Posts Tagged ‘ Witness ’

Who Sees You?

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. Mark 16:15 NRSV

In a recent radio show, the commentator told the story of MP900439536[1]a group of students meeting with various leaders to discuss important concerns. The event lasted several hours, and during the meeting a popular rap star appeared. His arrival was heralded by loud applause. He stayed for only 30 minutes. While there, he made a few comments that were not particularly helpful to the dialogue, but were met with thunderous applause.

After the singer left the gathering, the students were asked why they paid so much attention to him. One student spoke up and said, “We listen to those we see.”

What a remarkable statement! I think he is telling us that the generation we are educating today listens to those we put in front of them. When we provide role models through the media that appeal to some of the most base and vulgar aspects of the human experience, we should not be surprised when those watching end up valuing what they are hearing.

Of course I have little control over the media and music of my day. But I am someone seen by others. MP900422593[1]Every year hundreds of college students sit in my classroom for 30+ hours a semester. I am one of the instructors my college puts in front of them.

So I ask myself, what do they hear me say? Am I modeling a life that respects others, that values truth, that loves, honors and serves Jesus Christ? I hope so. I also hope that when I leave the classroom my students have heard words that have built them up, that have inspired them to learn more, to make positive changes in their life and to seek God.

You are also seen by many others. Those who see you are listening to you, whether you realize it or not. What is your life saying to them? What kind of message does the time you spent with them leave them with?

In the early church, Jesus’ disciples made themselves visible and proclaimed the good news. Many who saw them heard and responded.

MP900442849[1]Today you and I are the disciples Jesus is counting on. People listen to those they see. When you are seen, let the love of Jesus shine through your every thought, word and deed!

Socially Desirable Responding

They all deceive their neighbors, and no one speaks the truth… Jeremiah 9:5 NRSV

42-15737535I ask my psychology students to conduct a survey each semester. I want them to get a feel for doing real research.

One of the surveys asks, “What are the top five things that make you happy?” One semester a student reported the answers of a mall shopper. After the shopper finished the survey, he said, “Now do you want to really know what makes me happy?” He then went on to list things like alcohol and drugs.

That shows people aren’t always honest in describing themselves. Typically, especially when put on the spot, people tell you what you want to hear. Researchers call that socially desirable responding.

I think the more sensitive the topic is, the more likely people are to answer in socially desirable ways. That is especially true when it comes to matters of faith. Today’s video vividly illustrates that point by contrasting the witness a young man professes, with the thoughts the young man is thinking. To view the video, please click here

Thankfully, God knows the heart. God looks behind our words MP900443136[1]and searches our inner being. What we say many sound good and create a respectable image. But the faith we profess is of little use if it does not match how we truly think and feel on the inside. The truth lies within.

God knows what you and I really think. Why not be honest, and talk with God about where you really are in your faith journey. Then invite Jesus to meet you there. As you do, he will lead you to where God really wants you to be!

Let Your Light Shine!

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.” Matthew 5:14-15 NRSV

MP900178051[1] One of the songs children first learn in Sunday School is This Little Light of Mine. They often sing it with delight, as they raise their fingers up to let their lights shine!

Letting our lights shine is not for children only. Jesus wants us all to do it. In fact, he said it was the only thing that makes sense for his followers. No one lights a lamp and hides it. Light is there to shine!

Today I encourage you to take a moment and enjoy this new version of This Little Light of Mine. As you listen and watch, imagine yourself lighting your light for Jesus Christ!

Click here for today’s music and video.

A Living Witness

“One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” John 9:25b

MP900402574[1]What a witness! The man was born blind, then Jesus touched him. Now he sees! 

How could this be? The Pharisees are trying to get to the bottom of all this. They question the man relentlessly. They even call in his parents. Then they call the man back again. Despite all their questions and their threats, one truth rings out loud and clear, this man was blind, and now he sees.

Since the Pharisees can’t dispute the evidence of a miracle, they decide to try a theological argument. They cite the Law. They claim their allegiance to Moses, and they call Jesus a sinner.

The blind man doesn’t know much about such things. He has been a beggar living and working on the streets most of his life. He knows he doesn’t stand a chance when it comes to arguing about theology. So he sticks to what he knows. He knows Jesus, and he knows what Jesus did for him.

Stick to what you know, stick to Jesus!Businessman talking on cell phone

There is perhaps no more powerful witness than a person who stands up and testifies about what Jesus has done for them. Jesus’ touch may not always happen when we expect, or in the way we expect, but when he touches us, we know it!

The Pharisees did not want Jesus’ touch. They were perfectly happy being spiritually blind. They liked living a life that was bound up by a legalistic theology and tradition. They didn’t want to see, and they didn’t want the touch of Jesus’ grace.

Do you want what Jesus has to give?

What do you want? Do you want the touch of Jesus Christ to restore your body, renew your mind and redeem your soul? Or do you want to keep things just as they are, and maintain the status quo?

Most of us have felt Jesus’ touch. We were blind, but now we see. Still, we want more. We want to see even more clearly. We want to walk in the light of truth, and live with an even stronger faith.

With Jesus Christ, that is exactly what will happen. So keep turning to him, stay close to him, and trust him for your every need. Then, as you experience his touch, give him the glory, and tell others that though you were blind, now you see!

Let your Life Be a Living Testimony For Jesus Christ!

Prayer,

Jesus, you have the touch I need. I need your restoring, redeeming touch. Let your grace flow freely into my life. Then help me to witness to all that you have done for me. Make me a living testimony to your love!

Amen. Say copy