God has given me a life message to share. From the moment I became a Christian I became a messenger of God. I have a life message that I am to share with unbelievers and this message contains four parts.
- My testimony. My testimony is the story of how God has made a difference in my life. My job is not to try to convict others, but simply to be a witness to them of what God has done in my life. A personal story is valuable to people – often more valuable than sermons or doctrine.
- Life lessons. My life lessons are the truths God has taught me through my walk with Him. Though it is wise to learn from experiences, it is even wiser to learn from other people’s experiences, so God calls us to share these.
- Godly passions. God is passionate – there are some things he loves passionately and others He hates passionately. He will give me passions for serving Him and I need to speak up about this and do what I can to make a difference.
- The Good News. The Good News is that when we trust God’s grace to save us through Jesus’ sacrifice, we receive forgiveness of sins. Every Christian is called to spread this message to unbelievers. I am responsible to maximize the opportunities He provides me to share this news with others.
Of the five purposes Rick Warren has outlined in this book, this last purpose, being a messenger of His Good News, is the only one that I can do only while I am on earth. The other four purposes will continue for all eternity, but sharing the Good News can happen only now. That is why it is so critically important.
Warren quotes the Bible twenty times using eight translations and paraphrases. The only verse that stood out to me was Psalm 119:33 which in the NASB reads “Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, And I shall observe it to the end.” Warren uses The Message paraphrase which says “God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course.” The proper meaning of the verse is that we are to learn God’s laws and to honor Him that way. The paraphrase speaks of learning life lessons which is quite different from following God’s laws.
Point to Ponder
Today’s point to ponder is “God wants to say something to the world through me.” There are two things that came to my mind as I studied this chapter. The first was when the author taught about witnessing and that our job is just to be witnesses and not to be the judge and jury. I was reminded of an excerpt from Keith Green’s diary which simply read, “Tried to be the Holy Spirit to [someone] today.” I read that several years ago and it has stayed fresh in my mind. Too often I can become the accuser and I can try to convince people of what I know to be true. But the Bible says that the Holy Spirit is the accuser and I just need to be the witness.
The other thing that came to mind was that I have always felt like I have a pretty poor testimony. Warren says it is important to point out in my testimony what my life was like before I became a Christian, but in reality it was not much different. I was raised in a Christian home and read the Bible and prayed every day from the time I was a child. I attended church and all-in-all was a pretty good kid. Now there came a time when suddenly it all “became real” to me and I made the faith my parents taught me my own, but it did not result in any huge changes. Now in a sense that is an exciting testimony as it shows the power of the witness of parents to their children, but when compared to people who have incredible stories of hurt and restoration, it seems trite in comparison. Of course I am thankful that I did not need to hit rock bottom before coming to faith.
Tomorrow’s topic is Becoming A World-Class Christian