Open Up: Open Life

Open Up  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  32:46
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As we continue our series, we are going to look at the importance of our story, and how sharing God's impact in our life can make all the difference in someone else's.



we are continuing our series called Open Up. Even though the world may restrict us in many ways, God calls us to exercise openness in other ways
We started by looking at how God is open with us, sharing his will and wisdom with us through His word, holding nothing back
Last week, we talked about how we need to open our hearts through confession. Confession is one of those Christian practices that we don’t exercise a lot, yet it may be one of those practices we need most. The more we confess, the easier it gets. The easier it gets, the more we confess. The more we confess, the freer we feel.
To kick this morning off, I want to ask this question:

Question #1: What is your favorite court show, if you have one?

everyone on line, throw it in the comment section. Everyone in house, let’s hear it. What is your favorite court based show?
When a trial is being set up, whether in real life or on TV, the most important thing for both sides to do is gather evidence. It doesn’t matter how good the lawyer talks or how smooth their arguments are if they don’t have the evidence to prove their case, either to the jury or to the judge
There’s a pecking order to the best kind of evidence. The best kind of evidence when it comes to a trial is DNA and eye witness. Before DNA was a thing, eye witness was always the slam dunk.
Even in the law that God establishes in Deuteronomy, he says that any accusation needs to be established by two or three witnesses.
In fact, the bible really likes this language of witness and testify. If you have your bible, go to 1 John 1, and we will be looking at the first four verses of 1 John.


1 John 1:1–4 ESV
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
John is establishing the fact that he is not simply passing along a story he heard someone else tell. He is a witness of Jesus. He saw him, he heard him speak, and he even touched him.
The reason John is establishing all of this is because at the time, there was a false teaching going around that denied that Jesus had come to earth and become a man. As such, the teaching completely denied his death and resurrection, thus there was no atonement to be found in Christ.
So as a counter to this teaching, John is saying, “Jesus definiely became a man, I was there, I saw him, I touched him, and there was a bunch of us there that shared the same experience.
It didn’t matter what the teaching said, John’s testimony trumped it, and it was through his testimony that the fellowship he was writing to would find eternal life in Christ.
Here’s another example of testimony at work in Scripture. If you grew up in church, you would know the story of the Samaritan woman. If you don’t know, there is this really cool story found in the gospel of John chapter 4. Jesus and the disciples are traveling North from Judea to Galilee. Between Judea and Galilee was the region of Samaria. Now the Jews and the Samaritans had a long standing dislike for one another, and it was normal for Jews to actually go around Samaria instead of through it, even though it would almost double their journey. Jesus doesn’t do that, and cuts straight through Samaria
They come to a town called Sychar, and Jesus sits down by a well while the disciples run into the city to grab some food. While Jesus is sitting by the well, a woman comes out to draw water. And Jesus and this woman, who we never learn the name of, have this really interesting encounter. We aren’t going to read it this morning, but I encourage you to go home and read it for yourself. But at the end of the enounter, the disciples are approaching Jesus, and the woman leaves the water jar and takes off for the city. She starts telling people about this man that she has been talking to, and all the things that he said. She starts to ask if this could the Messiah that they have been waiting for, the people come out of the city to see this man.
John 4:39–42 ESV
Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
it was by the testimony of the woman that got the ball rolling. As the people came out and met Jesus for themselves, it through their own encounter that they were saved.

Question #2: Have you ever heard a testimony that touched your heart?

some people have had radical life transformation by the love and forgiveness of Jesus, and when you hear those stories you can’t help but to be moved.

Bridge the Gap:

the reason that testimony is so important is because it takes the theoretical, and makes it practical and real. It is one thing to read about how good a car is, but it is another to talk to someone who owns one and can attest to its value or lack there of. Someone’s personal experience can be the difference in buying or not buying something.
The same applies to Christ. Whether it is your salvation story or someway that applying God’s word to your life has worked out, all of it is putting the love and power of Christ on display for someone else to see.
The reality is that everyday, Christ is one trial in the hearts and minds of everyone you come in contact with, believer and unbeliever alike. Everyday we are bombarded by the accuser, giving us every excuse to turn our back on Jesus and do things our own way; to let go of our standards and integrity and embrace sin and the ways of the world. And everyday Jesus loses the trial in someone’s heart.
But you have the opportunity to come along and be the eye witness that could tip the scales in that trial. You have the opportunity to testify about God’s goodness, whether it is his forgiveness, his grace, his love, or his truth at work in your life.
You can take the circumstantial evidence found in the Word and in the stories that someone has told and be the person who testify that God is living and active and here’s what he has done in my life.
Everyday, we testify about someone or something, and how it has made our life better or worse. Why not be a people who choose our words wisely and testify about God in every story we tell and every action we take.
It would take being a little more deliberate in finding the ways Jesus is speaking and moving in your life so that you aren’t telling the same story all the time.
The apostle Paul talks about how he didn’t come with persuasive words but with the power of God. That is the beauty of your testimony. You don’t have to be an expert in God’s word or have a bible school degree. You don’t have to be fancy or well thought out. You just have to be real and authentic. It just has to be your story. You are the witness, you are the one who is seeing or experiencing God working in your life. Just tell the story. Just invite someone into the story with you so they can have the same experience as you.
That is what is some amazing about the testimony of the Samaritan woman. She may have got the ball rolling, but she wasn’t responsible for seeing all the people come to faith in Jesus. She shared her story, the people met Jesus, and Jesus took care of the rest. We put so much pressure on ourselves to share in such a way that it will have life impact. You just share and allow Jesus to impact the lives of the people it needs to impact.

Question #3: How can you testify about Christ this week? What is God doing in your life?

In bible school, I was a student leader of the high school hockey dorm. As part of our development, we had to meet with one of the resident deans who was overseeing our dorm.
Every Tuesday, for a whole year, I had to meet with this gentleman, and every session started the same. “What is God teaching you today?”
I hated that question, because the reality is that more times then not, I didn’t have an answer. I didn’t know what God was teaching me that week. I was neck deep in studies and had probably disciplined some high school kid. I was dating someone at the time and that can be way more consuming then it should. It was so humbling and borderline humiliating because I knew that God was trying to teach me something, I just didn’t know what.
What is God teaching you today? More importantly, who needs to hear the answer to that question? We are meant to be a people who share so that the body of believers can be built up.
It is one of the biggest reasons we need to make gathering in person a priority. If we are going to practice and testify about God in our life, this is the best place to do it because we are all believers and we know that God is teaching all of us something. Like anything, the more we do it, the easier it gets. The easier it gets, the more prone we are to do it, sometimes without even thinking about.
What is God teaching you today?
Let’s Pray!
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