Witnesses

Tuesday Devotional: Proverbs 19

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Desire without knowledge is not good—
how much more will hasty feet miss the way! -Proverbs 19:2

A false witness will not go unpunished,
and whoever pours out lies will not go free. -Proverbs 19:5

A false witness will not go unpunished,
and whoever pours out lies will perish. -Proverbs 19:9

A corrupt witnessmocks at justice,
and the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil. -Proverbs 19:28

 

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 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.”
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. -Acts 1:6-9

Do you call yourself a Christian?  Why?

A Christian identifies with Jesus Christ and believes confidently in his claims.  While those who actually saw Jesus in person have long since passed away, to be a Christian is still to be a witness.  A Christian is convinced in head and heart that what they have seen in the Bible and in their own life is evidence that Jesus Christ is who He said He is, and that His Spirit remains with us in the person of the Holy Spirit.  To be a witness, a person has to have seen someone or something personally.  To be a witness of Jesus Christ, and therefore a Christian, a person has to be a witness of His presence in history and in their own life.  Before you answer “yes” to the question “Are you a Christian?”,  ask yourself a much more important question: “Am I a witness?”

Have I personally witnessed the presence of Jesus Christ in my own life?  Do I believe that the Holy Bible testifies to the evidence of Jesus Christ in history as a man and the incarnation of the living God? Are YOU a witness?  If the answer is still yes, we must then understand and count the cost of what it means to be a witness.  We must understand that we have been shown the living God in Jesus Christ, and that we are commanded to testify to our experience in His life, death and resurrection and what we hear Him say in the Gospels.  Just as a witness in a court proceeding puts their right hand on the Bible and promises “to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.”  This oath poignantly and convictingly speaks from the place of Christian identity.  Jesus identifies Himself as, “the truth and the life.”  Therefore, as Christians we are not only proclaiming to the world that we have seen and believe in the presence of Jesus Christ, but we are also promising to share only what we’ve seen and heard, so help us God.  We not only share what we’ve witnessed in the Word, but we primarily show what we’ve witnessed in bearing the Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ in our daily lives.  Our faith in Jesus Christ MUST replicate His spirit in our own.  If we allow His spirit to become our own, we provide the world with the most honest and powerful testimony to what we’ve witnessed.  If our lives bear witness to the life of Jesus Christ, we are loved by God as a true witness.  But if our lives conflict or contradict the life of Jesus Christ, we stand condemned before a God who warned us not to bear false witness, so help us God.

 

 

Thursday Reflection: 2 Timothy 2

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As we get into a regular posting schedule around here, look for twice-weekly updates, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Today we’re reflecting on a passage from 2 Timothy chapter 2. Be blessed as you read!

God does not need man, God desires man.

In order to accomplish his objectives in this world, man is unnecessary.  God desires man to be involved because in that involvement man can witness the Father at work.  However, our involvement is not assistance, but rather participation.  We often possess a distorted perspective of our role in the works of God in this world.

We bear witness to the works of God in our immediate surroundings and  inflate our role in the process.  We reason ourselves into believing that without our openness, without our obedience or without our righteousness, the outcome that we witnessed would not have been possible.

These are lies.  The truth is that the healing or change that we were made privy to was prepared and put into effect far before God called us into the picture.  The truth is that God did not need us, so much as he included us.  Thus, the healing or change that we witnessed was as much for our own benefit as it was the benefit of the one being healed or transformed.

God’s desire to include sometimes has very little to do with the person we witness experiencing the healing or change.  God’s desire to include us has everything to do with our being included in a power-presentation of the Father and his majesty.  This is a moment we are meant to see not so that we could stake any claim in what we saw.  We were brought in as witnesses, so that we could set out and tell the world about it.  Our involvement in the works of God in this world is for us, but never by us.  We are involved in God’s work so that we can build upon our faith with the truth that God is for us and nothing can stand against us.

God desires for us to be involved in his work and be about his business.  He does not desire to work in private or keep us at a distance.  His desire is to provide us every opportunity to see him work.  While it would be easy for him to work alone and accomplish his goals in private, this is a position he has never adopted and never intends to.  His desire from the beginning was to walk with us, to have us work alongside him.  This desire comes out of his love for us, and his love for our company, a love that can only be made complete when we know him to the point of knowing what he is capable of. Knowing him so well that we are completely overwhelmed by how efficiently and powerfully he works while still making time for his children throughout.  He calls us into his work daily, not for us to help him finish his work, but merely for us to be with him while he works.