Wednesday, June 07, 2006

TnT - a powerful secret

Would you like to know a secret? It’s a secret that has come down to us through the ages. Noah knew the secret. Moses knew it. Elijah knew it. All the prophets knew it. Jesus knew it. From Genesis to Revelation the secret is revealed through the lives recorded and the stories told in those hallowed pages. What is the secret?

Before I tell you the secret, let me tell you what participating in the secret will create. Participating in the secret will create passionate followers of Jesus Christ. Look back at the people I listed – Noah applied the secret and saved his family in the ark. Moses’ skills in the secret released his people from slavery and built a nation. Elijah passed the secret onto his protégé, Elisha, before ascending into heaven in a fiery chariot. The prophets embodied the secret in every age and their message repeatedly drew God’s people back to obedience. Jesus’ implementation of the secret changed eleven headstrong men into soul winners and through the influence of those disciples the secret continues to change men and women the world round into Christ-followers.

So, what is the secret? The secret provides the power for life change and spiritual growth. Pastors, it will lead your people to fruitful spiritual maturity. Teachers, it will lead your students to active learning. Parents, it will lead your children to a desire to know Jesus personally. Obviously this secret is powerful—as powerful as TnT.
In fact, that is the secret: TnT—Testimonies and Training.

Testimonies: You don’t have to explore the above stories very deeply to discover the presence of people sharing their stories. And, when the foundation of the person’s story is understood it is clear that their story connects back to the moment that God spoke our planet into existence. The teller of the testimony is a conduit reconnecting Heaven and Earth—God and lost humanity—through their story.

This story, which has been alive from before creation has been told and retold in the form of a personal encounter. Noah told of a conversation with God and lived out that conversation by building the ark. All God’s great leaders model their message. Moses told the story of the burning bush—he showed the Hebrew slaves the miracles that God could do to his staff, his hand and his bowl—and once the people believed his story they followed him to freedom.

Elijah threw his mantle over a young man working in a field. The young man, Elisha, knew what it meant—“I am to follow him and learn his message and ultimately I will wear this mantle as my own.” The prophets told story after story trying to reconnect a wandering people with their steadfast God.

Jesus brought the story of the Redeeming God into view as he said to Philip, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” The disciples showed that to lead someone to Christ you must connect them to the story of Jesus. “Let me tell you about the day that I met Jesus.” is how we would say it today. I call it my “Christory”—When my story and His story collided.

Testimony is the greatest tool in the arsenal of every Jesus follower. Without your story you are a stack of statistics. With your story you are a living, breathing dwelling place of the Holy Spirit testifying of your Saviour and His love. To share your story is your greatest gift.

Training: Once we become serious students we seek out training. It’s wired into our nature. We begin to seek deeper truth, higher ideals and wider understanding—we embrace the teacher.

Noah taught his sons to build. Moses mentored Joshua into a Kingdom claiming conqueror. Elisha walked in his master’s sandal prints and learned to be a Godly prophet. The prophets paired tough lessons with their piercing narratives.

Jesus said, "follow me," and once they did the teaching commenced. Ultimately those disciples, because they listened and learned, went making disciples, baptising them and teaching them everything Jesus had taught them. Now the mantle rests on your shoulders. Go tell your story and never stop learning!

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