Ac 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
A few weeks ago, I went to the Dora High School Alumni Banquet. I graduated from there in 1967. During the social hour I had a wonderful conversation with one of my old friends and my former teammate on the football team.
When we played football, this guy used to really challenge me. Sometimes we had to go against each other in practice one on one and he was quick, tough, and mean on the field. We usually sat beside each other on the bus when we would play away from home. He would always challenge me to have courage no matter who the opponent was.
However, the greatest challenge that he ever gave me was not on the football field. It was in the early 70’s. His dad had passed away. I went to the viewing at the funeral home there in Sumition, Alabama. At that time, I was living a very sinful lifestyle. He told me that on the night that his dad had passed away that he got saved. He told me that he knew that he was going to heaven. He knew that prior to that he was headed for Hell. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. It would be almost twenty years later before I would get saved. But yet in his witness god was reaching out to me and offering His love to me.
Many times, we use a phrase attributed to St Francis of Assisi “preach the Gospel use words if necessary.” I fully believe that is a very good and challenging statement. We are to live our lives in a way that glorifies Jesus Christ. On the other hand, I believe that the Scriptures do call us to tell people about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus lived holy, but He also preached and taught.
The Scriptures are consistent that all of us who follow Jesus Christ are to be a proclaiming people. At least 41 verses have the word preach. Here are a few Mr 3:14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, Mr 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. There are 58 more with the word preached. Here are a few using preached: Mt 11:5 “The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. Mt 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Ac 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.Ac 8:40 But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.
You might be saying well these were preachers, apostles and or evangelists, or people that had a special calling. How about the blind man that was healed in John Chapter 9? He told the religious leaders what happened to Him: Joh 9:25 “He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.” How about the woman that Jesus met at the well? Joh 4:28,29 “The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” These are just a few. There were many more in the Scriptures. 1Co 15:6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. (NKJV)
Sometimes some of us who might have had a powerful experience with the Lord may be going through a tough time and get discouraged. That is why we are to testify to those who have already been saved. We often need encouragement. When we hear others witness and testify it should stir in us a go and tell somebody spirit within us. Lu 7:22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. (NKJV)
So, as I think about how my good friend, former teammate, and now brother in Christ challenged me I feel like the Holy Spirit wants to challenge all of us. Do people know us more for what football team that we pull for because we tell more people about them than we do the Lord? Do people know us more by our political brand because it is easier to share that than it is to talk about Jesus? If we all were telling someone about Him would our culture be different than it is today? This week let’s challenge one another to witness to someone about what our Lord Jesus has done in our lives and desires to do in the lives of others.
Let Us Pray
Lord some of the things that we witness about are not necessarily bad things,but forgive us when we have told and shared with people more about those things than we have about You! Today blow Your breath upon us through the Holy Spirit and empower us to share the Good News of the Gospel! You took Peter from a man that denied You and made Him a man that would see three thousand souls come into the Kingdom in one day. Lord please do in us what You did in him.
In Jesus Name
God bless you all!