Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. ~ Matthew 7:15-16
We have been spending some time looking at Jude’s description of these ungodly men and women who have “crept in unnoticed” and are turning folks away from the “faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” (taken from Jude 3 & 4)
These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. ~ Jude 16
What does it look like to “speak arrogantly?”
We know what this looks like, don’t we? You know these folks, who can’t stop talking about themselves.
Now there is a fine line here, and it can get tricky, because a testimony can sound like boasting. If I stand up and tell you some great miracle that God has done by the laying on of my own hands, it could build your faith and flip your hope switch from the “God has forgotten I exist” position to “I actually have a future” position.
There is a point in Paul’s life where he feels he needs to defend his apostleship, and so talks through some of his accomplishments, but when it comes to his visit to heaven (we assume it was him anyway) he starts out, I knew a man…
I have heard and seen preachers giving testimony of great things that God has done through them, and it always pointed me to Jesus. Their testimony was a telling of what they had ‘seen and heard’ and the obvious conclusion for me was they had “been with Jesus.”
I have also heard preachers who are careful to drop the names of famous people they know and rub shoulders with, seemingly to build their own credibility, and it totally turns me off. I this, and I that. “When I was with brother Big Tent he said that I … stadium … thousands … blah blah blah”
This one you better check for fangs.
Jesus said to take the lower seat at the table and let others promote you.
Enough pointing fingers – what does the mirror have to say? (You know the Bible is compared to a mirror not a window – we are supposed to look at our own reflections in it, not look out to see how it applies to our neighbors – sorry – hunting rabbits again)
When you are telling stories about what God has done, it should point to Jesus. I alluded to this verse before, but John’s first letter starts it like this:
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life ~ 1 John 1:1
When you are telling about what God has done – you are a witness. When you are telling what you have done it’s braggin’.
This actually sheds a little light on the verses at the bottom of the chapter where those who are “knockin’ on heaven’s door” say
Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? ~ Matthew 7:22
Let me be clear. Jesus commands us to go and cast out devils – He tells us to do it. So technically you can cast out demons, and you should when you run into one. But face it, it’s Jesus’ power and authority. This power and authority have been deposited in you, so He gets the credit. The score board reads like this:
DEMONS – 0 === JESUS – 2000
Ben – Happy and Amazed
Former demon possessed person – Free
In the end – our testimony needs to point people to Jesus, not ourselves, it’s as simple as that. [Tweet This]
So go ahead, brag on Jesus, boast in Him, in His cross, and in the power that it released in your life.
See you again soon.