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Sunday, 12 February 2017



Rev. Brian Wilkie
By Rev. Brian Wilkie                                                                                    

Pastor of St. Andrew's Christian Community
Rockland, Ontario

PODCAST LINK to CFRA broadcast - Sunday, February 12th, 2017:

Broadcast Notes:


Welcome to Good News In the Morning a program of words and music bringing a Christian message of hope and encouragement to those who are looking for intelligent meaningful and spirited approach to faith and to life.

This program is sponsored by Good News Christian Ministries PO Box 184 Rideau Ferry, Ontario K0G 1W0. I'm your host today, Rev. Brian Wilkie of St. Andrew's Christian church in Rockland. As always I want to start by thanking you our listeners. We are so grateful for your encouragement and support. Please remember that you can always visit our website for materials to encourage and support you in your Christian walk.

If you miss an episode of the show you can go to our website and download the podcast or the MP3 of our broadcast. Details can be found on our website.

Testify to the Glory of God
In my previous program I spoke about the Scriptures declaring the glory of God, and I want to focus today on the idea of 'Testimony;' the idea that we can testify to the glory of God and to see that as it has a central act that we as Christians can do.

The Bible is a collection of testimonies. In fact all history is a collection of testimonies about this, that and the other thing. The Bible collects the testimonies of prophets and kings and apostles to the greatness of God. I want to start by sharing a scripture about one of the most faithful witnesses, one who was called to announce the coming of God's Messiah, Jesus Christ.

This is the testimony concerning John the Baptist, who testified concerning the Son.

John 1:6–29 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 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.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ” From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only,  who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
Now this was John’s testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Christ.”
They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
John 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.’ ”
Now some Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
“I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”
This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

There we have the testimony of John. I'm going to explore the theme of testimony in a few moments but let's listen to a testimony of Praise with the song "Lord I Lift Your Name on High" sung by the Maranthan Praise Band from "WOW: A Decade of Worship".

1) Marantha Praise Band, Lord I lift your name on High, Decade of Worship, 2.24

We have just listened to the song, 'Lord I Lift Your Name on High' and the name of the Lord is lifted on high in scripture written as a record of God's words and deeds. Testimony is how we gain evidence in almost every endeavor of life. We learn mostly from the testimony of others even in fields such as science, where we can do experiments and so on, yet we still depend on other people telling us what experiments they've done and what conclusions they have come to.  We rely on learning from others, from their experiences and, yes, in many cases we test those testimonies. We check to see whether the people are actually telling us the facts or whether the  facts are distorted in some way. In fact one of the great issues in civil society is the issue with false testimony. In Moses' law, in the Ten Commandments we have this command. "you shall not bear false witness." That phrase has been taken to be a general term prohibition on lying. It probably meant, more narrowly, that when you are giving testimony in a court, or  in some kind of a case, that you shouldn't lie about the events that are bringing a judgement on somebody else. It does apply far more generally to the idea that we shouldn't say something that is not true; something that is not in our experience.
People can bear false witness and do great damage to others by that false witness, either by leading people to put their hope in something that really can give no hope, or by accusing others and making them subject to investigation and  prosecution because they've said something false about them. Even the taunting of bullies and brutes can be, and is most often false testimony, where they highlight a supposed character flaw of somebody and make it into a false description of that person's value.

False witness does a lot of damage but true witness does a lot of healing and a lot of repair.

True Witnesses is how we come to know how the world around us works. I remember being in science class when we had the opportunity to test the theory of gravity. We would have a timer that would mark a strip of paper and we'd drop a weight attached to the paper. You'd see that the object kept going faster and faster as the dots on the paper grew father apart. Well, we were able to test the testimony of the scientists who told us that, "Acceleration happens at 9.8 meters per second squared."

But most of the things that I learned in science I couldn't test myself:  I didn't have the equipment or the opportunity. I can't, like one of the Astronauts, like Neil Armstrong, who back in the day who could look back at the at the beautiful globe of Earth from space and tell us and show us by photographic evidence what he had seen. His testimony was confirmed by that evidence and we were able to see something about the world that we couldn't have seen ourselves. I'm afraid it would just be too expensive for all of us to go up in a space ship and get that same view, so we rely on the testimony of others.

This is even more true about relationship with God, because we learned about God not only from how he works in our life but how he has worked in the lives of others.
Sometimes we wish we lived other people's lives that we saw the things that that the people of Israel saw when they were in the desert; we wish that we had were there when Jesus healed the sick. Jesus came in a particular time and place. One of the limits of God becoming flesh was it instead of being everywhere all at once the evidence of his presence was there in the land of Judea, at particular times and places and the witnesses that saw it there were privileged to have have a special access to see the deeds of God.

But they testified! and they testified truly. They testify all about the way he healed the sick they recalled his teachings and passed them on to us. They described to us through the gospels, they describe to us the wonder of who Jesus was. So that we too can recognize Jesus -  not recognizing facial features or style of hair but by recognizing the character and person of God through the testimony of others.

