“Sing to Him; sing praise to Him;
tell about all His wonderful works!”
(1 Chronicles 16:9)
By willingly leaving the peace of heaven to suffer for mankind’s sins, our Lord demonstrated His deep desire “… that none [of us] should perish…” (2 Peter 3:9) For believers, the related question becomes very personal, “Why would Jesus leave heaven and create our spiritual calling to be His witnesses?” Quite simply, God loves us and we are His primary means of proclaiming heaven’s “Good News” to others globally!
His parting words to us were, “…you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8b)
We are ordinary people, yet as God’s children, He has entrusted us with an extraordinary calling. We are privileged to tell “…all the nations…” (Matthew 24:14) about “…[His] wonderful works!” In every century since Pentecost, personally knowing Jesus Christ and testifying about His grace, have been inseparably linked together. Praising Him on Sunday and telling about His “wonderful works” everyday goes hand-in-hand.
Let’s quietly reminisce. Think back to the time when you received Christ as your Lord and Savior. That’s the occasion described by Paul when he said, “…we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether [we were] Jews or Greeks, slave or free…” (1 Corinthians 12:13) Suddenly, our journey of spiritual growth was underway. Mentally, do you recall personally discovering that God truly loved you? Perhaps later, do you also remember realizing that His Spirit was personally living inside you! In salvation’s moment of decision, you finally unified your heart with His!
The Bible explains, “But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit.” (1 Corinthians 6:17) It was just as He promised, so being empowered by His Spirit, we were enabled to experience His amazing purpose. Finally, we were actually “…free…” (John 8:36) Sin’s oppressive grip could no longer hold us captive! Now, we belonged to the One who made us (John 1:1-5). This is why our personal story, however simple, had to be told.
Was it from pride, self-centeredness, greed, or possibly low self-esteem from which you were once delivered? Did your former pain come from loneliness, addiction, doubt or the disappointment of lust? Do you remember when your new life started manifesting the freshness of the Holy Spirit’s presence? Let your memory return to the time of your spiritual – sunrise!
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature;
the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
Freedom and speaking out have always functioned together. They represent the very essence of Christian discipleship. These are both the anticipated blessings of God’s redeeming activity! It is the Holy Spirit who enables us to recognize, appreciate, and joyfully begin talking about His life changing grace.
It was salvation’s joy that produced our first, awkward or perhaps cautiously hesitant – experiences as a Christian witness. Why? Because once we choose salvation it is difficult not to speak and sing about, “God’s wonderful works…!”
As the Psalmist said: “Oh magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt His name together.” (Psalm 34:3)
Christ’s life was the epitome of everything that is – holy, dependable, and desirable! With that in mind, stop to quietly consider your spouse, parents, children, and grandchildren. Now add to that list your closest friends. Aren’t they all frequent subjects of – your thoughts and personal conversations? If your answer is “yes,” then think about this question, “Is the Lord not much closer to you than anyone on your list?” Shouldn’t it be fully natural to talk about the wonderful things which He has graciously done for you? If so, then give Him the credit for those blessings!
If your thoughts are increasingly centered on pleasing God, then His name will naturally invade your conversations. Furthermore, you will never use it disrespectfully or even worse, as a curse word! His joy will begin overflowing the banks of your life. The Lord Jesus explained this saying, “Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘streams of living water will flow from within him.’” (John 7:38)
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
Today, as you pause to quietly think and pray – make it your purpose to be specific. How much do you personally desire to tell others about God’s “wonderful works?” Are you already a part of His kingdom’s family? If your answer is “yes,” then by faith, start letting Him regularly use you! When He knows that you are sincerely eager to serve – then He will begin reshaping your life for His purpose. You will become aware of new witnessing opportunities. This is how He continually creates the adventure of Christian ministry!
By Billie Hanks Jr.