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R1053B The Power Of A Personal Testimony, PT.2

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
June 3, 2022 8:00 am

R1053B The Power Of A Personal Testimony, PT.2

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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June 3, 2022 8:00 am

The Daily Encouraging Word with Dr. Don Wilton

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You've got one, even if you don't think you do. Dr. Don Wilton will tell you about it in just a moment as we launch today's broadcast. Welcome to The Encouraging Word featuring the Bible-based teaching of Dr. Don Wilton. Today we continue actually bringing you the conclusion of a powerful message called The Power of a Personal Testimony. Yes, you have a story. Whether you realize it or not, sometimes we think our testimony needs to be something you'd make a big film about.

But no, it's just the simple testimonies that sometimes are the most powerful. Know that you have a testimony, and today, as we discover the power of a personal testimony, we'll gain insight on how you can share yours. Know that we're here to encourage you anytime. Love to pray for you at 866-899-WORD. Jot the number down 866-899-9673. We'll connect with one of us 24 hours a day.

We would love to encourage you. And now today's great teaching with Dr. Don Wilton. Why is it that there are some of you that actually think that God cannot raise the dead? He was asking that question concerning Jesus.

Because God, by His power, raised Jesus from the dead. And this is what Paul said in answer to his own question. I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests, I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme in my obsession against them. I even went to foreign cities to persecute the Christians.

On one of those journeys, I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. At about noon, I was on the road and I saw a light from heaven. I remember when I gave my heart to Jesus.

I'll get into that. I want to just tell you about that in a minute. Paul, this is what happened to Paul. He was on the road just like you and me. He was taking a journey and suddenly he was confronted by the Lord Jesus. I saw a light from heaven brighter than the sun blazing around me and my companions, and we all fell to the ground. And I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?

It is hard for you to kick against the pricks or the goads because I'm God. God was saying to him, I'm not going to leave you alone because I love you. Then I said, Saul, who are you, Lord? And he said, I'm Jesus whom you are persecuting. The Lord replied, now get up and stand on your feet. And I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. And I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I'm sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified in me. I want to skip all the way down to verse 24.

I want to encourage you to read this entire account yourself. But in verse 24 at this point, Festus interrupted Paul's witness. Have you ever had someone interrupt you when you're trying to tell them about Jesus? He interrupted Paul's defense.

Look what he said. You are out of your mind, Paul. He shouted, your great learning is driving you mad. You ever had anybody say, goodness me, you must be mad. You must be insane to follow Christ. How could you be so ridiculous? Perhaps you said, oh, man, that religious stuff, man, that all that is is a crutch. Get a laugh. You don't need to worry about Jesus.

Why are you getting so excited about this? And this is what Paul said. He said, I'm not insane, most excellent Festus, Paul replied. What I'm saying is true and reasonable. The king is familiar with these things and I can speak freely to him. I'm convinced that none of this has escaped his notice because it was not done in a corner. And King Agrippa said, do you believe the prophets?

I know you do. Then Agrippa said to Paul in verse 28, do you really think that you can persuade me to become a Christian in such a short space of time? Listen to what Paul said in verse 29. He replied, short time or long time, I pray God that not only you, but all who are listening, may one day, as soon as possible, right now, become what I am. And of course, Paul was in chains.

He said, accepting, I wouldn't wish you to be in chains like I am, held in captivity like I am. It was some weeks ago, I was headed to a conference to go and preach for the state of Mississippi. I want to be perfectly honest with you. I was a little on the tired side. You know, when you get on an airplane and you're just worn flat out and you're off on a business trip or you're doing something, this was a late night flight and I was just going there and back to see how far it is and got on the plane. And I said to myself, you know, I'm going to take a little nap, take a little siesta here, recover a little bit, put my head back, enjoy my full meal of peanuts and a diet Coke. And I'm ready to just, and a young man sat down next to me. And would you believe we hadn't sat down for two minutes and he asked me a question. I thought, I cannot believe this man is asking me a question.

He was a fine young man. Turned out he was a medical doctor and he asked me a question. And his almost very next question was, are you one of those Christians?

I thought, oh, I can't believe this. Why has he got to ask me that when all I want to do is have a nap? I mean, the Lord knows that this is reasonable. You know, why, Lord, why are you doing this to me?

And so I will be quite honest with you with somewhat of a little bit of a reluctant heart. I looked at him and we began to talk together. He was as fine as you can imagine. And you talk about sharp. I mean, a brilliant man.

Brilliant. And he said to me without apology, he said to me, well, I'm a Muslim. I said, oh, tell me about it. Well, before we had gone about 10 minutes, he and I began to talk.

And he shared with me, I mean, from his heart, he was a fine man. And he knew what he was talking about. He began to quote the Koran to me.

I would answer him and he would answer me. After a while, he looked at me and he said, you know, it seems to me, you know what you're talking about. And I looked at him and I said, well, it seems to me, you know what you're talking about.

