testimonyJohn 1:41-42 (NIV)

41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.

Andrew’s sense of urgency inspires me.  A disciple of John the Baptist, he abandoned his rabbi who proclaimed that Jesus was greater than he (verse 15). Then, upon discovering who Jesus was, he immediately went to tell his brother the Good News of Christ’s arrival.

There is something in the Gospel of Jesus that must be shared.  The very nature of the joy that comes from His name on my lips makes me want to speak it to someone else.  It’s like a cup of something wonderful that never runs out.  Maybe good news itself has that effect.  I know of few people who, after learning something exciting, enjoy keeping it to themselves.  The heart bubbles over into speech when it is excited, or as Scripture says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34, NKJV).

This reminds me that our testimony is important.  While it perfectly illustrates the example of urgency as I have written, I am convicted of the fact that our witness should be treasured, protected, honored.  We ought not pervert it with exaggeration, toss it carelessly as “pearls before swine,” or more pointedly, we ought to preserve and protect the spring from which our witness comes from perverse talk and abusive speech.  We don’t lay our prized documents in the mud!  Neither should we allow the same mouths with which we can save a soul and encourage a brother or sister to harm another or sully the reputation or character of the witness we otherwise could be.  Salt and fresh water from the same spring is unnatural (James 3:12), and so should perversity be in my speech.

Dear Father, today, I thank You for the value of my testimony and for the joy of having tread across all the territory over which You have brought me.  I want to honor You with my lips.  Lord, I confess that they are unclean.  I have spoken ill of my fellow, I have crushed the heart of my companion, I have allowed my own perversity in one moment to dilute the witness I would share the next.  Forgive me for my sinful ways and deliver me from them, by the grace of Jesus.  Help me to domesticate the untamable tongue.  I surrender it to You today.  Use it to spread love and not bitterness, according to Your perfect will.  Give me a sense of Andrew’s urgency that eagerly shares the Gospel of Jesus, even leaving, when necessary, what I thought to be important the day or moment before.