Timing to Testify

Genesis 24:28-38

28 The young woman ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring. 30 As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring. 31 “Come, you who are blessed by the Lord,” he said. “Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.”

32 So the man went to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for him and his men to wash their feet. 33 Then food was set before him, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say.”

“Then tell us,” Laban said.

34 So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35 The Lord has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36 My master’s wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and he has given him everything he owns. 37 And my master made me swear an oath, and said, ‘You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live, 38 but go to my father’s family and to my own clan, and get a wife for my son.’

Spring Time

Many among us love planting. Anybody can plant but experts advise proper timing when to plant and when to harvest. In Canada, farmers start planting in spring, but there are plants that should be planted in autumn.

Harvesting requires right timing too. There is right timing to harvest vegetables. And, fruits taste great when harvested at the right time.

The Lord Jesus commanded in Matthew 13:37-38, 37The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

The Lord declared the abundance of harvest but ordered us to ask the Lord of harvest to send out workers into the harvest field. Why did He not command, “Go and harvest!” Or, why ask for workers instead of harvesters?

There are different areas of work and skill expertise in the wheat field. Expert harvesters know when grains are ripe for harvest. Experts in threshing know the proper timing when grains are dried enough to separate the chaff. Newly harvested grains should be dried up to separate the chaff a lot faster.

The Lord of the harvest knows which worker is right for a particular task. God gives us spiritual gifts appropriated to specific tasks in His harvest field. Some are appointed to go to missions. Some remain in the church. But, workers need to know God’s right timing.

Abraham’s servant had a mission to find a bride for Isaac. He waited for proper timing. He observed attentively, and Rebekah showed interest.

1. Interest

28 The young woman ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring. 30 As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring. 

When Laban saw his sister Rebekah had precious ornaments, he was interested of knowing where she got those precious things. He did not wait or send his own servant to invite Abraham’s servant to come to their house.

Laban personally went to the spring where Rebekah met the servant. Going out to the spring implies that Laban was not simply curious but had great interest to know who gave Rebekah those precious ornaments.

Rebekah cherished her nose ring and bracelets. In excitement, she ran home and told everyone in the entire household of her mother. She may have even forgotten to carry home her water jar. She was just so fixated and focused on telling everyone about her ornaments.

Rebekah, the bride to be brought to the Promised Land represents the church, the bride of the Lamb to be brought to the promised heaven.

The ring represents the word of God. Christ is the Word of God.

The bracelets represent obedience to the Word of God.

The gladness Rebekah had with her precious ornaments illustrates the gladness we have when we accept Christ and obey His command. Rebekah’s gladness to tell everyone about her ring and bracelets is a picture of what we actually experienced when we received full assurance of salvation.

It says in Hebrews 11:1, 1Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

What are practical proofs that you have faith in Christ? Confidence and assurance! You have sincerely prayed and accepted Christ as your Lord and Saviour, but do you have confidence and assurance that you’re saved?

If you are still in doubt, ask God to give or strengthen your faith to believe in Christ. Keep on asking God until you sense doubt has gone away!

Can we practically sense if we have received eternal life? Yes we can!

If we have Christ in our life, we can practically sense confidence and assurance of our salvation. By faith, we ask Christ to come to our life. God sent us the Spirit of Christ. His Spirit produces joy in us. Such joy is the same gladness we have to tell others that we received eternal life, and gladness to obey Him willingly and not reluctantly or under compulsion.  Willingness to obey Him gladly is amplified by confidence and assurance that we’re saved.

Go Home!

Christ healed a man and told him to go home and tell others about it.

It says in Mark 5:19-20, 19 “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

Christ has healed us from all iniquities. Iniquities and sin influence or pressure us to resist and disobey Him. The Lord has removed sin from us when believed in Him. Sin cannot dictate us to resist God. His grace inspires us now to gladly obey Him. Obedience to God has become attractive to us.

Ever since you believed in Christ, have you sense any urgency to tell your love ones about God’s gift of salvation? When Christ’s Spirit prevails in us, He assures our salvation, and we desire to tell our love ones about it. Love, the fruit of the Spirit activates desire for our love ones to be saved.

When I sensed desire to share the gospel with my relatives, I travelled more than 5 kilometers up and down the mountain, cross the river on foot, and reached my parent’s home at night. My parents and siblings were curious that I visited them suddenly. Their curiosity prepared them to listen. And, when I invited them to accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour, they responded positively without any hesitation.

Joy, the fruit of the Spirit of Christ is gladness we sense to share with love ones about Christ and His salvation. At prayer meetings, salvation of love ones is often requested to be prayed for, why? It indicates desire for relatives to experience the joy of salvation found only in Christ.

May God give you much confidence and assurance of your salvation.

May you gladly desire to share the good news with your love ones. Gladness to share the gospel is the empowerment of the Spirit of Christ that signals His right timing to testify about Him. Right timing is very crucial in witnessing. When one is ready to believe in Christ, that potential believer would show interest to invitation of placing their trust in Christ.

