THE INESTIMABLE VALUE OF YOUR TESTIMONY, PART 2

We’ve looked at Naaman. Now I’d like for us to look for a moment at this servant girl.

A. IN ORDER FOR US TO TESTIFY WE’RE GOING TO NEED TO LOVE PEOPLE. Place yourself in the sandals of this captive, Israelite girl. You’ve been forcibly uprooted from your home, maybe even your family. You’ve been taken against your will and you’ve been made a slave. For the rest of your life you’re going to do whatever your master wants you to do. Chances are, you’ve been raped and abused. You’ll not know the joys of being independent and free to do whatever you want to do with your life. You can’t go wherever you want to go. You can’t love and marry whoever you want to love and marry. Your life has all been planned out for you and you have absolutely no say about it. Your master is the enemy who’s responsible for your present and lifelong predicament in slavery. He’s a leper. You can rejoice in his misfortune and hope he dies:  “I hope you die.  Maybe then I can go free, or stand a better chance of running away.” Or you can feel sorry for him, love him, and try to help him. You can tell him about the miracle-working prophet in Israel who can cure him. The girl had a choice. To be bitter and shut up. Or love and speak up.

Brethren, YOU CAN’T BE EVANGELISTIC AND TESTIFY IF YOU DON’T LOVE PEOPLE. IF YOU WANT TO TESTIFY FOR THE LORD AND CHANGE PEOPLE’S LIVES AND DESTINIES FOREVER, YOU’VE GOT TO LOVE AND CARE ABOUT THE PEOPLE YOU MEET. THE PEOPLE WHO ARE ALL AROUND YOU.

B. IN ORDER FOR US TO TESTIFY WE NEED TO HAVE FAITH. As a servant girl you’ve got to have some measure of confidence and faith that the prophet is going to heal your heathen master. Remember, the Syrians and Israelites are sworn and mortal enemies. Girl, what makes you think the prophet is even going to want to heal this heathen enemy? Sure, Elisha’s done a lot of miracles. But he’s never healed leprosy (Luke 4:27). What makes you think he can heal your master? What if Elisha tries to heal Naaman and can’t? So it boils down to this: Can the prophet heal him? And if he can, would he even want to heal him? You see, it’s going to take faith on your part to speak up and tell your master about the miracle healing prophet in Israel.

C. IN ORDER FOR US TO TESTIFY WE NEED COURAGE. As a slave in Naaman’s house you’ve got to be courageous enough to tell Naaman’s wife that there’s hope and healing for him in Israel. You’ve got a thousand doubts and questions racing through your mind. What if Naaman goes to Israel and it doesn’t work? What if he comes back home a leper still? Wow, he’d be so mad at me, he’ll kill me.

Why don’t we tell people about Jesus? It is because we’re afraid to speak up? Because we don’t really believe they’ll want to get saved? Because we don’t really love and care enough about them to share the Lord with them?

IN CLOSING

As we bring this sermon to a close, what do we do with something truly priceless and valuable? (1) WE SAFEGUARD IT. We protect it and keep it safe so that we don’t lose it, no one steals it from us, no one breaks or ruins it.

Friends, you can lose or ruin your testimony by living a heathen life or by setting a lousy example of what a Christian should be. If you cuss on a regular basis; if you lie, and steal, and cheat people; if you enjoy listening to, and telling, dirty jokes and stories; if you’re a drunkard and hang out in the bars with the guys; if you gamble and fornicate like the rest of your heathen friends; if you’re into porn or sexual abuse; if you seduce women and children; if you flirt with men, or entice young boys; you’re ruining the one thing that you can use to bring your friends and loved ones to the Lord.

WHEN YOU RUIN AND LOSE YOUR TESTIMONY YOU’VE GOT NOTHING TO OFFER PEOPLE. They’re not going to receive your testimony because you’re nothing but a hypocrite, a sinner who calls himself a Christian and a church-goer. You’re no better than the rest of them. God can’t use you to reach others for Him because you’ve lost the only thing that will bring them to Him—you’ve lost your testimony.

So what happens if you’ve lost your testimony? Work hard to get it back. That might take some time. But get it back. And keep it. Quit acting like a heathen. YOU CAN’T BE EVANGELISTIC IF YOU’RE LIVING AND ACTING LIKE A HEATHEN. A TRUE CHRISTIAN WILL BRING PEOPLE TO JESUS. A HYPOCRITE WILL TURN PEOPLE AWAY FROM HIM.

In the second place, what do you do with something truly valuable? When it comes to earthly things, we hide it. We don’t let a whole lot of people know about it because we don’t want our homes to get broken into. But in the spiritual realm, (2) WE DON’T HIDE OR HOG OUR TESTIMONY. WE DON’T KEEP IT TO OURSELF. WE DON’T KEEP QUIET ABOUT IT.  WE SHARE IT!

You can’t take your money or possessions to Heaven. THE ONLY THING YOU CAN TAKE TO HEAVEN WITH YOU ARE THE SOULS OF THOSE WHO YOU’VE IMPACTED AND CHANGED BY YOUR TESTIMONY.

How many of you are saved today because someone told you about the Lord? Someone brought you to church? Your parents? A preacher? A teacher? A Sunday School worker? A friend? A nameless servant girl? Pay it forward and go thou and do likewise. You’ll have a lot of people thanking you in Heaven for the part you played in getting them saved. May God bless you and help you safeguard, and share, your testimony.

1 Comment

  1. Nancy Ludden said,

    July 26, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    Regarding the first part of this post: in order to testify, we need to love the other person . . . this speaks to part of my life.

    When I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit I was full of zest and joy, but one day the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. He said one word. It was “raca”. Well, I knew that the Holy Spirit was referring the way that I was treating my mother, but I was confused about ‘what the Holy Spirit meant’.

    Well now that I am older and my mother has long passed away, I clearly understand what the Lord was saying to me. I was treating my mother with ‘distain’. I was bitter against her and disregarded her.

    I just looked up ‘raca’ on the net and the definition said that it was ‘to spit upon’ a person.

    My hypocrisy kept me from the most precious experience that I could have had in my life – ie. stepping down off of my high throne and sitting at the feet of the woman who would have given her life over and over again for me. . . . washing her feet and loving her.

    Regrets – yet hope, in that the Lord finally did break my high spirit. And now, thankfully, I am able to genuinely CARE for others. To Him be all the glory.


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