And all of a sudden, the trip became irrelevant because we began to talk together. This man had grown up in another country as I had, and he was a Muslim. He told me as far as he was concerned, he couldn't begin to imagine why we would believe things like this. He told me that in his religion, they very much respect Jesus. And of course, in our discussion, he told me that most certainly Jesus was not the Son of God. In fact, he even told me what I already knew that in his religion, he believed that Jesus was a Muslim. And I said to him, well, if Jesus was a Muslim, how did you arrive at that point?

And he said, well, it's quite simple. He said, Jesus obeyed God. That's what Muslims do. Muslims obey God. So Jesus obeyed God.

Yeah, that made him a Muslim. Of course, my next question was now, who is your God? Well, of course, he was talking about his God, Allah. I began to talk to him about my God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And why I believe these things and he said, well, in that case, where did your God come from? I told him. So I said to him, well, why don't you tell me where your God came from and where is he now? And he explained to me about Muhammad the Prophet.

We talked about 630. We talked about his death. We talked about all those kinds of things. And he readily agreed with me that Muhammad was dead. I pointed out to him that my God, in fact, was not dead, that he's alive. He began to quote chapter and verse out of the Koran and I began to quote chapter and verse out of the Bible. We got to a point where it became somewhat interesting to say the least. And we had a friendship going.

There was no question about it. He looked at me and he said to me, well, he said, I tell you, if I could sit around with someone like you, he said, you're the first one who's ever bothered to sit down and explain it to me without threatening me. I said, I'm not here to threaten you, my friend. I'm just here to tell you about something that really has nothing to do with anything because it's about someone and it's about the Lord Jesus.

Well, we finally approached where we were going and I realized we were running out of time and so I looked at him and I said to him, I want to ask you a question. You're listening to Dr. Don Wilton, our teacher here on The Encouraging Word. Please don't go away. He'll be back in just a moment to complete today's message, The Power of a Personal Testimony. But Dr. Wilton insists we interrupt to remind you this is not just a presentation. It's a conversation and we have had the joy all day long, 24 hours a day of already praying with friends, connecting on our website. Our website is www.tewonline.org, a great place to sign up for resources like the free daily email from Dr. Don.

Wonderful, powerful, insightful encouragement from Chuck Colson's final book called My Final Word. Again, all those resources are on our website at www.tewonline.org. If you'd like to call to get a copy, you can use our phone number. It's 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673. You can not only order those resources, but you can also ask us to pray for you. It would be our honor. 24 hours a day, we're here for you at 866-899-9673 or on our website www.tewonline.org.

That's www.tewonline.org. Now back to today's great teaching with Dr. Don Wilton. I want you just to imagine for a moment before we land that our plane is going to go down.

We're not going to make it. And I said, you're a Muslim. You've got five minutes. What would you say to me? And very respectfully, he said basically two things.

Number one, good luck. I said, good luck. He said, yes, I hope you survive the wreck. But he also explained to me that if I had been willing to go to work, according to his religion, that there would be a possibility if I complied with the rules and regulations that were set out, according to his custom and religion, I would find some kind of afterlife according to a set of rules and regulations. And then he turned to me and he said, now you've got five minutes. And I looked at him and I said to him, I want you to know that I was born to a most wonderful set of parents. And I had a very interesting life. But you know, for many years in my life, I had a real emptiness, just a big something missing. And I said, you know, I did a lot of things. I had a wonderful home and I went to wonderful places. And I said, if you would have looked at me, you would have said, well, you know, surely he must be happy. I had moments of happiness, but I had a deep longing.

It was like there was something missing. And one day I ran headlong into the Lord Jesus in my journey of life. And I all of a sudden realized that what the Bible says is true. That God loved me so much that he would give his only son, the Lord Jesus, to die on a cross for me.

And you know, the Bible says in Romans that if I'm willing to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and then actually believe in my heart the impossible, that this God has the power because he's God to raise Jesus from the dead, that I would be saved. And so I came to the point in my life, my friend, where I turned to God. And through Jesus, who gave his life for me, I invited him to come into my heart. And I explained to him how I'd done that in a very short space of time. And then I said to him, you know, since that time, I want you to know, I can tell you about more blessings than I could probably imagine. I told him about you, about people that love me and people that I love and places that I go to and opportunities. I said, but you know, the bottom line is, you know that hole that I was talking about, that emptiness?

Jesus filled it up because he's the living water. And I said, just in case our plane crashes, I want to ask you, would you like to give your heart to Jesus? I wish that I could tell you that he said yes, but he didn't. But we certainly switched emails and I told him how respectful I would be of him because he was a medical doctor, a man very busy. Medical doctors don't like to be disturbed because they spend all week taking care of people like me. And then I told him, I said, I'm not going to worry you.

No, I would like to continue this conversation. I began to study this again and ask myself a very simple question. What is it about the power of a personal testimony? And I came to understand again that personal testimony really has three components.

Number one, who you were before Jesus came into your heart. Bible says all of us have sinned, all of us. You see, this Muslim man told me that he didn't believe in original sin. In fact, he told me and I respected him. He told me that he had never, ever sinned. I told him I respected him, but I wanted him to know that because of the sin of Adam that I was a sinner. And that the Bible says all of us have sinned. Well, there's a second component and that is how you gave your heart to Jesus. I quoted Romans chapter 10 verse 9 and 10 for you just a moment ago.