2. Invitation

31 “Come, you who are blessed by the Lord,” he said. “Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.”

32 So the man went to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for him and his men to wash their feet. 

When Laban said, ‘blessed by the Lord,’ he implied interest to know more about the purposes of his guests—why they came to that area. The invitation and offer of a place in the house, giving food for the camel, and water to wash their feet signaled readiness to hear the good news.

The ‘washing of feet’ was the first act before entering the tent or house after a journey. This washing is refreshing and cleanly. For ordinary people, the host provides the water, and the guests washed their own feet, but in the richer houses, slaves do the washing.

When Laban brought water for Abraham’s servant and his men to wash their feet, did Laban’s servants wash their feet? Did the visitors wash their own feet? It was not significant who did the washing. But giving water for washing implies that the visitors were welcomed into the house.

Laban said earlier that he prepared the house for them. It might be that before Laban went to the spring, he had already relegated the house preparation. Moreover, his invitation suggests his interest about his guests.

Samaritans

Jesus traveled to Samaria. He was tired and sat down near the well where a Samaritan woman came to draw water. In their conversation, the Samaritan woman showed interest of knowing more about Jesus. Leaving her water jar behind, she ran home and went to her town.

She invited the people to come and see Jesus. They came to see Jesus.

It narrated in John 4:39-41, 39Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.

Leaving her jar just to inform others about Jesus and inviting others to come, see and hear from Christ was more important than fetching water. Such is a picture of gladness when Christ’s Spirit bears fruit of joy in us.

When the Samaritan people invited Jesus to stay with them, it implied their interest of knowing more about Christ and His teachings. Interest to listen or to know more signals God’s right timing to witness about Christ. Interest and invitation are signs of God’s right timing for us to testify with productive success to potential believers.

When Laban invited his guests, gave water to wash their feet, and provided food for the camels, such generous hospitality is practical proof and signal that God has already prepared him to listen to the good news.

The good news that Abraham’s servant brought was an invitation for Rebekah to be the bride of his master’s son and bring her to Canaan.

Similarly, the good news we bring is an invitation for potential disciples to be part of the church, the Bride of the Lamb.

Canaan, the Promised Land represents the promised heaven where Christ, the Son of God waits for the coming of His Bride, the church.

Jesus reminded in Luke 10:5-6, 5“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 

A person of peace shows interest, and ready to accept the good news.

As a person of peace, Rebekah gave water to Abraham’s servant with no condition, and to the camels until they have enough, and Laban offered a place in the house, gave food for the camels and water to wash their feet.

Abraham’s servants did not beg to stay longer in the house. He just initiated it and waited for the right time to speak.

3. Initiative

33 Then food was set before him, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say.” “Then tell us,” Laban said.

34 So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35 The Lord has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36 My master’s wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and he has given him everything he owns. 37 And my master made me swear an oath, and said, ‘You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live, 38 but go to my father’s family and to my own clan, and get a wife for my son.’

Observe that the servant of Abraham was very intentional in his approach. His mission was to get a wife for Isaac from Abraham’s relatives. When food was set, it was an opportunity to satisfy his personal need but he did not eat right away. He was more concerned about his mission.

For eastern culture, food offered implies that guests are welcomed. It also indicates generosity and gladness of heart to accommodate. And to eat the food offered implies appreciation to a generous hospitality.

But instead of eating first before sharing his mission purposes, why did the servant grab that opportunity to discuss his purpose of coming there?

Why can he not wait to inform his listeners that he was ordered to get a wife for Isaac? He had much time, right? He did not need to rush!

The servant was not concerned if Laban welcomed him or not. He was more concerned if they are interested to his mission, his purpose.

We can learn from Abraham’s servant how to be intentional in our purposes as believers. As believers, we desire to serve Christ our Lord. He says in John 12:26, 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

And, in John 14:23-24, 23“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

Love of Christ is the fruit of His Spirit in our life. Obeying His teaching as practical proof that we love Him indicates that Christ’s Spirit empowers us to love Him and obey Him with gladness and joy, not reluctantly. We gladly obey Christ because we have confidence in Him.

Winnipeg Jets

Did you watch the Winnipeg Jets won their first playoff game as a franchise? Scoring in hockey games requires a discipline and right timing. Discipline includes physical fitness and practices of following a game plan.

Individual talents are significant but following a game plan is crucial to the success of the team. Coaches present a game plan for players to follow.

If they have confidence in their coaches, players follow the game plan.

Similarly, if we have confidence and assurance of our salvation in Christ, we’ve got gladness and willingness to obey Christ our Lord.

Right timing is crucial to score in a game. It is also crucial to know God’s right timing to have success in witnessing and making disciples.

Pray for the Lord of harvest to send workers into His harvest field.

Ask God to help you discern His right timing to testify about Christ to potential believers that God has prepared to believe in Christ.

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