Show Us the Father (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When Jesus Christ was here, one of his missions was to make God known and more accessible. Showing the believers that God was to become their Father was certainly a quantum leap in their lives. However, at that time perceiving God Almighty as a Father was so incredible for them that it really took them back. Before Jesus Christ began teaching his disciples, they never understood God as a Father, and that not only was God his Father, but that He was going to become theirs. Today when we hear the words “our Father” in reference to God, it does not faze us at all because we commonly know this term, but back then it was an incredible mind-blower.

John 14:6:
Jesus saith unto him {the Apostle Thomas}, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

During the Old Testament times, God was forever coming to the believers through His Prophets to inspire them with His blessings. However, in the Gospel period in John 14:6 Jesus reveals another dynamic, that believers would be able to personally approach God as their own Father. Jesus was the way, truth, and lifeline into the very heart of our heavenly Father.

John 14:8:
Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. {“Sufficeth us,” basically means that it would be a terrific thing, and if you (Jesus) are the way to the Father, then let us get to the “show” part of “show and tell.”}

John 14: 9b:
. . . he that hath seen me {Jesus} hath seen the Father.

Jesus’ very life was a manifestation of God, of Jehovah, and of Elohim. Jesus as God’s Son was the Father’s ambassador and he represented and displayed to the people the true character, heart, and love of the Father, for Jesus’ life was to show God in a new light as our heavenly Father.

John 16:25-27a:
-25: These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh {what Jesus was speaking about is a future day, and now that future day has arrived}, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you {more} plainly of the Father.
-26: At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: {—As he was currently doing for them, but soon they themselves could simply pray in the name of Jesus Christ and their heavenly Father would answer their prayers without a mediator between them and their Father (Ephesians 2:18).}
-27a: For the Father himself loveth you. . .

Jesus is still “the way {to the Father’s love}, the truth, and the life,” so as you continue to understand and follow Jesus, the door to the heart of the Father becomes more and more opened. Understanding God as your heavenly Father is really a love-based, intimate relationship that can only be appreciated between a Father and His own son or daughter. Jesus, in giving you his name to use in prayer, has presented you with the passkey that opens up your heavenly Father’s home, all the way to the right hand of God.

A Heart of Testimony (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

What is A Heart of Testimony? It is one of the greatest, personal witnesses ever given to man by God. When I say testimony, what I mean is your own personal story of deliverance spoken with genuine enthusiasm. You – being the recipient of a personal blessing from God – become an authority on your own testimony that is lived by you, appreciated by you, and enjoyed more by you than any other living being because of the genuine excitement that your life reflects.

The heart of testimony is your outpouring spoken from your inner heart. When you, with your testimony – your true story – reach out and actually touch someone else’s heart with your feelings of joy and inner thankfulness, your life and testimony become a divine treasure released from the depths of your soul, as you become a precious gem and showpiece for the glory of God.

When you rehearse your testimony, even if it’s just to yourself, it becomes a reminder of why you can be so thankful. In II Corinthians 1:10 it says that God has “delivered us {past tense} and does deliver {present tense} in whom we trust that He will yet deliver {future tense}.” So not only does God deliver us once, but many times, and there’s still more to come!

From God’s point of view, the world needs more testimonies to establish Him as being alive and well, contrary to some popular beliefs, and those testimonies will lead people to Christ. From your point of view, your community, your neighbors, friends, and families need your testimonies to introduce Christ to them.

A heart of testimony is speaking up with your true story about what God has done for you personally. This is the greatest way to witness! A heart of testimony is your story of how God has touched your life in some way, and as you learn to recognize how much God has been enlightening, blessing, and encouraging you individually, you can begin to release your own true stories of deliverance that I like to call, A Heart of Testimony.

Psalms 119:111:
Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

We Christians have the wonderful opportunity to express our personal testimonies about God’s personal intervention in our lives that only we can express as we become personally involved with our own tangible proofs of God’s loving care and concern for us.

A heart of testimony inspires us to become more involved in our communities, Churches, or fellowship groups, to help our families, our friends, and our neighbors see the greatness of God’s healing Word on a real personal level.

We can receive so much truth and understating from God’s Word spiritually, physically, and mentally, that a release becomes almost necessary, and with a heart of testimony, we have a wonderful way to release and begin receiving more from God. Having an inlet and an outlet will prevent the Christian believer’s life from becoming stagnant, for it replenishes our ability to give and to receive.

Your own testimony carries more weight, more power, and more conviction than secondhand stories because you witnessed it personally, and rarely can it be disputed because you were there as a firsthand witness – you saw it – you lived through it – and you sincerely believe it to a greater degree than anyone else could. The excitement of your own conviction, my friends, is what people will see and know as you speak up to tell someone your own story — your own heart of testimony.

There will always be people living in your sphere of influence that only you can help with your testimony. Why, even when Jesus Christ was here walking on the earth, other people spoke up to help him spread the Gospel with their own testimonies. There were the twelve Apostles whom Jesus sent out (Mark 6:7), and later Jesus sent out seventy more (Luke 10:1), and he encouraged future generations to continue the mission (Mark 16:15). It was Andrew who brought the fisherman, Simon Peter to Jesus, and Philip brought Nathaniel over to meet Jesus.

The same should be happening today, our ministers or clergyman or the heads and leaders of our youth groups cannot win everyone in their community to the Lord Jesus Christ. It should be an effort by all to help get the God of deliverance into society’s mainstreams, highways, and byways.

Who else is in our schools and campuses? Who else is really out there in our societies amongst the people? You and I are out there! God gave us all eternal life by His “grace” and He made us all able to share our own testimony from our hearts.

We have hundreds of thousands of personal and different stories of deliverance that we have to share with people. According to the Bible, our very lives are an “Epistle of Christ (II Corinthians 3:3). Like Christ taught, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34), for the testimonies that we can deliver will come from the abundance of our hearts.

For the most part people will usually read your life, your words, and the fruit you bear before taking a serious look at God’s Word. What comes out of your mouth might be the critical factor in someone’s decision to turn to Christ and accept his or her own deliverance.

Let’s go to the Bible and see just a few examples of testimonies starting with Simon in the Gospel of Matthew.

Matthew 26:6:
Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,

You know what? Simon was healed of his leprosy before this day occurred. Yet he still carried his old name, Simon the Leper. To Simon this was not an insult or disgrace, but a blessing to have this title, just as honorable as if he were known by Simon the Just. Why? This was Simon’s story, his testimony of his deliverance. He was now clean and free of leprosy, yet was still affectionately known by his title, as it was a wonderful reminder to Simon of where he came from and who healed him.

Simon’s story must have just thrilled his family, friends, and neighbors to hear his testimony over and again, especially for those who knew him before his healing and had seen his bodily devastation of leprosy. Oh, how thankfully humble that must have kept Simon. I have no doubt that Simon’s Heart of Testimony led many to Christ for years to come!

Mark 16:9:
Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had {past tense} cast {out} seven devils.

Mary Magdalene did not have seven devil spirits anymore, yet God’s Word still points it out to us. Why? Again, for the same reason as Simon’s, this was Mary’s testimony. Think of the people Mary could have helped, people in similar circumstances with devil spirits or living around satanic influences, and as she relayed her testimony, explaining how Christ cast out those spirits to set her free, her testimony would give others the same hope of freedom that comes from knowing the Savior. What a wonderful testimony Mary had.

John 12:9, 11:
9: Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
11: Because that by reason of him {Lazarus} many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.

Many people believed on Jesus, not only because of his preaching, but also because of the once dead man, Lazarus. Perhaps Lazarus would have said, “Oh yeah, I used to be dead! I was in a sepulcher wrapped in grave clothes for four days, but now I am alive and every day is new and exciting, every moment is a great gift! I really appreciate life and I owe it all to God through His Son, Jesus Christ!”

