“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” I Corinthians 13:1-3
In a recent blog series, I had spoken about Standing Fast to your Convictions, but at the same time remembering to Speak the Truth in Love (Ephesians 4:15) when you are discipling or confronting someone with the truth of YHVH’s word. This week I want to give you a real-life example of this which is etched into my heart right now due to the passing of my only brother.
Over the 27+ years since I have been a born-again believer in Yeshua, I have witnessed to people within my circle of friends and family, as well as casual acquaintances and strangers. However, the two people I witnessed to most fervently over those years were my father (deceased in 2001) and my brother, who passed on earlier this week. As I felt a special burden from the Holy Spirit to witness to these two significant people in my life, I tried a number of different approaches to spiritual seed-planting, attempting to tear down the intellectual and emotional barriers that kept those seeds from taking root and bearing fruit.
Many of my approaches did not bear fruit, because I was trying to prove the truth of the Scriptures and the existence of a Creator God through intellectual debate, which only spoke to their minds and not their hearts. I was far more effective when I stopped trying to “win the argument” with them, and started giving them my personal testimony of how God changed my life and brought meaning and purpose to my brief existence on this earth. This brought our conversations down to a heart level, and even though they still were not ready to accept all the truths I shared with them, they no longer felt threatened that I was trying to change them or prove them wrong.
While I do not recommend experimenting on your family members with different witnessing techniques, we do need to always remember to speak the truth in love and let our words be seasoned with the salt of grace. Once you learn to keep the focus on your own personal spiritual journey and your relationship with Abba Father and His Son, Yeshua, then you have a greater opportunity to break through all the barriers that inhibit people from receiving the truth. With this approach, the people you are witnessing to feel less threatened and are more receptive to your message, since you are just sharing from your own personal experience.
I will not tell you the specific results of years of witnessing to my father and my brother, but I will say that our spiritual conversations brought us closer together in our own relationships with each other. One great benefit of sharing your personal testimony is that people feel closer to you as you share with them in confidence and they get to know you on a deeper and more intimate level. Although I lived 3000 miles away from my brother and did not get to see him face-to-face more than once every few years, I felt very close to him in spirit and soul in spite of the miles separating us. I feel a great empty space in my soul now that he has left his earthly home, but I also feel great assurance that he is with Abba in heaven and is experiencing joy and Shalom as he never could in the limitations of his physical body.
The central mission of our ministry is to help believers stand firm to their convictions and hold fast to their faith under persecution, equipping them to become the overcomers they always wanted to be – and that the Scriptures promise them they can be. We want you to become all that you can in YHVH’s kingdom, and overcome your fears and self-consciousness so that you can share Yehovah’s love with as many people as possible before you depart this planet.