Witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses

This was taken on 2/24/2012 in Fresno California. This was our first, and last video shot that night because security wouldn’t let us film anymore. This is a typical conversation with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Don’t be deceived – when talking with a Jehovah’s Witness you will use ALOT of the same words, with totally different meanings. Also, i got two of my scripture addresses wrong; can you guess which one?

Confess your secret thoughts

Here’s a journal entry from 1.1.2011:

Genesis 3:8 (PARAPHRASED) – “they hid from the omnipresent, omniscient God to hide and cover up their shame”

One of the most liberating things you can do is tell God your secret thoughts.  Even those thoughts that are shameful and make you want to suppress them and convince yourself that they’re not really there.  God knows you better than you know yourself; so when you speak to God it isn’t to inform Him of something He didn’t already know, but rather it is to surrender to Him and lay yourself bare before Him in humility so that He can restore you.

When you are honest before God and confess your vulnerability, He comes in with overwhelming GRACE and FREEDOM!  He will help you see yourself from His viewpoint, and grant you repentance and victory.  Hallelujah!

Your Proximity to God

VERSE: 
Though the Lord is on high, He looks upon the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar.
                                   — Psalm 138:6
THOUGHT:
We live in a church culture with many people who profess that they’re Christians, yet they refuse to humble themselves before the Lordship of Christ.  They will usually say something like “I have my own personal relationship with God”.  That’s true – EVERYONE has their “own personal relationship with God”.  That’s not the question.  The question is, “is it a GOOD relationship?”  Satan even has his own relationship with God; it’s just not a very good one. 
Though the Lord is on high, He looks upon the lowly (those who humble themselves before His Lordship), but the proud (those who would rather have “their own personal relationship with God” outside of what the bible demands) God knows from afar. 
APPLICATION:
Don’t be someone that God knows from afar.  Draw close to Him through humble acceptance of Christ’s Lordship over your life.  When Christ is your Lord (meaning the supreme authority of your life / whatever He says goes), your proximity to Him is closer.
PRAYER:
Heavenly Father, I don’t want you to know me from afar; I want to draw close to you.  I humble myself before you as my Lord, and trust that in so doing my proximity to you would be closer.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN! 

The Word’s Preeminence

The Word’s Preeminence
VERSE:
I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your Name and your Word.
                                   — Psalm 138:2
THOUGHT:
It’s amazing to see that God has exalted two things above all other things: His Name, and His Word.  This verse flies in the face of people who live in a church culture that has a pretty low view of the Word of God.  Granted, no one in the church will say “I have a low view of the Word of God”; but you can see the priority that the bible has by the negligence and/or mishandling of it in the church.  Do we really esteem the bible the way God esteems it (above all else)?
It’s frustrating to hear people, even Christians, say “that’s just your interpretation of the bible” when you are proclaiming clear biblical truth that goes against their presuppositions. 
APPLICATION:
You and I have no right to interpret the bible the way we see fit.  We must esteem God’s Name and God’s Word above all other things.  Treat the Word of God with respect.  Honor the Word of God by reading it daily, presenting it clearly and accurately with what you say and how you live.
PRAYER:
Heavenly Father, I will bow down towards you and praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your Name and your Word; and I align myself with you and esteem your Name and your Word above all things.  Help me to honor your word, and present your word clearly and accurately with my words and deeds.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN! 

Clear conscience doesn’t mean good motives

VERSE: 
My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent.  It is the Lord who judges me.
                                   — 1 Corinthians 4:4
THOUGHT:
We’ve all heard the term “the Lord knows my heart”.  That’s true, but the problem is that most times we don’t know our own hearts.  Just because you have a clear conscience about the way you live or your relationship with God doesn’t mean that you are innocent, or that your relationship with God is good.  It is the Lord who will judge you, and He will do it by the standard He has revealed in His word.  
So many people are comfortable on their way to hell because they never take the time to gauge their comfort by the standard God has revealed in the bible.  
APPLICATION:
Don’ gauge your righteousness or your relationship with God by the way you think or the way you feel.  Test all things, even your clear conscience, by the Word of God.  Rather than asking yourself “is my conscience clear”, ask yourself “according to the Word of God, should my conscience be clear?”  
When the bible gives warnings about certain things that you’d otherwise be comfortable with, don’t appease your conscience to suit your desires.  Conform your conscience to line up to what the bible says it should be.

