sharing (2)

—I would like to share how my wife stood up for Marriage at the Great Frederick Fair in Frederick, Md. and how it challenged a violinist to also stand up and share about the Lord Jesus. 

At the fair there is a spot which is called the free stage.  There was a band. Led by Dennis Lee, who rented it and held outdoor concerts at the fair. Dennis is a Christian as well and openly talks about the Lord as well. The Dennis Lee, when we got there, was interviewing a couple who have been married for over 55 years.  My wife is proud that we have been married 55 years.  She got his attention and shared it with him.  Dennis asked her what held us together, and my wife unashamedly that it was the Lord.  She also shared briefly about reading the Bible together and praying together with her husband. 

In Dennis Lee’s Band was a violinist, an accomplished violinist—Stephanie Ann Simon. ( She was going to play the National Anthem at the Demolition Derby that night.  The Band leader asked her to play it for us while we were there.  Before she did, she looked at my wife and told her that what she said about Marriage encouraged to her to share her thoughts too.  She proceeded to talk about Jesus, and how Jesus was important to her and her home.  Wow!!!!!!!!!!  Talk about a move of God’s Holy Spirit.  One person spoke up initially—my wife, then what was said encouraged someone else to share—Stephanie Ann Simon.

—She ended her testimony with playing the National Anthem—with a performance that I wish you could have heard.  It was so moving that this retired Army officer rendered a military salute as it was played.

Seeing this move of God’s Holy Spirit in sharing a word about Christ—there must have been someone in the crowd who needed to hear that word.  May God’s word bring the fruit to which it was sent.


The above has been shared to encourage others to share their testimony.

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Lay Down in Peace

We can get so worked up whenever someone criticizes God or Christians. We want to run to God’s defense—or honestly, much of the time, our own—and say just the right thing that will shut that other person up (in love, of course). But God can defend himself far better than we can. We are called to stand and deliver, then take what comes—just as Jesus did.

Let’s consider that for a few more moments. Take off the table the idea that Jesus was the Son of God—that Jesus is God. Look, for a few moments, purely at the human Jesus of the gospels. Look at how much he loved God, and how he presented the kingdom of God and defended it—including, very often, from those who claimed to speak for God and clearly did not. Here was someone who actually knew the right answers. How do you think Jesus felt during when he was assaulted verbally—and later physically—by those who didn’t want to hear those answers?

But how did he respond? Certainly there are examples of anger—pretty much reserved for those who insisted they could represent God better than Jesus could—but there was also patience. Love. A desire that the people he responded to somehow did hear it. If that’s the model of a Christian response, who are we—a hopeless jumble of spirit and flesh being perpetually sorted out through this process called sanctification—to respond any more pridefully?

Jesus is clear about our response: “[D]o not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit” (Mark 13:11). Somehow, we are to seek the best for the other person, even when the feeling isn’t mutual. Only by remaining under the guidance of the Spirit do we have any hope of responding correctly.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:1–6).

Those who live according to the flesh stand before us. In fact, some of them may be Christians. And lest we forget, they have been us—maybe more recently than we’d like to admit. By remaining in the Spirit, we’re carried from condemnation and suffering to life and peace, and it is only by God’s grace that we can maintain that peace he’s given us. So lay down in that peace, and let the Spirit do his work through you—and despite you.

Lay It Down Today

Today, you get to practice your silence in public. Don’t be rude, mind you, but commit to keeping your verbal responses—either spoken or typed—to a minimum. Commit to not defending yourself, explaining yourself (except when asked), “expressing your concern,” or pointing out what a good thing you’ve just done.

“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil…. Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:37, 6:1).

Then, watch what the Spirit does that you couldn’t. And rejoice in it.

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