment by Moment

Tomorrow’s plan I do not know,

I only know this minute

But He will say, “This is the way,

By faith now walk ye in it.”

And I am glad that it is so,

Today’s enough to bear,

And when tomorrow comes

His grace shall far exceed its care.

What need to worry then, or fret?

The God who gave His Son

Holds all my moments in His hand

And gives them one by one.

~Anonymous

Sometimes when we think of all the things we should do to be a better Christian, it can also get overwhelming. That’s why I have my “just for today” plan. I pick out one quality or characteristic I want to practice and concentrate on doing it “just for today.” Then tomorrow I pick another one. Your list will be different than mine since we all have varying strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Just for today…

  • I will start my day with a little prayer.
  • I will read a passage from the Bible.
  • I will be happy for someone else.
  • I will secretly do a good deed for someone.
  • I will not criticize.
  • I will tell God specifically something I’m thankful for.
  • I will mind my own business.
  • I will say “please” and “thank you.”
  • I will control my tongue.
  • I will smile a lot.
  • I will not get angry.
  • I will eat a vegetable.
  • And so on and so forth…

Anyway, you get the idea. If we take things we want to do in bite size pieces, it’s not quite as overwhelming or intimidating. Sometimes it’s more profitable to think of what we did get done than all we have left to do.

Consider this… These “just for today” things we do will enhance our lives and the lives of others – even if it is “just for today.”

One final thought… In the words the creator of the Peanuts comic strip, Charles Schulz: “Life is like an ice cream cone; you have to lick it one day at a time.”


Choose to Let Jesus Be the Savior

July 7, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Choices change our lives…

By Barbara Dahlgren

A “Savior Complex” in psychological terms refers to people who feel the need to save others. Some who enter into professions requiring them to care for others can sometimes think they are a person’s savior. Also, there are certain personalities who gravitate to those they think need saving – those with addictions or behavioral problems. In their desperation to want to help, sometimes they become part of the problem, not the solution.

People with a “Savior Complex” might make sacrifices thinking it is the noble thing to do. Their needs may go unmet because they feel they are laying down their lives for another. To go a step further, some think they are better than most because of the suffering they endure for others.

While their motives may be pure, sometimes their actions are not beneficial to all concerned.

Caregivers who refuse to take a break thinking, only they can attend to the needs of a loved one, soon find themselves burned out. Those who think they are helping someone with an addiction or destructive behavior by never letting them take responsibility for their actions become part of the problem, not the solution.

In the Christian world, we sometimes call this same condition a “Messiah Complex.” Some in ministry think it’s their job to save people. In their quest to become all things to all people, they end up trying to please everyone which, as we all know, is impossible. They spread themselves thin by never delegating and thinking only they can handle a particular situation. Needy people can take advantage of this. They become dependent on us, take up enormous amounts of time, and sap our energy.

If we allow one or two people to drain all our time and energy, then we have nothing left to give others or ourselves. It is not our job to solve everyone’s problems. On the other hand, we shouldn’t minimize someone’s situation. What may seem like a minor problem to us may feel enormous to them. We can still care about them as they learn to solve their own problems. And our ultimate job is to point them to the One who loves them unconditionally and can actually help them solve problems – Jesus Christ. We are not the Messiah. Jesus is!

Consider this… Only Jesus can heal! Only Jesus can redeem! Only Jesus can save! We need to let Jesus be the Savior and the Messiah!

One final thought… If we keep getting in the way, Jesus never has a chance to do His thing!

 


Choose to Witness the Right Way

June 30, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Choices change our lives…

By Barbara Dahlgren

In the Christian community, when we hear the word “witness” we think of one who stands before people and testifies about what God has done in their lives. Many might say, “I can’t do that!” They feel shy about verbally sharing Christ with others. This is indeed one way to witness, but the truth is that if we are Christians we are daily witnessing to others by how we live our lives.

It is said that the reason people come to Christ is because they have known a Christian. By the same token the reason many have not come to Christ is because they, too, have known a “Christian.” Christians are witnessing whether they want to or not.

