Summary: First in a series on Witness
Text: Acts 22:6-24 Sean Smuts
Theme: Cost of Witnessing "God Gave Me Back My Tomorrow"
Introduction:A boy who applied for work was told by the manager he did not think they had enough work to keep another boy employed. The boy said, “But I am sure, sir, that you must have enough work to hire me. You don’t know what a little amount of work it takes to keep me busy.” Many so-called disciples are like this boy. They want to follow Jesus, not to see how much they can do for Him, but how little. To such the Lord never says, “Follow me.” Any who enter Christian service for the sake of having an easy time will be disappointed. Christ is a busy Commander of busy soldiers.
Prop: We can all learn the price of witnessing...
T.S.: We can all calculate the price of witnessing by looking at the expenses of witnessing.
1. Missionary Journeys
2. Paul on way to see Emperor
I.Sanctuary Expense (Persecution)
1. A faithful Christian soldier went to his chaplain for advice. “Last night,” he said, “when I knelt by my bed and prayed, the fellows began to ridicule me and throw shoes at me. What should I do?” “Well,” said the chaplain, “why don’t you stop kneeling down? Just lie down in bed and lift your heart to God in silence and He will hear you.” After a few days, the chaplain asked the soldier how he was faring with his evening prayers. “I’ll tell you, Reverend. I followed your advice for three nights, but my conscience began to bother me because I was betraying my Lord. So I began to kneel down as I did before.” “And what happened?” “I was really amazed. Not a single fellow ridiculed me. Now the fifteen men in my tent kneel down with me, and I pray aloud for all of them.”
II.Lighthouse Expense (Light in the Darkness)
1.A young girl once consulted with her minister. “I cannot stick it out any longer. I am the only Christian in the factory where I work. I get nothing but taunts and sneers. It is more than I can stand. I am going to resign.” “Will you tell me,” asked the minister, “where lights are placed?” “What has that to do with it?” the young Christian asked him rather bluntly. “Never mind,” the minister replied. “Answer my question: ‘Where are lights placed?’ “ “I suppose in dark places,” she replied. “Yes, and that is why you have been put in that factory where there is such spiritual darkness and where there is no other Christian to shine for the Lord.” The young Christian realized for the first time the opportunity that was hers. She felt she could not fail God by allowing her light to go out. She went back to the factory with renewed determination to let her light shine in that dark corner. Before long, she was the means of leading nine other girls to the Light.
III.Storytelling Expense (I love to tell the story)
1.J. D. Brash came to Manchester. His mother came to live with him, and while attending the church in which he was minister, gave her heart to God. Her son asked her to attend his society class, but her Scottish reserve made her insist upon a promise being given by him that he would never call upon her to speak. To this he assented, but said that he would tell the story of her conversion. At the first class meeting he began to tell the story, but he had not traveled far before his mother very excitedly said, “You are not telling it right, Jack,” and forthwith speedily poured forth the story of her newfound love. He often told this to prove that when the most timid soul is aglow with love, there is something which makes it claim a share in the spiritual conversation of the class meeting.
There lived in a poor village a girl of sixteen. She was never more than six months at school, but she thirsted for knowledge. She almost learned by heart the few books within her reach, and then turned to study the Bible. The result was conversion, and with the experience of forgiveness, a great desire to serve her Savior. She thought of her brothers, and read to them, over and over again, the Bible lessons she had learned herself. She had heard of Sabbath schools, and determined to establish one for her scattered neighbors. Her father permitting the use of the kitchen, it was soon filled, the old and middle-aged coming for instruction as well as the young. Years passed, and in place of scores, hundreds were seen in that school every Sabbath. A neat church, too, grew up beside the old kitchen. That teacher has gone to her rest, but her work continues. One brother, who learned the truth from her lips, devoted himself to the ministry; others are useful Christians, and one of her scholars became a foreign missionary.