Possibly Lazarus would have reminded his two sisters and friends of the words Jesus spoke in John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” By believing on Jesus Christ and his words, we, much like Lazarus, can pass from spiritual death unto spiritual life and enjoy our lives more abundantly as Jesus Promised in John 10:10.

It was Jesus Christ that raised Lazarus up and gave him a new life with a new song in his heart and a testimony that could reach into the very lives of people as he presented himself a living testimony for all to see, hear, and touch.

Perhaps it may seem to us that our testimonies are not as dramatic as Lazarus’ was, but there is no doubt that God, Who “is no respecter of persons” has given each of us a personal testimony to bring the God of deliverance to those in our immediate surroundings.

Lazarus, who was he? Much like you and me, touched by the Master’s hand, our Physician of the heart, and blessed with a testimony as a real living Epistle for the glory of God. As Jesus told one man, “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.” We have the story of Jesus delivering this man who had a “legion” of spiritual problems. This man became so blessed that he wanted to travel with Jesus, but Jesus told him to go home and share his own testimony with his family, neighbors, and friends.

Mark 5:19-20:
19: Howbeit Jesus suffered him not {did not allow him to go with him}, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
-20: And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

The word Decapolis was not the word for a single city, but for an entire region, Decapolis means ten cities. This man whom Jesus healed in so many ways began spreading his own heartfelt testimony, his own experience that he had with Jesus, throughout Decapolis, so much so that when Jesus himself later passed through the regions of Decapolis it was easier for him to teach and preach the Gospel and heal people (Mark 7:31-8:9). Similarly, when we express our testimonies, we are preparing hearts to receive Christ and the healing Word of God.

When people express their own testimonies and they convey the compassion Jesus had upon their lives, even if it is only to their families and friends, the wonderful healing Word of God becomes more accessible, living, and real to those who hear them.

When we realize the compassion the Lord has on our lives, it is easy to be compassionate enough to reach out and share our testimony that we have placed in our hearts. This is how the Word of God flourished in the first century, and it is certain that even today the Word of God again can prevail as we tell our testimony with the love of God.

Perhaps one of the greatest recorded examples we have of testimonies is that of the Apostle Paul who expressed his story at every opportunity. Paul’s testimonies are written throughout the Book of Acts and the Epistles and Letters he wrote that are in the New Testament as a real example for all to see how he came face to face with God’s Word and his Savior.

In the Old Testament we read, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua” (Exodus 17:14). God wanted Moses to rehearse over and again the testimony of Joshua’s victories about his personal battles that would continue to inspire Joshua as the next leader of Israel. Knowing ourselves that we are more than conquerors with God in Christ (Romans 8:37), and believing that we can be victorious in our endeavors is something that God desires for His children to know and understand, for our heart of testimony can continue to build us up as individuals as well as all of those with whom we share them.

To study countless examples of a heart of testimony, see the Book of Psalms and Hebrews chapter 11. The Book of Acts is also filled with wonderful testimonies that the believers shared with one another.

In Acts 14:27 we read that the believers: “rehearsed all that God had done with them,” and thus, they outlined the details of their own testimonies with one another.

In Acts 12:17 Peter: “declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison,” which blessed, emboldened, and inspired the believers with encouragement and comfort.

In Acts 11:4 after delivering the Gospel to the Gentiles, Peter and his company: “rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them.”

These are all hearts of testimony that always bring glory to God, excitement to our families, our friends, and our neighbors, and personal joy into our lives for speaking up and sharing our own heartfelt experiences that we have had with our Savior and heavenly Father.

