Summary: Why do we not witness like we should? Let’s look at Paul and discover how he overcame his inadequacies in this area.
What keeps us from sharing the good news?
Nothing stops good conversation like the word Jesus. Why? There are several reasons. However, I believe one main reason is the fear of the unknown. What could/ would Jesus do? To those who are lost, there are several unknown characteristics about Jesus that appear to be frightening. However to us who know Him, know better. So, what keeps those of us who have experienced His presence from sharing Jesus? Fear of rejection, fear of not knowing answers to difficult questions, fear of offending the person, especially a family member or friend, fear of being persecuted/ridiculed, fear of not being able to communicate appropriately. Notice that all of these are fear motivated. “God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” 2 Tim. 1:7
READ AND PRAY
1And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
I. Paul testified despite his circumstances. (3)
“Profiting from failure.” Illustrations Unlimited. P. 185. “A young man of 32 had been appointed president of the bank. He’d never dreamed he’d be president, much less at such a young age. So he approached the venerable chairman of the board and said, “You know, I’ve just been appointed president. I was wondering if you could give me some advice.” The old man came back with just two words: “Right decisions!” The young man had hoped for a bit more than this, so he said, “That’s helpful, and I appreciate it, but can you be more specific? How do I make right decisions?” The wise old mans simply responded, “Experience.” The young man said, “Well that’s just the point of my being here. I don’t have the kind of experience I need. How do I get it?” Came the terse reply, “Wrong decisions.”
Paul testified despite that he felt weak, and afraid. We don’t like feeling weak and afraid. It is not a good feeling. Even to the point that we avoid things that cause us to feel that way. This is one reason we don’t witness. However, God’s word tells us that "in our weakness, His power is made perfect". We need to choose to allow God’s perfect power be made manifest in our lives. We do this by choosing to do things that He has called us to do. Events that make us feel weak!
II. Paul testified despite his countenance. (3)
He not only felt weak and afraid, but he looked weak and afraid. Paul said he "trembled". But he still testified. All to often we allow our appearances prohibit us from testifying. We feel as if we don’t appear adequate. Or we allow the appearances of others to prohibit us from testifying. They don’t look like we do, for better, or worse.
Officer Tori Matthews of the Southern California Humane Society got an emergency call: a boy’s pet iguana had been scared up a tree by a neighbor’s dog. It then fell from the tree into a swimming pool to where it sank like a brick. Officer Matthews arrived on the seen with her net, she immediately dove into the pool, immerging seconds later with the pet’s limp body. She thought, well you can do CPR on a person, and on a dog, why not on an iguana. So she locked lips with the lizard. “Now that I look back on it,” she said, “it was a pretty ugly animal to be kissing, but the last thing I wanted to do was to tell that little boy that his iguana had died.” The lizard responded to her efforts and made a full recovery. Tori Matthews didn’t see a waterlogged iguana, she saw a little boy’s pet, and the love he had for the pet drove her to do what she did. We may never see the beauty in some people, but when we realize what they mean to God, we will do whatever we can to keep them from drowning! Humor for Preaching. P. 62
People are ugly. No matter what you look like, no matter what they look like, we ALL need God’s “breath of life”.
III. Paul testified despite his lack of communication. (1,4)
A man who was trying to b more diligent about witnessing saw an opportunity when he was standing in the “10 Items or Less” checkout at the grocery store. “All have sinned,” he began, sincerely looking at the clerk scanning his items. “Including you Mac,” she replied, without looking up. “I count twelve items here.” Humor for Preaching. P. 65.