James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

Once a month men gather together to break their fast early Saturday morning. It is a time for fellowship and testimony. We have had some really good testimonies but the ones that stick in my mind are the ones that touch my heart. Those are not the ones full of knowledge but rather filled with experience.

A good conversation served up with meekness of wisdom recounts what the Lord has done in your life. None of these men knew me when I was lost. If they had, they could see the real change in me. As it is, now that I have been among them for over a decade, they can see minor changes as I mature. Witnessing of even the smallest of improvements in character and quality lends credence to anything I might have to say about my past.

None of us will come to the fullness of Christ which is our final destination. That moment is reserved for our translation from this life to the next. That change will be more dramatic than being born again. Having been with the Lord for decades I know there has been slow and often painful changes. The flesh doesn’t like to die, but die it must if we are to attain to a witness that is true to who we are in Christ.

Philippians 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

If we are captivated by His love, our testimony should reflect that love.

Persuasive Incentive

Philippians 2:1 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) So by whatever [appeal to you there is in our mutual dwelling in Christ, by whatever] strengthening and consoling and encouraging [our relationship] in Him [affords], by whatever persuasive incentive there is in love, by whatever participation in the [Holy] Spirit [we share], and by whatever depth of affection and compassionate sympathy,

This devotional is brought to you by the use of the archaic language of the King James Version. That archaic version led me to check multiple versions due to the changes in word meanings over time. The word I was uncomfortable with was consolation, as in consolation prize is a gift given for not winning.

Here I find in the AMPC version a phrase not used in any of the other versions. “by whatever persuasive incentive there is in love” In this I find a hint of how the indwelling love of God changes who we are from the inside out. As humans we do not willingly change unless we find the proper incentive.

We consider our sins are leading us to damnation. Coming to that understanding we look for an out. Along comes the offer of salvation. Thank you Lord, that is a great incentive, I accept. The acceptance only changes the outcome. If you are only looking at the way out of hell, you have found it, but that does not change you. You are still a sinner who makes wrong choices. Bad choices have bad consequences, nothing has change except the outcome.

Persuasive influence works in us to change us because the indwelling love of God demonstrates a better way. Nothing is as persuasive as a demonstration of effectiveness.

1 Corinthians 12:31b and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

A demonstration of love is more effective than preaching and teaching because it shows you how it works in ways that words alone cannot explain.