PRAYER:
Heavenly Father, I acknowledge that a clear conscience doesn’t automatically mean that I’m innocent.  I know that it is you who will judge me; and I thank you for giving me your word showing me the measure by which you will judge me.  I pray that you would help me test all things, even my clear conscience, by your word.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN!

Know God’s Word, Know God’s Will

VERSE:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.         
— Romans 12:2
THOUGHTS:
It’s not wise to say “I want to know what God’s will for my life is” without the willingness to renew your mind with His word.  It’s amazing to me how confused people are when it comes to determining God’s will for their lives.  So many Christians who have never developed the discipline of daily renewing their minds with the Word of God have the bad habit of running their own lives and making their own decisions based off of what they think is best.  When things go wrong, they frantically seek out the advice of a pastor, or a friend or they’ll anxiously pray and try to find all of the scriptures that might apply to whatever they’re going through.  Some may even desperately pray over their bibles and randomly open it up to see if God will highlight a specific verse that has the answer to their situation.  
Renewing your mind with God’s word is not only the key to breaking conformity with the pattern of this world; it is also the key to testing and approving what God’s will is.  It’s foolish to do things without knowing if God would bless it, and it’s frustrating to hear people say that they’ll pray about things God has clearly spoken about in His word already!  There are so many decisions that you shouldn’t have to pray about because you should already know what God’s word says about it.    
APPLICATION:
Instead of asking the question “what should I do about _______”, start asking the question “what does God’s word say about _______?”  Renew your mind daily so that you would be able to test and approve what God’s will is. 
PRAYER:
Heavenly Father, I thank you that your will is not hidden from me, but you’ve revealed it to me in your Word.  I pray that as I renew my mind with your word that you would develop my ability to test and approve what your will is – your good, pleasing and perfect will.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN!

Mind renewal produces transformation

VERSE:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…
                                   — Romans 12:2
THOUGHT:
The things that this world has to offer are fleeting and vain in light of eternity.  If you spend your life pursuing what this world has to offer, you will look back from eternity and realize that your life was wasted and you lived the life of a fool.   
That’s why God’s word tells us to “not conform any longer to the pattern of this world”.  But how are we to NOT conform to the world that we live in?  We’re surrounded by it and tempted by it every moment of every day.  In order to not follow the pattern of the world, we need to be transformed.  But how do we do that?  Can we transform ourselves?
God  doesn’t simply give us the commands to “not conform to the world” and to “be transformed”, and then leave us to ourselves to figure out how… he also gives us instructions on how we can fulfill these commands – by renewing our minds.  It makes sense because humans follow a chain of command: our actions follow our emotions and affections, and our emotions are controlled by our thoughts.  Therefore if you want to change your actions, your emotions have to be transformed.  The way to transform your emotions and affections is by changing your thoughts (or renewing your mind).  If you are going to be successful in breaking conformity with the world, you are going to have to fill your mind with God’s thoughts.  When your mind is filled with God’s thoughts, you will share God’s heart, and the natural overflow is to apply what God says. 
APPLICATION:
Renew your mind daily with the word of God.  Redirect your thoughts into conformity with God’s thoughts, and allow His word to transform your emotions and affections, which in turn will transform your actions towards the pattern of God’s kingdom rather than the patter of this world. 
PRAYER:
Heavenly Father, I thank you for giving me your word.  I treasure your word and trust that as I renew my mind with it you will transform my emotions, affections and actions to the pattern of your kingdom.  I pray that I would NOT conform to the pattern of this world, but that I would be transformed by the renewing of my mind.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN!           

