This I Believe {Day 15}

India

The video above is a great song to go with today's study! Listen to it while you read, or after you have read and studied to be reminded of what you believe.

Reading: 1 John 5:6-12

Fall of 2013, my husband and I packed our bags and flew halfway across the world to India. My best friend had been living there as a missionary and we went to join her in her work for a week. I don't think anything could truly have prepared us for what we saw. Idol worship, hunger, lawlessness as well as strict adherence to the law, little gods everywhere, the poor with no limbs on the streets...the list could go on and on. The immense need for the Gospel had never been so plainly seen by my eyes even thought I'd been a believer since I was seven and had already visited several different countries. As we traveled and went throughout the city, we prayed for opportunities to share our faith. Religion is woven into the fabric of India's society. One day we traveled to a nearby city for sight-seeing and hired an auto driver to stay with us throughout the day. (An auto rickshaw are the tiny yellow cars that are used for transport in India. Think of them like an Indian version of a New York taxi.)

Little did we know, but God had a greater plan for that day. Over breakfast at McDonald's (yes, India has McDonald's:), we were able to share with "S" about Jesus. "S" was a Hindu and worshipped multiple gods. When we told him that we only worshipped Jesus, he was shocked and confused. "One god?" he asked us holding up his pointer finger and giving a slight head bobble. "Yes" we replied. "One God. We believe Jesus is the only way to have a relationship with God." We proceeded to spend our breakfast sharing with "S" the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He even read in Acts about Jesus from our iPhone (the beauty of how God is using technology for His glory) and his eyes lit up as he read in Acts 17:... that we are to only worship one God. Another worker followed up with "S" and we pray that he came to know Jesus as his Savior.

India

Traveling in India reminded me of the importance of knowing what I believe and my life revolving around it. Jesus is not just a concept or an idea. He is God, He is my Savior, He is my life. John emphasized the importance of the Christian's testimony in 1 John 5:6-12. Throughout the book of 1 John he has reminded us of foundational doctrinal truths. In chapter one, John shares the Gospel in the first few verses and stresses that he was an eyewitness of Jesus to remind the church of the validity of Christ's life, death and resurrection. In chapter two, he explains that we must abide in Christ, abide in Light and abide in truth so that we are not swayed by the deceitfulness of the Enemy. In chapter three, he reminds us that we must love like Christ loved us and believe in the name of God's Son, Jesus. In chapter four, he explains once more that the Spirit of God abides in us and that God is love and His love was displayed through Jesus' life. John wants the church to know what they believe. 

In this particular text, John refers to the belief in the "water and blood - Jesus Christ." This refers to Jesus' death on the cross and baptism. In John 19:34, after Jesus had yielded up his soul unto death, the guards pierced his side and water and blood came out. The threads of the Bible are intricately woven together so that every verse in the Bible points to each other and ultimately to Christ. We must believe that Jesus lived a sinless life, was crucified for our sins AND defeated death by rising again from the dead. This is foundation. This is Gospel.

No person ever built a house on a faulty foundation. Even when my husband and I were searching for an apartment, we wanted something that was stable safe. As followers of Jesus, we must build our foundation on Jesus' life as our Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). 1 John 5:10 reminds us that each of us has a testimony, or a reputation or witness. If you are a follower of Christ, you have a story to tell. A story of redemption. A story of rescue. A story of restoration.

Do you tell your story? Do you compare your story to others? I became a Christian when I was seven years old. I was sitting in my dad's church where he was a pastor, and for the first time that day, I understood my sin and my need for a Savior. My heart beat rapidly as the Holy Spirit quickened my heart to respond to His call. That day I surrendered my life to Christ and was baptized. I have heard people with similar stories say they don't share because it is not "interesting" or "exciting." Let me tell you this, no matter what your past was or your conversion experience was, it is the most exciting story of all! You have been saved from death and an eternity away from the presence of God! You have been saved out of this world and into the forever Kingdom of God! Jesus' perfect blood has washed you and made you white as snow. Sisters, if we truly understood the immense joy of the Gospel, we would know our story is the most exciting adventure anyone will hear!

This day, share your story with someone. Share with them how Christ has changed your life and that He can change theirs, too. Write down in your journal what you believe. Take some time to review the Apostle's Creed, a great reference to what we believe as Christians. Your story is your adventure with Christ and he gets much glory when you share what he has done for you. Let us make much of him with our words, our stories and our lives.

sharing with you,

Gretchen