Bible Verse: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Scripture Reading: Matthew 10:1-42
“Do all the witnessing you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever… you can!” (John Wesley’s rule for Christian living, modified by R. Hamel)
How important to Jesus was it that his disciples would bear witness? It was so crucial that he started calling them to it from the beginning; he implored them, “Come, follow me… and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). We see its importance when he sent out the Twelve to preach the kingdom message (Matthew 10:1-42). Furthermore, Jesus made the focus on witness one of his last in-depth teachings when he was only hours away from the cross: “You must also testify” (John 15:27). The first command Jesus gave his disciples after he rose from the dead was “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). Then we see the same focus again in his Great Commission command: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Finally we see it in his last words just before his ascension when he said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). From beginning to end of his earthly ministry, one of Jesus’ top priorities was to produce witnesses who would testify of him.
First, we witness by speaking of the person and work of Jesus Christ. This does not need to be a lengthy explanation; it can be done in a passing comment. Any expression of fact about Jesus’ person – for instance, that he is the creator and sustainer of all things, the Son of God, the promised Messiah, the Saviour of the world, the one resurrected from the dead, and the one who will evaluate all our actions – is truth about Jesus and, as such, a witness to him.
Second, we witness by speaking of what Jesus has done in our own lives and the ways in which he has transformed us. We should note that the book of Acts has three instances in which Paul, the apostle, gives a detailed account of his personal testimony (Acts 9:1-43, Act 22:1-30, Acts 26:1-32).
Third, we can witness by speaking of the teachings of Jesus. He left a rich body of teaching in the New Testament, including the Sermon on the Mount, where he taught on anger, forgiveness, lust, divorce and remarriage, heaven, and hell. We can use all of these as valid themes of witness.
Fourth, we witness in a powerful way by living out the teaching of Jesus. We are called to live a life that is godly and righteous. We are called, after all, to walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6).
— Royal Hamel in Unmuzzle Your Inner Sheep: Liberating Believers to Share Jesus ©2013. Used by permission.
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