Living Testimony; January 30, 2023

2 Corinthians 6:3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.

In one sense Christians are not to care what people think of them, because we live for the approval of God, not of man. However, we are to be careful to live so as not to discredit the message we proclaim. Paul touches on this in several of his letters, dealing particularly with eating meat that might have been bought at a market outside a pagan temple. In this chapter he gets into things that are much closer to home for most people today. Are we willing to endure beatings and the like for the sake of the Gospel? Such are common in places like India and Nigeria, progressing all the way to martyrdom. The thing is, we need to be demonstrating the truth of what we say, that Jesus is supreme and His love is better than life itself. (Psalm 63:3) When our heads are on straight – when our faith is on straight – then our lives will shine brightly (Matthew 5:16) and people will want to know why. (1 Peter 3:15) Failure to do so will make people think that all religions are equally meaningless.

My wife and I haven’t encountered persecution exactly, but we have had our share of difficulties of one sort and another. How we respond to those is being watched carefully. Cathy has been an inspiration to many because of her response to back surgeries and Parkinson’s Disease, and several people have commented on how I have been a support to her. Right now, I’m in the hospital with a fractured wrist, and she doesn’t have that level of support. This is very much a time for us both to recognize that God’s grace is all we really need, and allow Him to guide us in appropriating that grace. Yesterday I watched a video of Mark Lowry, and was really blessed. He quoted Gloria Gaither, who once said, “God shows up in the interruptions of life, and not so often in our plans.” That is true indeed! My current hospitalization was certainly unexpected, but it came at a point when my schedule is unusually open, demonstrating God’s grace. We’ve got to open our hearts to receive all that God wants to teach us, to give us in this time, not just for ourselves but also for all the people who are watching us.

Father, thank You for this reminder. It’s something I’ve known in theory for a long time, but I keep needing help in practical application. I ask You to enable both Cathy and me to keep our eyes on Jesus, and rest, relax, and rejoice in You, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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