Monday, 5 January 2015

What is God's testimony of me?

If we examine the occurrences of the Greek word martureo (“testify”; Strong’s nº 3140), we will notice that the Holy Spirit presents to us a very interesting picture of God testimony of His servants. The word is used 79 times in the Bible describing men testifying of other men, God testifying of His Son, etc. But only three times is it used in relation to God testifying of a human being. And these three occurrences present to us God’s servants in relation to the past, the present and the future.

The past (Acts 15:8): acceptance

When God saved the gentiles in Cornelius’ house, Peter said that “God … bare them witness [martureo], giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; and put no difference between us and them”. In giving them the Holy Spirit, God recognised publicly, before prejudiced Jews, that gentile believers were accepted before the God of Israel on the same footing as Jewish believers.

As a believer, I can look back to the moment when I was born-again, and thank the Lord for giving me the right to serve Him. I was transformed from a servant of sin into a servant of God, and now I am accepted before Him.

The present (Acts 13:22): aspiration

After rejecting Saul, the man after the nation’s heart, God presented His king, the man after His heart, “David … to whom also He gave testimony [martureo], and said, I have found David the son of Jesse … which shall fulfil all my will.” In choosing David God declared that this man had the honest desire to fulfil all of God’s will. Of course he wasn’t perfect (the Bible’s narrative of his life makes that clear), but his life would be lived according to this principle: fulfilling the Lord’s will.

Like the Gentiles in Acts 10, I am worthy of serving God; am I willing?

The future (Heb 11:4): approval

After Abel died, God inspired the write of Hebrews to tell us that “he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying [martureo] of his gifts” (i.e., what Abel offered to God). Abel died, but “he being dead yet speaketh”. God publicly testified that the sacrifice of Abel, fruit of his faith, was approved and received by Him.

One day the Lord will evaluate my service also. He, who accepted me and gave me the right to serve Him, who knows whether I aspire to serve Him or not, will declare whether my service was approved or rejected. He will prove it by the fire of His word (I Co 3:10-15); what will be the result?

He has accepted me in His service; He is the inspiration for my feeble aspirations; may I so live that He may approve my service on that day, testifying of my gifts.

© W. J. Watterson

No comments: