Recently I was most blest in a conversation with a taxi driver who told me how his ten siblings, including his parents, came to know Christ. The most amazing part was that of his sister-in-law who was resistant to the gospel for a long time until the passing of his father. On the day of the funeral, he noticed that this sister-in-law was standing and staring into the coffin for a very long time. The following day, when the whole family went to collect the ashes, the sister-in-law declared that she wanted to become a Christian! They were absolutely surprised. They asked her ‘why’ and this is how she answered: “When I looked at my father’s face in the coffin, he looked so peaceful. All my life, I have been afraid of death. All the people whom I knew who had died, had such fear on their faces, but not my father. He seemed to be asleep and there was peace and hope on his face. This is why I want to be a Christian so I too can have peace and not be afraid of death.” How powerful is that!
Another recent happening was a phone call I received from an 80-year-old widow, a dear family friend. In the course of our conversation, she shared that she and her late husband had learnt the lessons of trusting God, living sacrificial lives, showing hospitality and living out the gospel in love and action, through their long association with my parents! I was almost blown away when she told me story after story of how my mother and father had impacted her life as a young Christian. I knew her as a young person and remembered the many times she had come to our home and had meals with us but never realized the deep impact my parents had on her. She went on to say how she and her husband lived out the gospel in their lives and were instrumental in the conversion of her 90-year-old mother who had opposed her Christian faith for many years. To her amazement, one day her mother announced to the whole family that she wanted to follow our friends, “Sally’s and George’s God”! She had gone from one temple to the other for many years but none of them gave her any comfort or peace! What a joy it was for our friends, who never coerced their mother but faithfully lived out their faith as ‘salt’ and ‘light’ in their every day lives and God was quietly and powerfully at work!
Two amazing stories of how our amazing God moves in and through the lives of His people, transforming them and using their lives to speak volumes and bring people, even hostile people, into His kingdom.
Our personal testimonies can be powerful tools to bring people to Christ. This is what Peter said to the Christians scattered throughout Asia Minor – “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits you.” (1 Peter 2:12).
Jesus said the same to His disciples – “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16). God has redeemed us through faith to do good works. When we live exemplary lives by the good deeds we do, people will see and be attracted to the God we proclaim as our Lord and King and our Father in heaven will be glorified!
Let us continue to say “‘no’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself up for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:12-14)
By Dr Violet James (YCKC Bulletin 22&23 August 2015)