“The other day,” Stan commented one morning, “we talked about the consequences of unbelief, focusing on the father of John the Baptist.”
“We did,” I replied. “When the angel Gabriel told Zacharias that he was going to be a father — the father of who would be John the Baptist — Zacharias didn’t believe him. As a result of his unbelief, he couldn’t speak until John was born.” [Note to reader: See the posting for December 27, 2022, “Eternity is a Really Long Time!”].
“You’re right,” Stan said. “And we talked about the eternal consequence of not believing in Jesus.”
“Zacharias suffered by not being able to speak for a few months because of his unbelief,” I commented, “versus people being separated from God for eternity because they don’t believe in Jesus.”
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “This morning I would like to focus on what happened when Zacharias could talk, and how that’s a good example for my faith walk.”
“How could something that happened that long ago have anything to do with your faith walk today?”
“Let me explain,” Stan replied. “When Zacharias’ wife Elizabeth gave birth to the baby and told the people that his name would be John, those people wanted to know if Zacharias agreed with that name. Zacharias still couldn’t speak, but he wrote on a tablet that the baby’s name would be John. Immediately his mouth opened and he was able to speak, and that’s when it happened.”
“When what happened?” I asked.
“Zacharias showed me how to have a personal testimony,” Stan replied.
“How’d he do that? You weren’t there.”
“A single verse in Luke’s gospel says that Zacharias was no longer tongue-tied and began to speak in praise of God. That’s what I’m supposed to do.”
“Speak in praise of God?” I replied. “Is that it?”
“That’s it,” Stan said. “To me, what Luke wrote about Zacharias is exactly what I’m to do. I am to have a personal testimony that praises God so that all of the people who hear what I have to say may have their hearts, minds, and spirits open to hear the truth and come to faith.”
“So they may go on to have their own personal testimony in praise of God?” I asked.
“You got it, my friend,” Stan replied with a smile. “That’s how the church grows!”
Bible verses to consider:
And they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called. And he asked for a tablet, and wrote as follows, “His Name is John.” And they were all astonished. And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God. Luke 1: 62-63.
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9-10.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for all you have done for me. You have given your only begotten Son so I can believe and know I will spend eternity in your presence when it’s time. I praise you for your free and gracious provision. I know you want me to tell others about the reasons I have to praise you, but too often I don’t. Please forgive me and help me follow every step of your lead in telling others about all of the reasons I have to praise you so they, too, may have reason to praise you. Help me to help them have their own personal testimony of how and why they praise you. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious provision of life with Him eternally so you can tell others about what He has done? If no, why have you not accepted what God has for you? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, do you have a personal testimony that praises God? If no, why? If you do have a personal testimony, do you use it to tell others why you praise God and how they can come to have their own personal testimony of praise? If you sense the need for change in any of this, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?