Statesmen

Music video by Bill & Gloria Gaither performing I Wanna Rock My Soul (feat. Hovie Lister and The Statesmen)

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A First Century Witness for a 21st Century World

I was attending a dinner for college students and their parents on the night before these students would be leaving for a two-week mission trip to Russia. It was a time for parents to meet each other, to receive last-minute instructions and to pray.
The college students then began giving their personal witness as to why they would go on such a mission trip. Each one was inspiring. One especially captured my attention as this handsome young man said, “I just finished reading Dawson Trotman’s biography. One day someone asked him: ‘What’s on your mind?’ He replied, ‘The world.'”
This young man said, “I want the world to be on my mind. I want to make the kind of witness that can help people live most effectively in this world and live eternally in the kingdom God has prepared.”
These young college students had the vision to make a positive witness to our world. They caused me to ask some questions about how that witness can be made locally and globally.
The last command of Jesus was to go into the world and make disciples. The last command of Jesus ought to be the first concern of the church today.
The world has changed drastically during the past 2,000 years. The witness is still the same. While we live in a changing world, an unchanging element is the witness that is made.
The methodology of the witness changes, but the message and mission of the witness never changes.
A good insight comes from Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. It was a first century witness that is valid for the 21st century world.
Our Witness Requires Proper Perspective
First, look at the perspective. Paul said, “I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, but I came proclaiming my testimony of God” (v. 1). Paul’s witness was not made in a manner that used difficult words or a hard-to-understand theological position or a display of knowledge. It was not a witness that was made down to people. The best witness is made when we communicate with people on their level.
Look at the witness of Jesus. He didn’t use big words. When He taught, He used parables. He used object lessons. He spoke so simply even children could understand Him, yet what He said was so profound the greatest mind couldn’t totally comprehend it. Jesus spoke simply.
In Acts 4:13, Peter and John had healed a man. The people couldn’t understand how people such as them could do that. They were described as being uneducated and untrained, yet they were demonstrating the power of God. The best witness isn’t based on being extremely articulate or utilizing superior words but is one that communicates, “Let me share my testimony of God with you.”
My father was the greatest preacher I ever heard. He preached until he was 94 years old. One of the greatest compliments I’ve heard was from a gentleman who recently said, “John Ed, your daddy is the best preacher I ever heard. He knows how to put the hay down where the horses can get it.”

Freedom to Memorize Scripture

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

When China’s best-known pastor, Wang Ming-dao, was finally released from prison, he stated, “In these past 20 years, I have not had a copy of the Bible. Happily between the ages of 21 to 24, I spent my time at home doing the housework and studying the Scriptures. I memorized many passages. These passages in my heart came out one by one and strengthened me. Had it not been for those words of God, not only I, but many others, would also have been defeated.”

Pastor Lamb in southern China was in prison for many years at that same time. “I understood then why I had memorized so much of God’s Word while in Bible school,” he says. “I kept my sanity only by repeating Bible verses over and over.”

The best way the church can prepare for trials and persecution is by seriously studying and learning the Word of God. Christians need an overview of the whole Bible. Understanding God’s outline for mankind in the Bible aids in memorization as well.

What is the right attitude to bring to Bible study? Some read and study the Bible with the intent to get something from it to teach to others. But first, we should approach the Bible with the desire to see the goodness and loving-kindness of God and understand how “wide and long and high and deep”is His love for us (Ephesians 3:17-19). Let His love show you His supply for your own need and then you are better able to meet the needs of others.

Second, approach the Bible with humility. Study the Bible to discover what God has said. Bible study is meant not merely to inform but to transform.

In restricted countries where Bibles are in short supply, pastors are often in a quandary as to which of the many spiritually needy he should share these precious books with. Progress in Bible memorization is one method they can use for determining who will receive the available Bibles. One house church group in Vietnam decided to give them to the believers who were most determined to use them. The criterion used was memory work. So Bibles were shared only with those who recited flawlessly Psalm 119—all 176 verses!

Open Doors is committed to provide God’s Word to those for whom it is not available. “It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes….”(Romans 1:16)

RESPONSE: Today I will memorize a new verse from God’s Word, the Bible.

PRAYER: Pray for the Christians in restricted countries where there is a shortage of God’s Word.

My Love Affair With God

I have had an affair with God. I gave my heart to God in April 1998. He has blessed me with an amazing family and a beautiful God given girlfriend (Peggy Ford). I participate in Special Olympics (have been since 2004.) I am a 2 time state gold medal winner in Golf Skills in Special Olympics (2010, 2011). God has opened doors for me via camps and Facebook. I eagerly await what God has in store for me through the  next 15 years.

Why I hate the R Word

a slowing down, diminution, or hindrance, as in a machine.
4.
Slang: Disparaging.
a.
a mentally retarded person.
b.
a person who is stupid, obtuse, or ineffective in some way: a hopeless social retard.

I dislike this term with a passion. As a person with autism, and as a Christian, It isn’t the thing to do. When u say anything, think “is it going to help or hurt?