THE PRIVILEGE OF PARTNERSHIP
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17
When I gave my heart to Jesus at age 19, my whole life changed. Bible study and prayer became my daily companions. I looked forward to attending prayer meeting, Bible study groups, Sabbath School, and church—anywhere that the Word of God was presented and testimonies were shared. I hungered for more and still more of Jesus. The more Christ filled me, the more my taste in music, entertainment, clothing, everything, changed! My Sabbath School teacher, who was very dear to me, used to say that when we fully give ourselves to Christ, consecrating our lives to His service, we will “no longer fashion [ourselves] according to the former lusts, but by the faith of the Son of God [we] will follow in His steps, reflect His character. . . . The things [we] once hated [we] now love, and the things [we] once loved [we] hate” (Steps to Christ, p. 58, emphasis supplied).
I found this to be true. A desire bloomed in my heart to tell everyone I could that Christ loved me and forgave my sins, that I was clean and precious to Him. “No sooner does one come to Christ than there is born in his heart a desire to make known what a precious friend he has found in Jesus; the saving and sanctifying truth cannot be shut up in his heart. If we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and are filled with the joy of His indwelling Spirit, we shall not be able to hold our peace. If we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good we shall have something to tell” (Steps to Christ, p. 78).
Where could I begin? I didn’t have the slightest clue how to share with others, so I prayed and asked God what I should do. I was impressed, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:8). This was easier said than done. What do I tell them? I thought. During my devotions, I found this quotation: “They [the demoniacs] bore in their own persons the evidence that Jesus was the Messiah. They could tell what they knew; what they themselves had seen, and heard, and felt of the power of Christ. This is what everyone can do whose heart has been touched by the grace of God. . . . We can tell how we have tested His promise, and found the promise true. We can bear witness to what we have known of the grace of Christ. This is the witness for which our Lord calls, and for want of which the world is perishing” (The Desire of Ages, p. 340). I waited for the Lord to give me opportunities to witness for Him.
I was working as an office receptionist when breaking news came across the television screen, alerting us that a terrible hurricane had struck the U.S. state of Florida and was moving north along the Atlantic coast to the Carolinas. As we watched the broadcast, Ginger, one of my co-workers, asked, “What is happening? Things are just crazy!” I blurted out, “Jesus is coming!” I hadn’t been working there long and was surprised that I answered so matter-of-factly! I quickly made my way back to my desk. Soon, Ginger came to the front where my desk was and plopped herself down in a chair. She said, “So, tell me about this Jesus-coming stuff. I want to know!” Prayerfully, I gave her a brief Bible study on the signs of Jesus’ second coming and shared how I prepared my heart to know Him as a Friend and be ready to meet Him. I then extended the invitation to her to do the same. The Lord opened a door, and I chose to walk through it.
God has given me the privilege of working with Him for nearly 40 years. I’ve been a Bible worker; taught Bible at an Adventist boarding school for six years; preached in front of thousands of people in the Philippines; shared my testimony before hundreds of high school students during weeks of prayer; and conducted seminars for women’s retreats, camp meetings, and churches. These have all been wonderful opportunities to share what God has done, but the most effective way to win souls for the Master is by coming close to people through the tender touch of compassion, by meeting their needs and winning their confidence. Then you can invite them to follow Jesus.
“Those who wait for the Bridegroom’s coming are to say to the people, ‘Behold your God!’ The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 415).
Suggested Format for the Prayer Time
Supplication and Intercession
Suggested Songs to Sing
“Lift High the Cross” (SDA Hymnal #362); “I Love to Tell the Story” (SDA Hymnal #457); “Trust and Obey” (SDA Hymnal #59)
Promises to Claim as You Pray