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Monday, January 09, 2012

Are You A Witness?

Here in Florida, one of the most frequent announcements on the television comes from Crimestoppers. The police are always appealing for people who have witnessed a crime to come forward and testify. If you are ever involved in  an accident or some other situation that would warrant a court appearance, you would need a witness. To me, these things sound very unpleasant, and I thank God that I've never been a witness or needed a witness to testify on my behalf. However, the Bible does call on us as Christians to be witnesses.

As far back as the Old Testament, there was a call for witnesses in matters of law. "Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die" (Numbers 35: 30) . In the New Testament, Jesus employed this same law in His teaching on how to deal with someone who has wronged you. He said, "But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established" (Matthew 18 : 16) . Then in Acts 1 : 8 He is reported as saying to His disciples, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth."

In the last example, Jesus called on His disciples to be witnesses unto Him in another legal battle - the battle between God and Satan for the souls of everyone on earth. Because, make no mistake, the person who has not been witnessed to about Jesus Christ, is in danger of losing His soul - forever. Should we as Christians stand by and allow that to happen? Some time ago, I witnessed to one of my patients about Jesus Christ. A few minutes later, one of my friends came and told me that the patient went and reported to a nurse that I'd told her about God. That nurse immediately picked up the phone and reported me to the director. I didn't hear anything about the incident after that, but I assured my friend that I will continue to witness as the Holy Spirit leads me. 

Witnessing involves more than just telling someone about Jesus Christ. In order to be an effective witness we must live the part. Our words and actions must exemplify those of a disciple of Jesus Christ. If we say one thing and do something else, people will see through us for the fake that we are and will not take us seriously. 

Witnessing for Jesus is more pleasant, I believe, than being a witness for Crimestoppers. And much more rewarding. You get the satisfaction that you have saved a person from going to hell. Even if the person does not accept Christ there and then, you have sowed the seed and can trust the Holy Spirit to do the rest. If the thought of witnessing intimidates you, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the boldness you need and  then go about it with all your might.
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