Summary: Fifth in a six-part series of living intentionally and not just letting life happen to you.
Living an Intentional Life: Witness
President Clinton was down in the swamps where he slipped away from the Secret Service and was out jogging long the scenic paths that crisscross the country. As he was jogging, he accidentally tripped and fell off a narrow bridge into the black, gator-infested water below...
Three 10 year old boys, Willie, Joey, and Rufus were playing along the creek and saw him fall. They all jumped in and dragged him to shore. He was so thankful that he told each of them, "Boys, you just saved the President of the United States and each of you deserves a reward."
The first boy, Willie says, "I wants to go to Disneyland!"
"I’ll take you there myself!!!" exclaims The President.
The second boy Joey says, "I wants a brand new pair of autographed Nike Air Jordan’s."
"I’ll buy them for you myself," says the President.
"And I wants a motorized wheelchair with a stereo built into it with custom speakers," Rufus says.
The president looks at Rufus and says, "But son you don’t look like you are handicapped to me."
"I ain’t but I will be as soon as my Pa finds out that I saved you!"
The Bible tells us that a merry heart does good like a medicine. It means that laughing and having a good time actually make you feel better. I like jokes and I love to laugh. In fact, God has used humor in my life to do some great things.
Humor can be powerful tool, especially when it contains a seed of truth that helps us put things into proper perspective. It is for this reason that I draw your attention to a cartoon drawn by one of my all-time favorite cartoonists Gary Larson of THE FAR SIDE fame.
Poor Roger…he never had a chance to get it right. By worrying and trying too hard he set himself up for failure and the baggage that goes with it. I believe we can learn a lesson from Roger this morning. I want to take that lesson and apply it to a specific area of life.
We have been in a series of messages titled Living An Intentional Life. Today, I want to continue that series and address the witness of Christians.
Matthew chapter 28 records these words of Jesus “Go to the people of all the nations and make them my disciples….” This is a process we often refer to as witnessing or evangelism. It means telling people about Jesus--something most Christians believe they should do, but rarely ever accomplish.
Why? If witnessing is such an important task (and it is), why do we have such a hard time with it? Notice I use the word we. Pastors aren’t some kind of Christian super hero. This is an area that is also difficult for me a lot of times. Our difficulty stems from a number of reasons, including but not limited to: fear of what others will think, fear of screwing up (like Roger), uncertainty about what to say or do, etc.
This morning, I want to help you understand your role as a witness for Jesus. Hopefully, in the process, you’ll be able to let go of the pressure and anxiety that often accompany us like they did Roger.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Remembering that intentional living means having PURPOSE, DISCIPLINE and VISION, let’ look at being an intentional witness.
I. The purpose of witness
A. What is a witness?
1. A witness is one who gives testimony concerning something they have seen or experienced first hand.
2. This means that the only people who can give testimony about Jesus are those who have actually had a personal experience with Him.
B. What is the purpose of witness?
1. Witness is intended to shed personal light on the work of Jesus in the world. We cannot operate on a purely theoretical basis—we must give flesh and blood to the message of Jesus.
2. It’s one thing for a person to hear that Jesus can change lives, it’s something totally different for family, friends and coworkers to see the fruit of a life Jesus has changed.
C. What are the benefits of being a witness?
1. If you were to witness a crime and then testify in court concerning your experience, you would be described as performing your civic duty. Christian witness could technically be described in much the same way. By testifying, you would be performing your spiritual duty.