Summary: Committing to be a good witness not just as a new year approaches, but for life!
I Will Be…A Good Witness
All across the world people have set all sorts of resolutions for the New Year. People have resolved to be better people and to live better lives and have better habits. What type of year can we expect to have in 2007? A lot of that depends on what we as individuals will decide and resolve to do. