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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.
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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
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
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
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
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
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.
witness does a lot of damage but true witness does a lot of healing and a lot of
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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,
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."
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.
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.
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
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
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.
pray and ask God to help us see our testimony and to share our testimony with
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