Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 49 : Make Disciples | Day 342

Speak With Authority!

As the teaching ended, a hush fell over the crowd that was gathered on the mountainside. They were astonished by what they had just heard, “for he taught them as one having authority ...” (Matthew 7:29). What was the source of the authority by which Jesus spoke? As the Son of God, He explained the commands that He had received from His heavenly Father, and He often shared them in the context of real-life situations.

When we teach Christ's commands out of our own life experiences, we can speak with greater authority.

No one else has had exactly the same experiences that God has given to you. However, many people probably have had similar experiences and will identify with your problems, because “there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man ...” (I Corinthians 10:13).

The goal in sharing our personal struggles with others is to do so in a way that will help as many people as possible relate to both our problems and the solutions that we discovered as we applied the appropriate commands of Christ. One effective way to do this is to use a four-part testimony:

1. Define the Problem. People relate to problems. In fact, sharing problems can promote healing. We are told, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed” (James 5:16). Problems should be stated in general terms rather than using specific details that may have happened only to you. For instance, if you had a disagreement with your parents, don't focus on the details of the disagreement; rather, state the problem in a more general way, like this: "For many years I had reoccurring conflicts with my parents." Most people will be able to readily identify with this problem.

2. Describe Your "Solution." Explain how you tried to solve the problem in your own way and made it worse. For example, you could say, "I tried to reason with my parents, but it always ended up in heated arguments that caused further separation."

3. Explain God's Answer. What command or Biblical principles did you apply in order to resolve the problem? "I finally realized that I was not honoring my father and mother, and they were reacting to my spirit of pride and disrespect. I asked them to forgive me for this."

4. Report the Results. Describe how God's solution has brought new resolution to the problem. "When I humbled myself, my parents also asked me to forgive them for their actions, and we now are able to enjoy open communication."

This same four-point testimony can be used to teach and explain every command and principle of Scripture.

By taking the time to write out personal testimonies (in a four-part format) on each of the commands of Christ, you will be storing treasures of wisdom in your heart. Then, as you are talking with others, especially those whom you are discipling, you will be able to draw upon these good treasures and share them with others in a way that will impact their lives.

Our human tendency is to not recognize God's "classrooms" as opportunities to learn and apply His commands. Therefore, the next time a conflict arises, let's ask ourselves what commands relate to the situation and then obey them so that we can enjoy God's lasting solutions. These experiences will give us a powerful platform for discipling others.

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:19-20).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard