Tag Archives: power

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Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The Power of a Testimony

One of Jesus' most famous cross-cultural encounters involved a woman in Samaria.

Written by Hope on 06/10/2013

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: EvangelismFaithJesusTestimony


 

“So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord. As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece — throughout both Macedonia and Achaia.” (1 Thessalonians 1:6-7).

 

One Person's Story

One of Jesus' most famous cross-cultural encounters involved a woman in Samaria. We are not told her name, and so she is known simply as "The Samaritan Woman" or "The Woman at the Well."

When Jesus asked her for a drink, she must have been shocked. It was highly improper for men and women to converse in public. Not only that, but all Samaritans were despised by the Jews for their idol-worshiping and mixed blood. Jesus reached across both those divides with His love.

Despite their vast differences, Jesus began to tell her about God's love and plans. He said to her, "If you only knew the gift God has for you and Who you are speaking to, you would ask Me, and I would give you living water" (John 4:10). He explained that "those who worship [God] must worship in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24), and revealed to her, "I Am the Messiah!" (John 4:26).

Repenting of Sin

Jesus then challenged the woman about her lifestyle, shameful even by Samaritan standards: "You don’t have a husband — for you have had five husbands, and you aren't even married to the man you’re living with now." (John 4:17-18). No normal person could have known all this about her–she realized He was a prophet, and believed His teaching.

God's people had been instructed that sinners should "Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you!" (Ezekiel 18:30). In Jesus' day, John the Baptist had been preaching for people to "repent of your sins and turn to God" (Matthew 3:2).

Many Believed

Jesus's words so excited the woman that she "left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 'Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did!'" (John 4:28-29). "Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because [of what] the woman had said" (John 4:39).

In a few minutes’ time, the Samaritan Woman had gone from being a great sinner, to being greatly forgiven. She believed in Jesus not just as a prophet, but as The Messiah, and was unashamed to tell everyone she could about Him. Her story — her testimony — inspired her fellow villagers to worship Him too.

What story helped you decide to accept God's Salvation through Jesus Christ? Has telling your own testimony ever brought someone to a point of decision?

Prayer, Care, and Share Jesus

Using Your Testimony

Scripture: Thessalonians 1:7-9

In the Bible, the Apostle Paul points out how important the testimony and example of the Thessalonians were to other people. He also says that our example speaks more loudly than words. As a believer, your testimony is one of the strongest tools you have for telling others about Jesus.

People you’re sharing the gospel with may disagree with the message. But as the Samaritan Woman showed, a life radically transformed by God is compelling, and very hard to argue with.

Here are some suggestions for sharing your testimony:

  • Write it out.
  • Keep it short (3-5 minutes).
  • Practice with friends and family.
  • Divide it into sections:
    • Section 1 – How was your life before you met Christ?
    • Section 2 – How did you become a Christian? (you may summarize the gospel message here)
    • Section 3 – How has your life changed since you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

Your story is unique and amazing. God will use your faith stories in powerful ways to change lives! Let the Holy Spirit work through you.

It might be difficult for you to answer Section 1 of sharing your testimony. Maybe you accepted Jesus at a very young age and have always been close to Him. You can share why you love and follow Jesus. You can also describe an experience where Jesus intervened in your life and use this point to then share the gospel.


Pray this week:

God will use testimonies of believers everywhere to help people know Jesus.


We all have a story of how we came to know Christ… could you share your story with someone who asked? Practice sharing your story by sharing it with us in a message. We would love to know your story!

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Fully Facing Our Fears

Learn how to face your fears and live in peace

Written by June Hunt on 01/05/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: FaithFearGodTrust


Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

If I am walking down a path, and spot a rattlesnake at my feet, I should feel fear. But, reacting rashly could cause me to be bitten. If a bee were to land on me, I must not react to it to avoid being stung. The bee sting and the snakebite are defense mechanisms designed for their own self-protection.

Fear is a God-given response to danger. Sometimes it’s clear where the fear is from, but other times, it is hidden—causing a deeper emotional impact. God created us to react to fear in a protective way with a fight, flight, or freeze response. While fear is a natural, God-given emotion, fearfulness is not. Fearfulness causes us to live as prisoners, in constant worry over a threat that may or may not exist. We can live in a state of fearfulness when we feel threatened—either physically or emotionally—in these three areas: love, significance, and security.

Your love from others feels in danger.

Do you ever fear losing someone important in your life? Maybe you’ve thought, “If I lose the dearest person in my life, I won’t know what to do or how I can go on living.” You might fear losing relationships if your performance, talents, or abilities are not “good enough.” Or maybe it’s about declining physical attractiveness, fearing that if you start looking older or put on weight, you will lose the affection of others. The solution to the fear of losing love is to know that the Lord loves you beyond measure.  “As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him…” (Psalm 103:11).

Your significance feels in danger.

Do you find yourself fearing that you might lose your sense of identity? Perhaps you’ve thought, “If I lose my job, I’ll lose all I’ve worked to achieve.” You fear losing a sense of fulfillment, thinking that you are a failure if you don’t reach your goals. Or you’re concerned about your reputation, fearing that others will lose respect for you if they get to know the real you. The solution to overcoming the fear of losing significance is to understand your value to God. He chose to save you and has planned a future for you. …   “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11).  

Your security feels in danger.

Do you worry about financial security? Perhaps you’ve thought, “If I don’t do well on this project, I might lose my job. Then I won’t be able to support myself or my family.” Maybe you fear losing your home and having nowhere to live, no means for survival. Or perhaps you have fear about your declining physical health; maybe you constantly worry about getting sick or dying. The solution is in knowing that true and lasting security is found in a personal relationship with the Lord. …  “In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:11).  

God can help when we experience fear and danger. Turn to God and take this verse to heart … “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Psalm 56:3).


Pray this week:

Dear God, I thank You that You are my Shepherd. You guide me … You protect me … and You give me Your peace. You are the One who restores my soul. You know my weaknesses and the times I’ve caved in to fear. Now, in my weakness, I choose to rely on Your strength. By Your power, move me from fear to faith. As I turn my fear over to You, use it for good in my life to remind me of my need for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
 


What in your life is currently causing you to fear? What would it look like to trust God and move in faith in your situation? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How much power does the Holy Spirit have? The Spirit has all the power of God because He is God

How much power does the Holy Spirit have? The Spirit has all the power of God because He is God.

WATCH THIS VIDEO:  https://youtu.be/7spkUy2WinM

How much power does the Holy Spirit have? The Spirit has all the power of God because He is God. The life-giving power of the Spirit is seen at creation. We are told in Genesis 1:2 that the “Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters" and that God said, "Let us make man in Our likeness" (Genesis 1:26), demonstrating the equality of the God and the Spirit. We receive the POWER of the Holy Spirit the moment we receive Christ. Romans 8:11 says, "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."

"Then he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." John 20:22-23

Power to Love and Witness
What kind of power does the Holy Spirit give? Paul tells us two important things. The Spirit gives us the power to love others as God loves us and to be witnesses for Jesus. Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

Ask and Receive
Where do we begin to access this power? We begin by asking God to fill us with His Spirit and confessing areas where we have ignored God. Jesus said, "how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luke 11:13). Ask the Holy Spirit today to help you love others as God does and be a great witness to Jesus in the world. You will begin to experience the abundant life God has for you as you do.

"After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness." Acts 4:31

Can we witness to others without God's love in our hearts? Can we truly love others but not share Jesus with them? Do you have fears about witnessing? Talk to a caring Christian about them.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member