On the day of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem some of the Pharisees were shocked and concerned about the decorum of Christ's followers. Their exuberance of praise was an embarrassment to the cultured religious leaders. Christ's disciples needed to be rebuked.
Jesus, however, responded by saying, If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out. (Luke 19.40)
When Peter and John appeared before the Sanhedrin for disturbing the priests, the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees by their preaching of the resurrection of Christ from the dead, they were commanded to speak no longer to anyone in Christ's name.
Peter and John responded simply, We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. (Acts 4.20) The disciples had a story to tell and they refused to be silent.
Peter refers to believers as living stones, being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (I Peter 2.5) The writer of Hebrews admonishes us to continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of our lips that confess his name.
At Growth Ministries we believe that every believer has a story to tell and that there is great power in the story. If believers remain silent, the stones will cry out. Sharing our story, in praise to Him, has power to influence the hearer in many redemptive ways. Dare we remain silent?
As a result of this conviction, Growth Ministries is making a place on their web page where readers can see and hear the testimonies of Christ followers in three different areas:
- the difference that following Christ has made in my life
- the difference discipleship training has made in my growth in the Lord
- the difference, having Christ in my life, has made in facing major issues ( such as financial failure, a terminal illness, an addictive behavior, the unexpected death of a child or loved one, etc.)
The testimonies will also be able to be downloaded for repeated viewing or for showing in a study group or even a worship service in a local church when the preacher is preaching on the theme of the story. Our objective is to touch the lives of people searching for answers to life issues and to make an added tool available to strengthen the message of the local church.
We will extend an open invitation to any who wants to be a part of the ministry by sharing their personal story. Contributors will be asked to trust God for a minimal fee to cover the cost of the video recording and for a personal copy which they could use as a tool for sharing their faith with others. Contributors will be kept posted as to the number of hits each month as the ministry expands. Would the Lord have you be a Crying Stone?
Jim Landwerlen's Testimony of Faith in Christ
Jim Landwerlen is president of Winterwood Mortgage Group in Greenwood, Indiana. He is a devoted husband and father to four daughters, two sons-in-law, and one grandson.