I’ll testify, I’ll be a light

He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. (John 1:8-9)

It came become very easy in postmodern Christianity to lose sight of its pureness and simplicity. Though God has called us to be intellectual in our thinking (1 Corinthians 14:20) by growing and maturing in the faith, it was not his intention for us to abandon the basics as we escalate the spiritual ladder.

At the very cusp of Christianity’s message is the call to evangelize. Jesus has come that we might all have life (John 10:10), commissioning us as his disciples to go and make others disciples as well (Matthew 28:19).

Our call as Christians is to be “imitators of God” (Ephesians 5:1), showing love and kindness to everyone (2 Timothy 2:24). Incidentally, Jesus says this to the disciples in John 20:21: “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

We have truly been called to the nations, and our assignment is to expand God’s kingdom through the powerful love of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle John, because of how he highlights the love of Christ, is one of my favorite biblical writers. There is such simplicity when John talks about Jesus, because at the root of Jesus’ life and mission is love; John goes on to write, “God is love” (1 John 4:16).

For this reason, I would like to offer this discussion with his texts (the Gospel of John and First John) as the primary references. Chapter one of John’s first epistle highlights the notion of light, stating:

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Having entered into fellowship with Christ, we are to walk as he walked—in the light. This is the same light that Jesus makes mention of in Matthew 5:16, saying, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Jesus has prepared good works for us to perform (Ephesians 2:10) and works in us to perform them (Philippians 2:13). Our responsibility is to allow the light of his Spirit to shine through us, that we may incite others to be partakers in this same light.

These “good deeds,” however, are very intentional. It should be our goal to display this light every opportunity we are afforded, which is actually every second we are moving and breathing on this earth.

There will always be a platform for Jesus. These attempts to mount him on the podium, however, do not have to be overtly religious. In displaying love towards someone, you are revealing God’s nature. Effectually, Jesus says in John 13:35, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

In reading the first chapter of John’s gospel, I realized how important John the Baptist’s role was in God’s plan of salvation. John the Baptist gives this testimony of himself in John 1:23:

John (the Baptist) replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”

I realized that John the Baptist’s vocation is actually similar to our Christian vocation—to prepare the way for the Lord. Our Christian testimonies are to prepare people’s hearts to receive Christ. We might not always see people receive salvation, but our effort can be the seed that is planted inside a person.

The Apostle Paul offers this to the quarreling Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 3:6-9:

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Ultimately, we are all working according to God’s purpose. His desire, consequently, is that all would be saved and come to knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). We are workman in his vineyard, going about planting and watering by the light that is our Christian testimony.

As living epistles (2 Corinthians 3:2-3), it is our job to assure non-believers that what they are reading from our lifestyles lines up with God’s word. The Apostle John says very plainly, “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6).

God has called believers to different areas of ministry. It might be one’s job to be a light as a basketball player, a model or a singer. Ultimately, though, “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).

 It’s time once again for us to be intentional with our testimony of Jesus. Hebrews 13:16 says, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” A life that glorifies God will naturally draw other people.

I’ll never forget what the Holy Spirit told me one day regarding our Lord and Savior. He said to me, “People loved Jesus for his compassion and his character, but turned away from him because of his standard!”

After all, it was after Jesus told many of his followers that they had to “eat his flesh” and “drink his blood” that they turned away (John 6:51-66). God’s standards of holiness are repulsive to the world. 1 John 2:15b states, “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” This is because our love for God incites us to be obedient to his commands (1 John 5:3).

It is through revelation of God’s love, in sacrificing his Son Jesus, however, that allows a once calloused heart to be softened by God’s grace.

Our main purpose as ambassadors for Christ is to reach the lost. The most effective tool in fulfilling this task is, in fact, godly living. What better way to testify of the risen Savior than by displaying his transformative power in our own lives?

We are called to live to a different standard, being in the world but not of it (John 15:19), that unbelievers will be able to look at Christians and see Jesus. That’s what it’s all about!

Finally, “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (1 Peter 2:11-12).

 

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~ by christianballenger on November 9, 2011.

One Response to “I’ll testify, I’ll be a light”

  1. Thank you for the encouraging post!

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