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Witnesses Unto Me: Personal Journey

Edwin Nebblett


Edwin Nebblett

Medical Director of the Presbyterian Medical Service/ Catron County Medical Center in Reserve, NM and Emergency Medical Services in Northern Catron County, NM


  • December 6, 2019
    7:30 PM
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Father in heaven we want to be used by you to bless others and I pray a lot of the words that are spoken are words that will go to the heart and you will make use of them so that we can be encouraged we may share for the kingdom of heaven it's never been about us it's all about you in Jesus name a man. Being a witness I want to share with you it has already been done here talking about Acts one verse 8 we are privileged all of us to be ambassadors for Christ we are commissioned to portray to the world the riches of His grace and the life changing power of the gospel so in Acts one verse 8 we have our text but ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and he shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all of Judea and in some area and even unto thee of the most part of the earth Christ called the disciples to be witnesses for him an effective witness. Is one who knows God and makes God known so I will be using this text throughout the 4 messages and what I want to share with you is how I'm going to go about to do that followers of Christ today are similarly called to bear a personal witness to the words and teachings of Jesus to the purpose of God to save the world through His Son and to the effectiveness of the Gospel in their own hearts but there is no more convincing testimony that can be born without a person no experience there can be no true Christian witness so in an ever expanding circle I'm going to take this text and I'm going to say that our witness begins in Jerusalem and I'm going to consider our homes to be Jerusalem then to Judea and that I will call our church and then to some area our community and then to the uttermost parts of the world however the place that we must to begin is in a witness that is a personal witness so the question that's going to be before us is enough what I'm going to explore over the next 4 sessions how do we go about being a witness now it's already been brought up by Pastor butcher and I really appreciate that that you cannot start unless you receive power so this to me is where it begins to where ever it is that you're called upon to witness if you don't have power. You're not going to be effective you will be a witness but you may not be an effective witness for the Kingdom of Heaven so this is what the disciples were doing in the upper room and this power was a life changing power this is what Sister Weiss says as in humility they the disciples submitted to the molding influence of the Holy Spirit they received over the fullness of the Godhead and were fashioned in the likeness of the divine so a vis would allow them to continue the work that Christ had begun with such power that they would do and even the Lord himself said that they would do greater work than he did in proclaiming the Gospel that's one in John 1412 so. We share best what we know and what we have experienced I am a p.k. that means armor preacher's kid and also an m k a missionary's kid now the advantage and disadvantage of that is that when you're a peek a and an m.k. and your father or mother in whatever work they are doing they're very busy for the Lord and on Fortunately one of the actual buttes of many children who are Piquet's and them Kays are that they are not the most to be sure. I say that from experience and from observation so what we found is that growing up I had opportunities which I will not detail. To be a model p.k. in m.k. but one of the things of that I enjoyed particularly was where I lived I grew up in the Caribbean My father was a pastor and then a. Conference official and then at the last venue the mission president in. British Guyana I grew up in the Caribbean I grew up in Trinidad and Tobago Barbados and I've learned as a child to adapt to the culture very quickly as a result whenever I am speaking to someone from the Caribbean not the Caribbean the Caribbean a change up me accent you know or when I'm talking to somebody from down deah because you can't talk like you're young. You see so this is what I did I adapted and as one of the things that we enjoyed doing was enjoying the fruit literally of where we lived Hence I am a firm believer that mangoes are definitely one of the months of the tree of life so all I can say is that it's been my experience and so when I moved back to North America and I was introduced to apples I was not impressed Nevertheless I just share that with you to let you know that this was my experience and even though I had a faithful mother nevertheless when you are not supervised all that well and you're climbing trees it's going to be a mango tree and if the mangoes are not ripe No worries you just took a little salt a little pepper and you got a green mango and you dipped it in the salt and pepper or law. And ate it your teeth were set on edge. Am I giving you an experience are you with me and so growing up I did this my father when we returned back to the United States around the age of 12 he did not have a call for those of you who are in the ministry you understand exactly what I'm talking about for the rest of you don't worry so he went to work. With his degree as an m. divs as a social worker I did not know that that if you have a master's degree in divinity is considered to be the same as an m.s.w. a master's degree in social work so he did because he didn't have a church he was pastor in but not officially took an examination with the states with the with the government a civil service examination scored very well and so as a result the State Department reached out to him and said we need you to work with us so he went to work for the State Department in the lovely country of Vietnam where he became a individual that was repatriating the refugees coming from the dying Peninsula those who were involved with the fighting and they would put them into camps to take care of them this is what he did and so as a result my mother moved to Taiwan in order to be with him and left us children in college back in California. When I lef of the wonderful country of the Caribbean and I came to the United States I discovered foods that I had never been introduced to before particularly sweet ones fairy sweet ones in small packages and they were of various nature and I did not have the opportunity of adult supervision and so I indulged without seeing a dentist didn't care and as a result time passed I went and got my. My college degree then went on and did a master's degree in public health and then entered into medical school there all in the universe whereupon one day I began to experience pain in a tooth I had never experienced this pain before and since it was a medical school there at all Melinda I went to visit the dental school and this is the days before digital photography the only way that you could really ascertain the nature of a cavity was to explore it with a probe the has a sharp end and so Nigel a friend of mine who's a dental student had me sitting in the chair and I am fully expecting to get the best of care I mean he had supervisors all around him and so he began to probe my tooth and he cuts of that tooth that was painful and he proved and hit the nerve and I arts out of the seat screen. At that point he numbed me up. He found the problem and a root canal was you know how it goes. I had an experience and as I share with you this experience you get it that I know what pain is I share best because I've been there in the kindness I must confess I have spent many hours in a dental chair so much so now I fall asleep while the dentist is doing their work but my experience is one that I share with you simply because I've experienced this. I know. I am he witness you see our lives are a witness one way or another they will give evidence to the world revealing the character of Christ or a spirit of self-seeking it reflects which is reflecting of course the character of the enemy of God If we become a witness to the character of Christ in our lives we will demonstrate either the sacrificial love real love is given or selfish love you see as a Christian I have choices you see the question before us today is what kind of a witness am I or what kind of a witness is God want me to be you see if I call myself a Christian that means that I am to reflect Christ in all that I do that is what a Christian is for the truth be known that well this is where the rubber meets the road up I Do you remember the story of the lawyer who came to Jesus and he asked the question master what is the greatest commandment of the Lord Jesus responded to him in Matthew 22 verse 37 he said to him there shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all mind this is the 1st and great commandment and the 2nd is like unto it but I shall love thy neighbor as thyself on these 2 commandments hang everything now if I were to ask you the question who is my neighbor I know what you would say but I will say that it is everyone that we have the opportunity to witness to and it starts with those who are around us a lot of translation those who we live with you see we live a life that either demonstrates a love for God and a love for others or which of course is the essence. Of the character of God. Or we witness a love for so that's what we're going to do an effective witness is one who knows God and makes him know there was a time in my life in my early marriage and parenting where I became convicted that I although a professing Christian engaged in doing God's work I was not experiencing the life changing power of the Gospel in my own life or in my marriage or in my family I had graduated from Loma Linda and I did my residency training in a residency program in the western suburbs of Chicago. I graduated from residency in 1901 I then went and took a teaching fellowship at a university in Texas and I returned back and joined the faculty of the residency that I graduated from and I became a teacher there I had a part time medical practice I was also doing teaching and doing obstetrics while being the administrator of the resident sees a medical practice I got married in 1902 shortly after finishing my fellowship wife and I are newlyweds my wife was working from the 3 to 11 shift and on the weekends I was busy with my responsibilities as a church elder in a new church plant I love to my wife while I was not tuned in to her needs. A stime went on we started a family. I became even more involved in outreach to others my dear bride Maria learned to live with my busy lifestyle by this time I was involved in a t.v. ministry called Lifestyle Magazine hosted by Dan Matthews who was the host of faith for today. The program lifestyle magazine was intended to reach out to the secular world and introduce them to Christian lifestyle as if that was not enough I added a children's television program called Genesis attic which someone just told me the other day is all on You Tube I had no idea whatever I will go to a church I could see children looking at me and then they return to their parents and they were had this conversation and the parents would be shaking their head and the children would be going and they would be shaking and I knew what the conversation was they would be saying That's Dr No bullet on Genesis and apparently going no way and so eventually they would migrate my way and they would say are you talked enough and I would say Guilty as charged I told you so Nevertheless I am well known amongst grandchildren now because those children have all grown and now they have children and I just say To God Be The Glory live in the us I was conducting a lot of health lectures and when I was at home I was on the phone I was so busy doing God's work that I had no time for God. No time for study of his word no time to spend in prayer no time for communion with him. My conviction came when my daughter was 7. Years old at her birthday party surrounded by all these boisterous children it dawned on me but I did not know this child I had been living with her for 7 years I knew nothing about her she had this little stuffed. I don't know what it was that she carried around with her everywhere I did not know the name of her stuffed Tory I had lived with her for 7 years it really it was in my heart to be a truly godly father to my children and the spiritual leader in our home that my wife really wanted me to be but where was I to find that time to do this at the hospital by this time I was the residency director I was Mr Wonderful I was a success were consumed me and I did not push it away I also might find time to do outreach or God brought me to conviction on that day of my daughter's 7th birthday party and help me to realize something that I needed I needed to change if one day I wanted to hear the words Well done good and faithful servant when the Lord asked me where is the beautiful flock with I gave you so I realize that I was being a witness all right but not the effective witness that God was calling me to be to my wife and to my children in my home I was putting the cart before the horse by being busy witnessing without power I did not have power. I did not have the anointing of the Holy Spirit to empower my witnesses so I made a firm decision 3 decades ago that I would begin by spending one hour every day in God's word you see I had an intention I want to know how to be an effective witness of my love for God is awakened and it grows by getting to know God it's personal There are 4 things that I concluded 1st I needed the spend time with him you know if you want to being engaged with someone that you really like you have spent time with them number 2 I needed to listen to him about 3 I needed to talk to him and number 4 I needed to contemplate so now I am sharing with you how I went about getting a personal relationship with Jesus Christ the creative power that call the world's into existence is in the Word of God This word in parts power it begets life every command is a promise accepted by the will and received into the soul it brings with it the life of the infinite One it transforms the nature and recreates the soul into the image of God This is what I have done over the years 1st of all in studying the Bible I had to start somewhere and I did not know where to start and so I decided you know what I need help one of my favorite verses in the word is in some 32 verse 8 I will instruct the and teach the in the ways which thou shalt go I will guide the with mine I there's a whole story behind that text I won't go into it. It was quite the experience that's why that Texas now my most favorite but I believed in the promise Ok if you're going to teach me what I need to know if you're going to instruct me and what I need to know you're going to guide me and I've got to get some data I've got to get some information so I studied the areas of my need when I don't hear voices but I would love to have had the experience of Abraham you know you have somebody walking and talking with you as well as those who are in the Garden of Eden but the Holy Spirit is the variable to give you if you take the time to listen you will hear a little word behind you saying this is the way walk in it so in any event I studied the areas of my need one day I did not hear anything all of all but I got an impression just give me an example you see I like salt I like salt a lot and so one day I just got this notion you eat too much salt now I have to tell you when you receive a spirit message from the spirit the 1st thing that my flesh would do is to go let me explain to you why it is necessary for me to eat salt I go into this justification mode and I go plasma full of salt Trust me you put soul there therefore it is natural that I would like Saw Ok Ok Ok I tell you what I'll get confirmation I was not convinced so I before my family I was sitting down eating with them and not just casually Do I like solved. And my children respectfully said Dad you salt the food before you even taste it. My wife bless her heart she has been graced with the support of spirit and she didn't go See I Told You So she just said I put solved in the food and it's adequate. Ok years ago our children were having some conversation with one of my nieces and there was some point I don't care what I don't remember what it was that was being made and when the point finally came home. She made a very interesting comment that my children have loved ever since. Her quote was now the healing can begin now that you're in the conviction Well I have a choice to make either I gratify self or I surrender my will so I chose to surrender my will it was difficult I still like salt salt is good for you so want you to know this. Is a saying this to you salt is good for you it is I'm not being not justifying I'm just saying factually but under via 40 of Jesus Christ that sort can be used in a appropriate way. I'm not saying that if you is solved you're a sinner don't misunderstand me but surrendered to the will of God salt can be used appropriately I still like Saul I did a 23 and Me test and I discovered that my genome prefers savory over sweet ha I focus about that but my salt shaker now is under the authority of Jesus Christ as a post on the a variety of self you see when you spend time with him you are no longer his captive because we not truly are inclined to follow his suggestions and do his bidding that's natural in us he had we have no power in ourselves to oppose and be effective in our resistance to evil it is only as crisis abides in me by living faith influencing my desires and strengthening me with strength from above that a man may venture to face so terrible of for every other means of the fence is our totally vain This is what comes as a result of spending time with him we have the strength to be overcomers The 2nd point is listening to him So what does it take to listen desire of age or says it best in all who are under the training of God is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world its customs or its practices and every one needs to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God we must individually hear him and speak into the heart where every other voice is hushed and in quietness we wait before him the silence of the saw makes more distinct the voice of God He bids us be still and know the I am God. Some 46 for a stand here alone can true rest to be found so this is one of the reasons why I do my devotions in the morning at the most ideal time for me anyway to listen when everything is quiet and this is the effect to a preparation for all who labor for God amid the hurrying throng and the strain of life's intense activities the Soul that is best refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace the life will breathe out for ignorance and will reveal a divine power that will reach men's hearts in no spiritual strength only comes through taking the time to put on the whole armor of God and devote time every day to meditation and prayer to the study of scriptures and this will give us a saving transforming influence on those around us this is what makes us effective witnesses great thoughts noble aspirations clear perceptions of Truth and Duty to God will be ours. This matter of clear perceptions of Truth and Duty to God Some time after beginning to take an hour with God every morning I was by this time I had shifted my operations from the western suburbs of Chicago because I was under conviction that I needed to spend much more time with my family and I we moved to Michigan I was now busy teaching at a local university connected with a medical school I was in part time practice when the health and lifestyle program came to my city in 1988 This program is well known to you is a matter of factness now owned by an Australian