Monday, May 3, 2010

Believing God/Spreading Influence

Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death."Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders," Jesus told him, "you will never believe."The royal official said, "Sir, come down before my child dies." Jesus replied, "You may go. Your son will live." The man took Jesus at his word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, "The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour." Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live." So he and all his household believed. This was the second miraculous sign that Jesus performed, having come from Judea to Galilee. John 4:46-54 NASB

If a group of Christians came together to share their conversion stories the circumstances would be extremely varied. God in his mercy and grace knows what it will take to bring us to saving faith in his Son. For this nobleman it meant allowing circumstances to arise that neither his position nor privilege could solve. His son was desperately ill and he had reached the end of his resources. Rumors of a holy man, a miracle worker, had faintly held his interest… now thoughts of Jesus take center stage as his last hope.

Jesus’ answer seems harsh, but many were flocking to him not in a quest for right standing with God, but for spiritual thrills and entertainment. It always astounds me when I hear testimonies of God’s miraculous intervention in a life and then hear the person confess that they still went on in sin and unbelief a while longer. The nobleman begs Jesus to come, but Jesus bids him to go and believe his word. He does exactly that…he takes Jesus at his word and heads back home. The next day his servants meet him with the news that his son is alive, the fever is broken. It occurred at the exact time Jesus spoke. His faith is deepened and his belief spreads through his household until they all come to faith.

I hope that one of the joys of heaven will be testimony time. I know that God is front and center there, but to me nothing shows his grace and glory more than the tales of His transforming redemptive power. I can’t wait to hear what was going on in the noble man’s heart and mind in that long journey home to his son. Or to hear what happened after the healing of his son in his home and life.

That was his testimony, but I would venture to say that if you know Jesus, if you have walked with him any length of time I would want to hear yours too. I have a great desire to tell what Jesus has done for me. I started asking God in earnest in January of 2009 about making new opportunities for me to tell others what He has done for me. Since that time, I have had the privilege to speak to over 200 women and give my testimony. The next day, at a private home, I met a woman who told me she was sorry she had missed my testimony so I shared it with her one on one. I also got to sit at a dinner table with 3 of my family members and give them my testimony and all of the opportunities were deeply satisfying. That’s all happened in less than four months. Jesus has a deep desire that we tell others what he has done and allow him to use it in their lives.

I needed to be reminded by this wonderful story to keep praying for spreading influence and to be ready to go and tell what he has done. It doesn’t matter the number of people or the depth of the need, it is really all about him and what he has done to bring salvation to us and to our household. I challenge you to start praying for opportunities to share. I would love to hear your stories.

MY PRAYER: Lord, thank you for what you done in our lives. Grant to us great boldness and love in sharing our stories and making you known. Give us many chances to share your good news. Help us to tell it freely, fully, and plainly. Give us your words and help us to be gracious and wise. In Jesus’ name, amen.

MY CONFESSION: This is your promise, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." Acts 1:8 I stand on your word.

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