The Privilege of Being God’s Testimony

Today’s message from Pastor Gus Brown:
God is seeking to do something in the lives of His people that is extraordinary. Why? He wants to you to see how He is working through you and for others to see God’s glory. God wants us to be a reflection of Jesus Christ in the world today.Through His church, God is creating stories of His testimonies, and He is doing it in such a way that it cannot be ignored. Testimonies are about what God has done, and they are well beyond what people accomplish. God manifests Himself through our witness out of obedience of His people.Two examples of God making a testimony of Himself:

Joshua 2:9-11
…9 and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and everyone who lives in the land is panicking because of you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings you completely destroyed across the Jordan. 11 When we heard this, we lost heart, and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below.

What the Lord does for the person who is obedient to Him demonstrates to others His very presence. People will see it and take note of it. Through our obedience, God makes a witness of Himself.

Daniel 6:10-24
10 When Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went into his house. The windows in its upper room opened toward Jerusalem, and three times a day he got down on his knees, prayed, and gave thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel petitioning and imploring his God. 12 So they approached the king and asked about his edict: “Didn’t you sign an edict that for 30 days any man who petitions any god or man except you, the king, will be thrown into the lions’ den?”

The king answered, “As a law of the Medes and Persians, the order stands and is irrevocable.”

13 Then they replied to the king, “Daniel, one of the Judean exiles, has ignored you, the king, and the edict you signed, for he prays three times a day.” 14 As soon as the king heard this, he was very displeased; he set his mind on rescuing Daniel and made every effort until sundown to deliver him.

15 Then these men went to the king and said to him, “You as king know it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no edict or ordinance the king establishes can be changed.”

16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” 17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den. The king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of his nobles, so that nothing in regard to Daniel could be changed. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting. No diversions were brought to him, and he could not sleep.

19 At the first light of dawn the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he reached the den, he cried out in anguish to Daniel. “Daniel, servant of the living God,” the king said, “has your God whom you serve continually been able to rescue you from the lions?”

21 Then Daniel spoke with the king: “May the king live forever. 22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths. They haven’t hurt me, for I was found innocent before Him. Also, I have not committed a crime against you my king.”

23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to take Daniel out of the den. So Daniel was taken out of the den, uninjured, for he trusted in his God. 24 The king then gave the command, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and thrown into the lions’ den—they, their children, and their wives. They had not reached the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.

Sometimes, God will allow those who have been faithful to Him to go into a “lions’ den.” It is certainly a test, but it is ultimately our actions through this season of time that give a clear indication of God’s presence, and His testimony. Daniel’s obedience led to God’s testimony of Himself to everyone present.

Daniel 6:25-28
25 Then King Darius wrote to those of every people, nation, and language who live in all the earth: “May your prosperity abound. 26 I issue a decree that in all my royal dominion, people must tremble in fear before the God of Daniel:

For He is the living God,
and He endures forever;
His kingdom will never be destroyed,
and His dominion has no end.
27 He rescues and delivers;
He performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth,
for He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions.”

28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

It is God who provides what is needed in our obedience to Him.

When Jesus speaks in Matthew 16:18 and states “I will build My church,” He means just that. He does just that. We are His co-laborers and have this as a privilege in the process.

1 Corinthians 3:9
For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

Matthew 16:18
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it.

Let’s examine the word “rock” here. Many interpret this to mean Peter as the rock. The correct interpretation is that Christ is the Rock that is referred to. A position of strength.

2 Samuel 22:32
For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is a rock? Only our God.

Psalm 18:31
For who is God besides Yahweh?
And who is a rock? Only our God.

Isaiah 28:16
Therefore the Lord God said:
“Look, I have laid a stone in Zion,
a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
the one who believes will be unshakable.

Remember in Matthew 4 that Jesus was taken into the wilderness. He was tested and remained true. He is also the Cornerstone and the Foundation of the church.

1 Peter 2:6
For it is contained in Scripture:

Look! I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and honored cornerstone,
and the one who believes in Him
will never be put to shame!

Ephesians 2:20
…20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone.

1 Corinthians 3:11
For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ.

By trusting in Jesus Christ, you are not under fear. You are living in confidence and will remain courageous, in spite of any difficulties that occur.

Jesus Christ is building His church; therefore, the true owner of the church is indeed Christ. God is the one who plants and build churches everywhere. He uses His people to do this, but each church comes about according to His will and purpose. When Jesus makes the statement of building His church, He was a visionary. His provision for every church is evidence of His involvement as His people remain obedient to Him.

As a people, we are a part of the church, but we don’t own it. We should remain prayerful as to knowing God’s will for His church.

Acts 20:28
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock that the Holy Spirit has appointed you to as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.

Jesus knew that He would have to sacrifice Himself, as well as martyrs and missionaries, for the future of the church and the ministry.

Ephesians 1:22
And He put everything under His feet and appointed Him as head over everything for the church.

Colossians 1:18
He is also the head of the body, the church;
He is the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead,
so that He might come to have
first place in everything.

The church is not the brick and mortar of s building. The real brick and mortar consists of those who are sitting in the pews of the church. The people of the church are coworkers of Jesus, and He has already done the work to provide for many to be saved–past, present and future. He changes the hearts of men to recognize that they need a Savior.

John 19:30
When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

God opens the door for people to see the need for salvation.

Acts 14:27
After they arrived and gathered the church together, they reported everything God had done with them and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.

Acts 2:47
…praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.

The place of Hades is a stronghold that Jesus Christ promises will not prevail or overcome what He has done. Jesus Christ promises eternal life for those who believe and trust in Him.

1 Corinthians 15:55-56
55 Death, where is your victory?
Death, where is your sting?
56 Now the sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.

Colossians 2:13-15
13 And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses. 14 He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; He triumphed over them by Him.

Even though we have the victory in Jesus, Satan will still be ever present, but we have to trust in Him and rely upon Him in our obedience to Him. We will be tested to remain faithful to Him.

Luke 22:31
“Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat.

2 Timothy 4:18
The Lord will rescue me from every evil work and will bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever! Amen.

The church is God’s testimony of Himself through His people for all to see.

Ephesians 3:10
This is so God’s multi-faceted wisdom may now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavens.

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