Let’s pretend for a moment life is like a game show and you must choose between two activities. Wrestle a bear or go witness to someone. A lot of Christians would say, “where is the bear”. I might do so myself depending on the day. That whole “fear” thing we humans tend to avoid.
Just the thought of actively “witnessing” to someone is enough to make even a few front row Christians un-comfortable. But, that’s what we are called to do in Acts 1:8. To be a witness! It is an integral part of a Christian life. At least it should be.
Perhaps what scares Christians the most is that when we think of being a witness for Christ we think of walking up to complete strangers and asking them if they know Jesus. There are indeed people that do just that. As of today, I am not one of those people.
Thankfully, approaching strangers to tell them about Christ is not the only form of witnessing. It is just one of many. The most basic form? Simply living out a consistent Christ centered life. Something as Christians we should all strive towards daily, “with God’s help”. I learned that phrase when I became an Episcopalian in my late 30’s.
Leading a Christ centered life will actually draw some people to you. Especially if you have made a noticeable life changing commitment. After I accepted Christ people showed up on occasion inquiring, “You are different, what is it”. They weren’t asking out of shear curiosity, they were asking because they saw the positive changes in my life and thought they might want some of “it” too. Whatever “it” was. The door was then open for me to tell them what “it” was.
Beyond the example of a Christ centered life there are countless ways to witness. They range from inviting someone to church all the way to full time missionary work in a hostile foreign country and literally all points in between. You aren’t forced into service as a Christian but know this, we are ALL called to make a difference.
On a personal level, I lack in many places but God called me to write a few years ago. Probably because I lack in so many other places! I remember well my initial response the day I finally realized what God was calling me to do, “write about WHAT”?! Craziest thing I had ever heard at the time! I then stubbornly resisted for months before finally, obediently, answering the subtle yet consistent nudge that would simply not go away. Ever had one of those? Turns out it was my gift. I had no idea. God did though, He gave it to me. Like I said, we all have at least one.
God blessed the writing effort and continues to do so on multiple fronts. One is witnessing. Through writing I can witness to people I know as well as complete strangers around the globe that read my blog posts. Occasionally, people share the posts with others and the message gets multiplied yet again. God can send it anywhere He chooses. Me, I’m just the conduit. I take what God is doing in my life and revealing to me as I continue to seek Him, write a story about it, then share it. Simple as that. It’s very cool.
On the other side of what you actually read is the personal benefit I have received, which includes a strengthened faith. I received it by being obedient to what I was called to do. Turns out writing requires me to be still, read, study, research and listen. God speaks to me through these avenues and as I have occasionally heard from others, He also speaks to them through my writing. It makes a difference in my life. So, I keep writing. The message keeps getting shared. Seeds keep getting scattered. I keep growing as a Christian. A win win situation.
In church this past Sunday (May 28, 2017) John told a story about a wounded young soldier in a foreign country dying in his best friend’s arms. His friend asked if there was anything he could do for him. He said. “tell Mr. McKennell in Bakersfield that everything he taught me brought me peace in this moment”. After the war the friend travels to Bakersfield, finds Mr. McKennell, and tells him the story. Mr. McKennell stands there silent for a moment then states that he taught the young man Sunday school when he was a small child. After another long pause, he stated that he stopped teaching the class years ago…………. because he didn’t think it made a difference.
The fact that he stopped teaching because he didn’t think it made a difference struck me far more than the fact that he taught the young man Sunday school. He was making a difference in the world but couldn’t see it. So, he stopped. Thing is, the score is not ours to keep. The harvest is not ours to count. We are simply the workers, putting forth the effort to obediently spread the seeds. Only God can make them grow.
I am a believer that God multiplies our efforts for His kingdom. I believe that He multiplies them for His purposes, that He multiplies them in His time and I believe that He multiplies them every single one. But it takes someone making the effort, being the hands and feet. Someone being “available” and “willing” when the call is made.
So, what is your gift? Your “thing” that can be put to work to make a difference? God gave us all a gift and He will put opportunities in front of us to use that gift as a witness for Him. That is why he gave them to us. To glorify Him, not ourselves, and to grow us in the process. Put your gift, or gifts, to work telling others through action, word or deed about salvation and the life that is available to them through Christ. Then watch what happens in your life.
Know this too! These opportunities will most likely be outside of your comfort zone. That will be on purpose. God often asks us to step out when there is nothing in front of us to step on. Faith will be required. That is where you grow in faith, when you get off the comfy front porch of Christianity.
When the call is made and the question is asked, “Who will go for us, who can I send”, what are you going to do? Will you stay there on the porch and keep rocking? Or, will you stand up and say, “Here I am Lord, I will go, send ME”!
Get in the boat. Do your part.
1:6 / Nose to Toes / #16
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