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Thoughts for the Week -- November 1-7, 1998

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  • Mark Roth
    ============================================== What should compel us to testify? An inner desire and certainly not force of any sort. Neither should peer
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 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
      ARCHIVES LOCATED AT:
      http://www.anabaptists.org/clp/youth/
      ==============================================


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