Acts 1:8 “…you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and all of Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” This scripture actually has a double meaning. It’s true that it can refer to taking the gospel around the world. But those to whom Christ was speaking lived in Judea and Samaria, so they were witnessing right where they lived. So wherever we are, wherever we live, or wherever we go – we are witnessing to those around us about Christ. What kind of witnesses are we?

The image some may have of a Christian is a kind, caring, joy-filled, authentic person who may fall short but strives to follow Christ. Another image could be of one who is dull, lifeless, easily angered, obnoxious, intolerant, and rigid – full of pomp and circumstance with no substance. Which would be the better witness?

Even those who seek to appear to serve God can fall short. The example of the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14 comes to mind. He thought he was really going above and beyond because the law said he only had to fast once a year on the Day of Atonement, but he fasted twice a week. He even gave tithes of all he possessed, but unfortunately, he didn’t have a relationship with God. It’s this ongoing relationship with God that keeps us Christ-centered and authentic.

Or what about Christians who serve diligently at church, but neglect their families? Or Christians who go to church each week just to pacify their need for religion? Some Christians are like Jekyll and Hyde, acting one way at church and another during the week.

What about Christians who want to put on an outward show by wearing crosses around their necks, putting fish emblems on their cars, and carrying Prayer of Jabez key rings? Of course there is nothing wrong with any of these things if the motive is right. The other extreme might be Christians who don’t want to have any outward show of Christianity and take pride in the fact that they’ve led a Christian life but have never pointed anyone to Christ. All miss the mark!

Consider this… To be a sincere witness for Christ, we Christians should examine ourselves to be sure we are in the faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5) The Word of God should dwell in us and whatever we do “…in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:16-17)

God wants a daily relationship with us. After all, we are His children. Christians are children of the living God. What we do doesn’t determine who we are. Who we are as children of God should determine what we do. When we realize this, witnessing in the right way becomes easier.

One final thought… Live your life as if people are watching, because they are.

 


Choose to Understand What Witnessing Means

June 23, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Choices change our lives…

By Barbara Dahlgren

Christ says that we will be witnesses for Him. You shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and all of Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Some of us balk at the idea of being witnesses for Christ. Perhaps it’s because we have a false concept about what being a witness really means.

The word “witness” conjures up negative images of Christ being on trial in a court of law and we must testify that he is innocent. But Christ does not need us to defend Him. However, He does want us to attest to what He has done in our lives if someone asks. The Bible says to be ready to give an answer – to those who ask. (1 Peter 3:15) It doesn’t say to go out and cram the gospel down everyone’s throat. And, yes, people do that!

Many think this passage in Acts commands us to go out and witness for Christ. But not every scripture written in the Bible is a command. Some state facts. Let’s reread Acts 1:8. You shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and all of Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” Could it be that Jesus is stating a fact here? The gospel will spread to the ends of the earth and as it does, Christians will be witnesses for Christ – not by trying to persuade skeptics to follow Him, but by showing how the fruits of God’s Spirit can be manifest in our lives so others will want to follow Him.

If we call ourselves Christians, then our lives are a witness for God. Our lives are either good witnesses or bad witnesses – but they are witnesses just the same. Hopefully our lives are a living testimony for God’s goodness, so others might say something like, “WOW! That person has a peace that passes all understanding. I’d like to have that kind of peace in my life.” We don’t need to beat people into submission to Christ. We just need to reflect the beauty of Christ living in us.

Being a witness for Christ is not as difficult as we may think. We don’t have to convince others to follow Christ. Christ does that. We don’t even have to go out looking for people to “witness” to. God will do that, too. God will make sure we come in contact with the people He wants us to know. He will put it in their hearts to ask us questions about Him that we can answer.

The early church knew this. They continued steadfastly doing what they had been taught. They met together, ate together, worshipped together, and prayed together. They were happy and got along with all the people. (Acts 2:42-47) “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” The early church members devoted themselves to living a Christian life. That’s how they witnessed for Christ. They didn’t talk people into becoming Christians. They allowed the Holy Spirit to transform them into what Christ would have them be and then – God added to the church.

