1 Timothy 5:1-16 calls upon a church to honour and care for those who are most vulnerable.
In the first post of this series, we observed that the widow of 1 Tim 5 was akin to the ‘vulnerable’ today.
The second observation is this:
I had become a Christian around the age of twenty, it was six months on. One of my new friends, a Christian guy whom I had met at church asked me: ‘How are you enjoying the Christian Life’!
How would you answer that?
I had no idea what to say. ‘Um…it’s good I guess!…I am enjoying finding out more about Jesus…Um…is that what you were asking?’
Seeing my discomfort, he asked ‘Are you enjoying your Personal Devotions?’
Well now I was totally lost! What on earth did he mean by ‘personal devotions’ – is he asking if I have stuffed up like I used too? (the answer was yes, but I didn’t really want to tell him that). Was there something that I was supposed to be doing that I had not read in the manual of How to be a good Christian?!
‘Um, I’m not sure what you mean’ I ventured. ‘Your Quiet Times?’ he said. Nope, still no help. Maybe being a Christian meant that sometime in the day I was supposed to be silent and quiet, and although I didn’t think I was particularly loud, I know that I had not given any thought to the idea of being quiet! Oh help.
Your ‘testimony’ is the testimony of Christ and what he has done in your life. As such for your christian testimony to be worth anything, it should be a testimony to Jesus using you as the example!
The Apostle Peter helpfully challenges Christians to be ready to speak about Jesus when he says:
‘Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have’ – 1 Peter 3:15
So some tips for writing your testimony…
Humble Ambition! Sounds like an oxymoron, but not when it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
To be ambitious for the lost is demonstrated in a Christian who puts the needs of others before themselves. Paul says ‘in humility, consider others better than yourselves’ (Phil 2:3). This is not a statement of worth – it is a statement of purpose. As Christ did, the Christian can and should humble themselves in order to be a servant of others – even to the point of loss.
To be so captured by the gospel of Christ that you willingly sacrifice your own interests for the sake of others and the glory of God – is ambitious.
Let me offer five suggestions for putting this into practice at Church (thankful that so many in our Church family are shining examples of this principle)…
I struggle to pray. Prayer for me is not natural, it feels labored, it gets in the way of the ‘flow’ of my day. But I should pray.
Now I feel guilty.
I know that Christians should pray. Jesus taught me to pray (Matt 6:5-15) and his apostles called me to pray (Col 4:2) and to pray continually (1 Thess 5:17). Oh help.
J.C. Ryle (1816-1900) who was a prolific preacher and writer and also the Bishop of Liverpool suggested that private prayer is the most neglected of all Christian duties and asked the question ‘Do you Pray?’