But there's a third component. What have you become since Jesus came into your heart? You see, there's a who and a how and a what. I want to ask you today, would you like to give your heart to Jesus? Would you just bow your heads with me for a second? I want you to know that I deeply respect you today. I honor your upbringing, your culture, your frame of reference. I'm no better than you are, my friend. I want you to know that I do not consider myself superior in any way.

In fact, the very opposite is true. But I gave my heart to Jesus and I want to invite you to give your heart to Jesus too. It's the best friend that you'll ever have. When you give your heart to Jesus, he'll come into your life and you know, the first thing that he'll do, he'll forgive you for all your sin. And then he'll fill up your life and he'll give you meaning and purpose because God created you with a wonderful purpose.

And here's the other thing, when he comes into your heart, it means that he will take you to heaven to be with him. Now that's a guarantee. You don't have to work for that.

You don't have to follow a line. It comes because God loves you. And your work, what you do for Jesus comes because you love him, not in order that you might have him. See, everything that he does for us is based on him.

It's not based on us. I just want to do everything I can for him because I can't even begin to imagine that he would love me so much. Would you pray a prayer with me today? It's a very simple prayer. If you want Jesus to come into your heart, I'd love to help you today, to invite Jesus into your heart.

Just pray this prayer with me. Dear God, I know that you love me. I believe that you are God and I believe that Jesus is your son. I believe Jesus died on a cross, by shedding his blood just for me.

And he loves me. Today I'm so sorry for my sin. I accept and acknowledge that I am a sinner.

I'm separated from you and I want to come together with you again. I want you to be in my life and I just repent of that sin and I confess my sin and I trust you as my Savior. I invite you into my heart right now by faith in Jesus' name. If you've given your life to Christ today, I want to invite you to follow through because I tell you, I don't know where I would have been without moms and dads and wives and husbands and best friends and neighbors.

They just mean a lot to me. We want to mean a lot to you today. That's why we have a church like this. That's why I invite you to come. And if you're worshiping today right here in the sanctuary, I'm going to invite you to come today. But I want to just pray for you quickly. So I'm going to just ask all heads bowed and eyes closed. And if you're saying right now, Pastor, that's me, I've prayed that. Would you pray for me?

Would you just lift up a hand quickly? Just put it up so I can see it. God bless you today, my dear friend. God bless you too.

Just put it up, up in the balcony. Wherever you are, just say, that's me. I've given my life to Christ. God bless you today. God bless you back there. I love you today.

Would you look at me for a moment? Power of a personal testimony. I wish I could say, you know, it's all about just how good we put all the sermon together or, you know, how much we study or whether or not we've done the right thing, because I wish it was all of that.

But it's just all about Him, isn't it? Indeed, it is all about Jesus. You've been listening as Dr. Don has been teaching and preaching from Acts 26 today.

Now, as he steps into the studio, please open your heart to what he wants to share next. You know, perhaps just a moment ago, you prayed with me to receive the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart and life. I rejoice with you. But there again, maybe you hesitated just for a second, and that second divides you from all time and eternity.

Do it now. Pray with me right now. Dear God, I know that Jesus loves me and that he died on a cross for me. I give my heart and life to you by faith. I repent of my sin, and I receive you into my heart. And I pray this in Jesus' name. My friend, if you've prayed that prayer, I just welcome you with the love of Jesus.

You'll see a number on the screen. You can call. You can connect in with us through our web.

I want to be able to extend that right hand. You are my brother, my sister in Christ. God bless you today. Indeed, as Dr. Don mentioned, we would love to connect with you.

You can do that a number of ways. And if you just gave your life to Jesus Christ or rededicated your life today, Dr. Wilton has some free resources he wants you to have. Again, absolutely free if you'll call us at 866-899-WORD.

That's 866-899-9673. Or you can meet us on our website as well at www.tewonline.org. Again, just know that we're here for you. And an opportunity on a daily basis to encourage you is something Dr. Don's going to share next. You know, I'd love to be a part of your daily devotional. Love to be able to send you the encouraging word daily devotional and be a part of what God says to each one of us through his word every day. You can become part of that and receive one yourself from me. Just go online to tewonline.org.

That's tewonline.org. And get your copy of the encouraging word Bible devotion today. We would love for you to receive that daily encouraging word. You know, as Dr. Don was wrapping things up today, it makes me reminded.

I need to remind you something. All the books, whether it's Saturdays with Billy, the most recent book from Dr. Wilton, everything he's written, all of these resources, Dr. Don does not receive a single penny. He doesn't receive a salary from the encouraging word. All of your gifts to the encouraging word go to help share the love of Christ and to see people's lives changed every single day. So I would challenge you, would you consider giving to the ministry? You'll discover all the details on our website at tewonline.org. That's tewonline.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-09 09:16:03 / 2023-04-09 09:25:37 / 10

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