Consider this… With this kind of witnessing, God gets all the glory. You see, it’s all about Him – not about us. That’s what witnessing for Christ is all about.

One final thought… When we do what we are supposed to do, God will do the rest.


Choose to Embrace Being God’s Witness

June 16, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Choices change our lives…

By Barbara Dahlgren  

Jesus told the early church, “You shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and all of Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) A witness is one who attests to the truth. So this implies that people would be telling others about God’s truth by sharing their first-hand experiences.

Witnesses in biblical times were very important. Most of the people were poor and many were illiterate. The average person couldn’t read or write, so many things weren’t written down or recorded. Therefore, sharing what you had seen, heard, or experienced with others was important. The teachings of Jesus had to be passed on by word of mouth.

The Bible is filled with examples of those who witnessed for Christ in their own way. There was no specific way presented for people to share the gospel. People led by God’s Spirit don’t all witness in the same way. God created us with various personalities. We all have different occupations, strengths, and weaknesses. As unique members of the body of Christ, people use what they have to witness in their own ways. This is true today just as it was in biblical times. Here are some examples of God’s witnesses from the Bible.

 The Blind Man

This man had been blind from birth and Jesus healed him. The Pharisees did not like this. In fact, they tried to say that Jesus could not be from God because Jesus healed him on the Sabbath. Now the blind man didn’t have much education and didn’t wax eloquent in front of the Pharisees. He merely stated that he didn’t know who Jesus was, but he did know one thing. “I was blind and now I see.” (John 9:25)

Peter

Peter was a tent maker. He was a bit impetuous and made mistakes, yet his love for Christ and enthusiasm for the gospel was almost contagious. He walked on water. Christ seemed to spend a little extra time with Peter. (Matthew 16:15-23) Peter gave the sermon on the day of Pentecost when Jesus’ followers were together in Jerusalem. (Acts 2) He could attest to the miracles, wonders, and signs Jesus performed. He said, “God has raised Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of that fact.” (Acts 2:32)

Dorcas

Dorcas was a woman ahead of her time, a business owner and philanthropist. As a dedicated follower of Christ, she witnessed through her good works and living the Christian life. (Acts 9:36) She put her faith into action by serving the poor and making clothes for widows. Many mourned when she died in the prime of life. Believers sent for Peter who prayed and she was brought back to life.

Matthew

Matthew was a Christian tax collector which is almost an oxymoron. He left everything to follow Jesus. (Luke 5:27-31) He witnessed through his hospitality. He threw a banquet for Jesus and invited all his tax collector friends. The Pharisees didn’t like this, but Jesus did.

Paul

Paul was an intellectual. He knew the arts, philosophy, and law. He used his logic and reasoning to become all things to all people. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23) He once persecuted Christians but then became one. His changed life was part of his witnessing, but he was also a persuasive orator. He spoke comfortably in Athens, the center of philosophy, and defended himself in court so adeptly that he almost persuaded King Agrippa to become a Christian. (Acts 17, Acts 26:28)

The Samaritan Woman

The Samaritan woman had three strikes against her. First, she was a Samaritan. Jews did not speak to Samaritans because they considered them religiously impure. Second, she was a woman. In those days, women were to be seen and not heard. Her third strike was living in adultery. Yet Jesus chose to speak to this “three strikes and you’re out” loser in the world’s eyes and share the gospel. (John 4) She was so happy about this that she told all her neighbors, family, and friends. She didn’t try to convert anyone, yet many believed. (John 4:39-43) She witnessed by sharing her joy!

Consider this… All followers of Christ witness in one way or another, whether they want to or not. We are all God’s witnesses. It doesn’t matter what our strengths or weaknesses are. We share the gospel with those we come in contact with by the lives we lead. Our lives are our testimony. How we live is our witness. How we live declares the truth about God’s influence in our lives.

One final thought… People would rather see a sermon than hear one.