Psalms 119:111:
Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

Matthew 5:16:
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

John 3:21:
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Jesus Christ in the Scriptures

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the book of Acts chapter 8 verse 30 we have the record of Philip who asked another man (a eunuch) a simple question. “Understandeth thou what thou readest?” This is a fair and honest question, do we understand what we read when reading the Bible? Earlier in another study we learned a little bit about the one great subject of the Scripture, Jesus Christ, without whom we do not have the key to unlock the Scriptures for we would miss the spiritual understanding that only Christ can give to the heart and soul of searching men and women. When Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading from the Scriptures, the man honestly replied: “How can I, except some man should guide me?” (Acts 8:31). The man was reading from the book of Isaiah 53, and he had many questions that Philip was able to answer. Let us pick up the story in Acts:

Acts 8:32-35:
-32:  The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
-33:  In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
-34:  And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray the, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
-35:  Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

Once we begin understanding that the Scriptures reveal Jesus Christ (not just in the Gospels), and we really began to recognize him throughout the Word, he begins revealing the true essence and realities of God to our minds. The word “humiliation” (in verse 33 above) relates to the physical punishment and torture that Jesus went through on our behalf, and that he, who knew no sin became sin for us, so that we might be made as righteousness as God is (II Corinthians 5:21).

King David also wrote about the hope of Christ’s coming throughout the Book of Psalms. The Apostle Peter in teaching about the resurrection of Christ on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 says of David that he always had Jesus Christ in the forefront of his thinking and writing.

Acts 2:25-26:
-25:  For David speaketh concerning him {recorded in the 16th Psalm}, I foresaw the Lord always before my face {by revelation}, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
-26:  Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:

What gave David inner joy, continued hope, and a glad tongue was knowing his Lord and Savior from the written revelation of Scripture (II Peter 1:21). The Scriptures continue giving us joy, hope, and a glad tongue – the same joys that Jesus knew when speaking the Word of God, “for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

Luke 24:25-27:
-25:  Then he {Jesus} said unto them, O fools {“fools” simply means they were slow in their finding Christ in the Scriptures, Jesus was not insulting them, but making an observation}, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
-26:  Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
-27:  And beginning at Moses {meaning: beginning from Genesis} and all the prophets {and ending at Malachi}, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

See the Father

“Jesus said to Philip, he that hath seen {or perceived} me hath seen the Father– John 14:9, for it is through Jesus’ eyes that God not only becomes clearly known, but also a relationship with the Father (i.e., your heavenly Father) blossoms into something very meaningful. Then your heavenly Father is not just out there somewhere in nebulous particles of thought, space, and time, but everywhere as well as in your heart, and you will be enabled to see and acknowledge Him as your Creator, real, and at work in your life (Psalms 139:8-10, Philippians 2:13), For in him we live, and move, and have our being- Acts 17:28.” ~LMJ~

He That Believeth on Me

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

John 14:9 – Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

In a past Bible Byte, we looked at this verse, but now we go to the heart of the question. Philip and the rest of the Apostles wanted more proof that God was real, and Jesus in explaining the question more fully says “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” Jesus was God’s Ambassador, God’s Son acting on God’s behalf, so that Christ was the epitome of God’s love in practical living, for he was the incarnate Word (John 1:14a). Jesus had the power of attorney to act in his Father’s stead, and the works that Christ had done were literally done by the power of God in him.

John 14:10-11:
-10: Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
-11: Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

In verses 10 and 11 we have Jesus explaining to his disciples that believing was the very key to recognizing and experiencing God (the Father). He further explains that if his words were not enough for them to believe, then they would be able to believe because of the very sake of the works that Jesus Christ had done, for they were the very proof of God Himself.

John 14:12 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do {of which God Himself energized} shall he {you} do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

This verse is almost unbelievable, yet Jesus says that it is so, and when we believe it, it will be so. Many have speculated about what these “greater works” really are, some believe it is the receiving of the holy spirit, but others think that the “greater works” are speaking in tongues, and others think being born again are the “greater works.” However, “greater works” is all of this and more, much more! It is receiving with God’s divine grace everything that Christ made available by his life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. Today, we can be receiving and living the more abundant life, and it is so much greater because it is currently ours.

The “greater works” is the life that Jesus made available and gave to us in grace. It is spiritual freedom to personally as well as passionately walk with God as our Father, and with Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is your believing to receive the greatness of all the good works the Church Epistles (Romans through II Thessalonians), reveals to you in divine grace.  When you receive the Word of God and believe it, you will absolutely begin walking in the fullness of all Christ made available to you, and you will be living in and enjoying those greater works!