Putting to death the misdeeds of the body

Putting to death the misdeeds of the body
VERSE:
For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live…
                                   — Romans 8:13
THOUGHT:
This little verse contains amazing truth.  It is an exhortation to “put to death the misdeeds of the body”, but it tells us that we should do it “by the Spirit”.  There are TONS of religious and non-religious people who “put to death the misdeeds of the body”, but they do it in their own strength, and in their own will power.  They are “living according to the flesh”.  Whether it’s dieting, exercising, self-mutilation, fasting or any other thing you have to discipline yourself to do in order to live righteously… if it’s done in your own power it leads to death.    
APPLICATION:
This is the key distinction between what the bible teaches, and what every other religion teaches about holiness.  The bible teaches that WE need to “kill the flesh”, but we need to do it in such a way that it’s not us doing it, but Christ doing it in us.  So what does that mean?  That means that you draw on His power, and His grace in order to live His ways.
PRAYER:
Heavenly Father, I want to live holy, but I know I can’t do it in my own strength.  I thank you for living inside of me, giving me the power to put to death the misdeeds of the body.  I rely on you for your strength, and I’m drawing on your grace in order that I might live a life of holiness.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN!  

Fear not, trust God

VERSE:
“[The blessed man] will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
                                   — Psalm 112:7
THOUGHT:
How do you handle bad news?  Do you fall apart like a two dollar suitcase?  Or are you steadfast, trusting in the Lord?  Some synonyms for steadfast are: resolute, unwavering, unfaltering and persistent.  To be “steadfast, trusting in the Lord” means that your trust in the Lord is made evident by your unwillingness to succumb to fear in any and all situations. 

You can tell a lot about a man not by his actions, but by his reactions.  When things seem to not go your way, what do you tend to do?  When trouble comes, how do you react?  Do you keep your cool, or do you stress out?  Do you scramble to find a solution, or do you trust that God already has the solution?  Do you pray frantically and clumsily, or do you pray with thanksgiving for God’s hand of protection and provision over your life?  Do you see bad news as obstacles or as opportunities to walk out your faith?
APPLICATION:
Don’t fear bad news.  Resolve in your heart that you will trust in the Lord at all times; not just the easy times.  The blessed man is the one who is steadfast (resolute, unwavering, unfaltering and persistent) in his trust in God.
PRAYER:
Heavenly Father, I thank you for your protection and provision in my life.  I trust in you fully.  I have no fear of bad news because my heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.  I pray that by your power you would help me to walk out this truth all the days of my life.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN!

Saved by faith alone, but not by faith that’s alone

VERSE:
Where, then, is boasting?  It is excluded.  On what principle?  On that of observing the law?  No, but on that of faith.  For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law…
…Do we, then nullify the law by this faith?  Not at all!  Rather, we uphold the law.
                — Romans 3:27-28; 30
THOUGHT:
A man was standing on a street corner handing out blank pieces of paper.  Finally, someone stopped and asked “what is this?”.  The man replied “that’s a list of all of the good deeds you’ve done to earn salvation”. 
All men have been subjected to sin, and all men can be freely forgiven; not on the basis of what they’ve done, but on the basis of faith in what God has done.  No one can boast before God and say “my goodness landed me a place in heaven”. 
The question therein lies, “so why obey God’s commands?”.  We obey because we’ve been justified by faith!  If someone continues to live in unrepentant sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth of Jesus, they’ve never truly put their faith in Christ.  If a man has been justified, he will also be sanctified.  Our justification is by faith, apart from the law, yet it produces obedience to the law.  As Martin Luther said, “We are justified by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone”.   
APPLICATION:
Focus on the balance between faith and works.  Understand that you have no room for boasting, and that your good works have nothing to do with your salvation.  Also understand that true salvation produces a lifestyle of repentance and obedience to God’s commands.
PRAYER:
Heavenly Father, I thank you that I have been saved on the basis of faith in your work; not on the basis of my works.  I also thank you that faith in you has produced in me a lifestyle of repentance and obedience.  I pray that you would continue your work in me so that I would be conformed more into the image of Christ.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN!