What Kind of a witness am I?

We can’t avoid frustrations, but we can rejoice in the Lord and be content.

Jesus said (Acts 1:8) you shall be my witnesses.  What do I need in order to be a good witness?  Must I have an impressive vocabulary and display enviable knowledge?  (Oswald Chambers) “You cannot convince people that you are clever and that Jesus Christ is wonderful at the same time.”  We are not here to impress anyone with ourselves.  All I need is knowledge of God’s Word so that in plain words I can present the Gospel Truth, which is that salvation obtained in Jesus Christ alone, not by works but by faith alone, through God’s grace alone and then allow the Holy Spirit to create the miracle of believing.  Paul was a noted scholar and a skilled orator but he said (1 Corinthians 2:1-5) I came to you in weakness, trembling lest my language distract you from Jesus.  Jesus said (John 12:32) if I be lifted up, I will do the drawing of people to Myself.  I saw an example of this distraction at a Bible Conference in Florida over 50 years ago.  As we were leaving after the service, I heard a man say – I would love to have a vocabulary like his!  For that man the message was a complete failure because he never saw Jesus.  Another year at that Conference the speaker was Warren Wiersbe, one of the greatest Bible teachers of all time.  He knew the Bible very well and also the God of the Bible.  With simple, easy-to-understand words he incited in me a desire to go deeper into God’s Word, a desire which continues to this day and will continue to my last breath because I have so much to learn and because I was so impressed with Jesus in all the messages during that week.  We heard a wonderful witness (John 9:25) from a blind man.  All he said was – “I was blind but then I met Jesus and now I see”.  We can’t do any better than that in our personal witness.  Then let God do His work of creating in others a desire to see Jesus.  If they have questions, answer strictly from the Bible but do not block, with a flood of words.  God’s goodness (Romans 2:4) in His call to repentance.  If you still hesitate to tell others about Jesus because you feel incapable or think you don’t have enough of what you, need - - open your ears and your mind.  A Christian lady born in 1789, was bedridden for 37 years.  She wanted to serve the Lord but what could she do but be frustrated?  Maybe it’s surprising but she didn’t waste those years in frustration, complaining and rebellion.  Think of how many hundreds of sinners who have walked down an aisle to salvation while singing or hearing the hymn “Just as I am,” which was written by this dear lady, Charlotte Elliott.  She kept her mind (Philippians 4:8) on the things that matter and are of eternal value.

Life is full of frustrations but how foolish, trivial and earthly are many of the things we allow to frustrate us.  We can’t avoid frustrations but we can rejoice (Philippians 3:1) in the Lord and be content (Philippians 4:11) in all things.  Sometimes God allows frustration for our spiritual growth or for the development (Philippians 1:12,13) of His purpose within us.  Paul was not frustrated because he saw himself not as a prisoner of Nero but (Ephesians 3:1) but as the prisoner of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Dr. Stanley) pointed out that “We learn more about the Christian life and spiritual growth from the Epistles, which Paul wrote while in prison than from anywhere else in the Bible.”  We are richly taught, encouraged and blessed because Paul was in prison.  This fact should give us a better and truer perspective on our own lives and circumstances.  (Dr. Swindoll) “Whatever you are going through, however great your pain – it’s not about you – it’s all about Jesus”.  I am learning that what I used to call my burdens are actually God’s gifts to equip me to (Acts 13:36) serve God’s will and purpose for my generation.  We have (1 Corinthians 2:16) the mind of Christ and His mind contains the thoughts and purposes of His heart.  Do we (Philippians 2:5) let His mind control and direct our thoughts, thought patterns and habits, desires and attitudes.

If I talk the Christian talk and live to please myself, my deeds will give the lie to my words and others will recognize my revolting hypocrisy.

Jesus spoke of whitewashed graves because back then the graves were painted with whitewash so that nobody would unknowingly step on one and be ceremonially unclean.  He said (Matthew 23:27) that the religious leaders were like whitewashed tombs.  They looked very spiritual on the outside by inside they were devoid of life and filled with death.  Some Christians use the whitewash of hypocrisy in order to make themselves appear spiritually mature, but it doesn’t take long for others to detect their hypocrisy and reject their words.  What kind of a witness am I?  What do I need to be a good and faithful witness?  I must let (Colossians 3:16) the Word of Christ dwell in me richly.  Then I will have a strong desire to (1 Corinthians 10:31) glorify God in everything I think – say – do.  Then God will reveal to me (Ephesians 2:10) the good works already prepared specifically for me to do.  We began with Jesus telling us (Acts 1:8) that we would be His witnesses.  He also told us something else.  That we would have no effective witness apart from the power of the Holy Spirit.  If I ever think that I know enough, I can explain clearly, I can give a good witness - - - I will do God a big favour if I keep my mouth shut.  In such a case, I can do myself a big favour by repenting.  That horrible stench is pride – insidious stubble, rancid pride.  God is able (Daniel 4:37) to abase and humble those who walk in pride.  We should have learned long ago that in ourselves we can do nothing (John 15:5) of eternal value.  It must be Jesus living, speaking, doing through us by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.  Otherwise, it will all be wood, hay and stubble (1 Corinthians 3:12-15) fit only for the fire.

If we truly love the Lord, we are constrained, compelled, urged to share (2 Corinthians 5:14-15) the wonderful message of salvation.  We know that Jesus died for all and that every unsaved person is spiritually dead and we are (Romans 1:14) obligated debtors.  Our precious intimacy with Jesus, our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s voice and the revelation of the Father’s heart will make us godly witnesses, not only by our words but also constantly by our lives.  In every circumstance where we are dumped, the Holy Spirit can use us in those very circumstances to glorify Jesus.  Let us determine to be always alert and available for this holy privilege.

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