We are indeed greatly blessed to have the testimony of scriptures, the testimony of Believers, people who became Believers because of what they saw - and then told the story of what had changed their life. Was Matthew a believer when he sat at the tax collector's table and worked as a flunky for Rome, against his own people? No, no. Matthew was just an outcast Jew going his own way through life, trying to make meaning out of money. But he met Jesus. Jesus called him and Jesus changed his life. Matthew then shares his testimony as he not only shares his own story, but all the testimony he gathered from the other disciples and from searching the scriptures to confirm the prophecies about Jesus. He shares this testimony in The Gospel according to Matthew. Likewise with Mark, Luke and John and in the book of Acts, as Luke shares about what God did through the people of the church, the Believers, all those days. When God reached people he didn't reach them just for their own sake. When God healed people, he did heal them because of his love for them as individuals, but he also healed them so the testimony of that healing would give hope to those of us who suffer today and through all the generations. Jesus was not being playing favorites when he came in the year that we now call year 30 or 33 AD when he was doing his ministry. He wasn't playing favourites with that time and place. Instead what he did there was for all people, for all time. and we have that testimony that communicates his blessing to us in the present day.

We're going to look at even more of this and talk about our own testimony in a few moments but I do want, again, to hear the praise of others as they do declare how praising God is the theme of their life, and how it blesses their life. So this is the band FFH singing "When I Praise" from WOW Worship album, 2001.

 Now the Scriptures tell us so many different testimonies: the testimonies of Apostles and Prophets and Kings and regular people in the land of Israel, in various times and through the Roman Empire as the Gospel Spreads. But maybe some people think they don't have a testimony. Maybe you think you don't have a testimony. It's possible that at this point in your journey, in this story of your life, you may not have recognized God's hand in your life yet. I want to assure you that God is at work. The testimony of the Scriptures and the testimony of people through the ages tells us that God loves all people. There is not one person who has fallen out of his sight. Jesus, himself, whose testimony about God is confirmed by his resurrection from the dead and the wonderful works that God did through him, he testifies concerning his Father saying, "Take a look at the birds of the air, They don't sew and they don't reap, but the Father provides for each one of them." He says, "Isn't a sparrow is worth a tiny amount of money, but not one of them falls to the ground without the Father noticing. And be assured of this," Jesus says. "You are worth more than many sparrows."

You may not recognize your testimony yet, as you go through some difficulties in life, but as you allow God to work in your life; even after crying out and you haven't felt any different; even after long trials you will find That God is faithful and he will be with you.
There was a woman who was in need of healing and the scriptures tell us that she had been sick for 18 years. She was afraid that Jesus wouldn't want to heal her; that she was somehow outcast from God and she'd have to steal that healing from Jesus, so she snuck up and touched just the hem of his robe. Jesus knew that she had done that and turned to her. Instead of accusing her and taking back what she had received - for she had received healing at that time - he said, "Your many sins are forgiven." He wanted her to know that she didn't need to steal healing from Jesus that even after all those years of suffering, God had not abandoned her.

I know how many testimonies come through a millstone, come through a grinding and a very difficult period of life, and I pray that you will have the patience and endurance to find the way the story of your life leads to God's help and God's salvation.
Other people may bear false testimony. They may in fact have been helped by God in many ways, but they forgot in all the goodness of God towards them. They've kept a hold on all the grievances and bitterness and they only tell how terrible things have been. Let's not be that kind of person. Let's be like the singer says, the people who count our blessings instead of sheep. That we would be able to recognize the truth that God has been with us; that even though we have suffered; even as the Jesus, himself, quoted Psalm 22 when he said, "My God my God why have you forsaken me?" He quotes a Psalm which then goes on to talk about the difficulties and sufferings the Psalmist experienced and then how God finally lifted up the Psalmist. Jesus in quoting that Psalm not the only points to the prophecy of that Psalm concerning his own suffering but he also points to the faithfulness of God in the midst of suffering.

So you have a testimony and you will have a testimony when you see your life from the Divine perspective. Paul, himself, describes his life in these ways as he speaks to the Christians at Corinth, in his second letter.

(2 Co 4:7–15). But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Do you hear what Paul speaks about his testimony? Crushed, pressed, persecuted and struck down. That his testimony, he realizes that the difficulties he's going through will be an encouragement to the other Christians, the people that he's ministering to, because they will see the God sustains him even through these difficulties and be strengthened to face the difficulties of their own lives. God's glorious working can be found even in our hardships as he sustains us in the midst of our trials.

Let's pray and ask God to help us see our testimony and to share our testimony with others.

Almighty God, help us to see your hand. If we have seen you, if we have noticed your work then we have a testimony. We're able to say that the Lord is with us; the Lord has helped us! The Lord has sustained us!

Help us to see your glory and to be able to declare your glory to others. We pray this in Jesus' name, Amen.

Once again I want to thank you our listeners for your encouragement and support. We do thank you because you keep us on the air week by week. We want to encourage you to support our ministry financially if you can.  Our Broadcast is reaching over 7,000 listeners week by week and on the web we are able to reach people throughout the globe. So if you can make a cheque to Good News Christian Ministries and send it to P.O. Box 184 Rideau Ferry, Ontario K0G 1W0  we will be able to continue and bless others with his ministry. You'll be a partner in our ministry in this way. I also want to encourage you to tell others about this program so they can hear the good news the comes on Sunday mornings in the show.

Be sure to worship in a church where the gospel is soundly proclaimed and lived out with compassion, integrity and resolve. Now to conclude our program I'd like to have you listen to a song called Indescribable, speaking about the Indescribable glory of God, sung by Avalon from the WOW Worship Aqua album.

I do pray that the Lord will hold your heart and you would know Jesus personally and profoundly. May the Holy Spirit reside deep within your heart, may the heavenly Father surround you with his constant and abiding and accompanying love.

Good News In The Morning is produced in the Studios of News Talk Radio 580 CFRA.

Rev. Brian Wilkie
St. Andrew's Christian Community, Rockland, Ontario
To listen to the above broadcast, click on the following link:

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