company. I got involved with this program when it came to Michigan it was extremely successful community effort. I got engaged with the program heavily involved it's my tendency from going to dive into something I'm diving all the way in but one morning as I got up to do my devotions I don't hear voices but I got this thought you need to read the story of bail and I'm talking about clear perceptions of truth and a duty to God I said Bayle I'm man I'm How do we go right into this justification mode that's what I did I can't be I'm Lord help I don't have a problem with money Ok Ari fine open pay truck some profits go to Chapter 40 I know this story it's based on numbers 22 through 24 page 438 so I read the story of bail and it didn't take me very long I read the story I got I know the story this is not my problem read it again. Ok so I started to read the story of bail him again a 2nd time halfway through bail it hit me hard. I did not have a problem with money but I have another problem you see one of the things that I thoroughly enjoyed teaching I enjoyed teaching and one of the things that I enjoy doing is taking complex concepts and making it easy to understand. I was involved in this educational program and I was doing a lot of church and community outreach and as a result of that when I would get up in front of large groups and I would take complex medical subjects and make it easy to understand. It was appreciated. I was good at doing it and I enjoyed doing it but you see I did not have clear perceptions of Truth and Duty to God What I did not know was that I did not covet money but I coveted praise and I did not know that halfway through reading a long it hit me you covet praise I was devastated I just have to tell you and even now as I recount it I was devastated I'm do we God's work here you're doing it for you I came with the conviction that day and I did not trust myself I was not into giving glory to God instead I was doing everything to promote praise of men in my heart I was reminded of the text the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked who can know I the Lord search the heart I try the reins to give every man according to His ways and according to the fruit of his doings I was convicted now what do I do. So I said Ok God you got to help me see I really wanted in my heart to live a life that would bring glory to God and not to myself but I needed a change of heart so I vowed that I would make no new commitments to do any healthy outreach to do what I was good at doing and love doing until the Lord changed my heart and I was more focused on bringing him the glory than promoting my selfish interest so this called for more study for more listening to him and more prayer. It was a long time before I would get back up into a public setting but when I did I'm grateful to say by God's grace people would come to say how much I appreciate it and I would say please give glory to God I need this like nothing I God To God Be The Glory not me we've come to serious times events in our world call upon every follower of Christ to be totally in earnest in our relationship with God to strengthen this relationship and to satisfy my emotional and spiritual needs we must learn the power of prayer got to take time to talk with them gotta plead with the Lord like the disciples of old Lord teach us to pray it is our privilege to open our hearts and let the sunshine of God's presence Christ's presence and my brother my sister face the light come into actual personal contact with Christ that you may exert a witness that is uplifting and reviving that your faith be strong and steadfast gratitude to God fill your hearts when you rise in the morning Neil is your best side and ask God to give you strength the fulfill the duties of the day and to meet its temptations ask him to help you to bring into your work Christ's weakness of character ask him to help you to speak the words that will inspire those around you with hope and courage and draw you nearer to the Savior it proceeds witnessing personal over for others should be preceded by much secret prayer before communicating with men commune with Christ. As a throne of heavenly Grace obtain a preparation for ministering to people and then contemplate. We have all heard this found in this our Vegas page $83.00 be well spent and thoughtful are each there in contemplation of the life of Christ we should take it point by point and as we dwell upon his great sacrifice for us our confidence in him will be more constant Our love will be quickened and we shall be more deeply imbued with his spirit if we would be saved at last we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of a cross so my love for God is awakened and deepened by getting to know God it's personal to spend time with him you listen to him you talk with him you contemplate him it's all part of a formula for getting to know God and developing a deeper love for him which is crucial for us to become effective witnesses we take time for personal walk with God and it is even more important the busier you become for me practically speaking I had to stop my evening activity earlier if I wanted to get up early enough to spend time with God I had to stop listening to the news at night I wanted to know what was going on in the world I discovered it was all trouble. No news that's news worthy of getting your attention is going to be good news it's going to be all bad news so now I begin and I have added the Lord's call to my heart to spend time memorizing and so I have now done that I now spend time memorizing scripture I never used to do that my children did it they use something called Scripture type or. And I'm like What is that I have now become quite I enjoy I spend an hour half an hour in the morning and a half an hour and even before I go to bed memorizing scripture it's when I do in addition to everything else that I do so that's how it works my encouragement to each and every one of us as we continue to share and as we hear the messages here is that we seek to be filled by His Spirit and if you and I do that we will be instructed and we will be led and we will be guided God will give you exactly what you need to do in your given circumstance which is totally unique you don't need a prescription you just need him and with him he will give you your particular prescription and he will allow you to have salt from time to time. Under his authority. And you will be blessed. Salt is on its. God bless you this media was brought to you by Adil 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more servant leader visit w w w dot audio Verse dot org.


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