Thoughts for the Week -- November 1-7, 1998
What should compel us to testify? An inner desire and certainly not force
of any sort. Neither should peer pressure be our sole motivation. Street
meetings are good and so are jail visits, rest home singing, and
house-to-house tract distribution. However, if we do them simply because
they are "required" or "in," we have surely denied ourselves full blessing
and reward. Here are three reasons for witnessing.
HIS COMMAND. Jesus asks no one to witness for Him; He commands us to. A
package deal, you could say. For the privilege of walking in the Way with
Him, we are commissioned with the responsibility of promoting It and He. We
are called on to testify of His work in us, of His offer for all mankind
and of His imminent return (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
THEIR NEED. We are perhaps too engrossed with ourselves; we are not
accustomed to hurting for the spiritual and emotional needs of the heathen
about us. They cheat us. They mistreat us. They tempt us. They annoy us.
And our responses incline more to the flesh than to an earnest concern for
them--their emotional frame of mind, their personal difficulties, their
spiritual vacuum, their deep-down hopelessness. We see and feel our own
hurt, not the hurt they have that causes them to hurt us. Consider what
they may have had, what they are experiencing now and what they face in
eternity. The Master's heart was moved with compassion for such; it still
is. He would move ours, too.
OUR OBLIGATION. "Having the best, they reserved it for themselves." Even
four Old Testament lepers couldn't accept that epithet for themselves (2
Kings 7:9). And Paul exclaimed, "Woe is unto me if I preach not the
Gospel!" (1 Corinthians 9:16). Jesus put it very plainly, "Freely ye have
received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8). We are debtors to all lost mankind
to share the Gospel with them (Romans 1:14-15). We were in great bondage
and have been freed. We knew corroding guilt and have been forgiven. We
were abject outcasts and have been elevated to sonship. How can we withhold
such a message in such times in such a world?!
We have cheapened witnessing by regarding it too much as a special event
that happens at special times at special places under special
circumstances. Witnessing ought to be a common occurrence that happens
during the common moments of our lives in common places under common
circumstances. In other words, witnessing is to be an integral part of our
daily experience. Though we treat it as such, personal witnessing is not an
option to be exercised irregularly and occasionally.
And how or what might a Christian young person "preach" to his heathen
peers? The most convincing "how" is your life. The "how" that fills in the
blanks is your oral explanations. Your life and your speech must supplement
each other in order for either to be effective. You must be equipped to use
both in a persuasive manner.
The Apostle Paul would hear nothing from the Corinthians except Christ, and
Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2). When people observe in our lives and
hear in our speech the "what" of our witness, they must be helped to see
Jesus. The majority of pagan youth in our country today lack certain life
ingredients--contentment, satisfaction, happiness, purity, purpose,
responsibility, submission and respectability. May they see these things in
you and may they see Jesus in you producing these things. You may be no
evangelist, but you ought to be an Evangel spreader.
September-November will be taken from the 1993
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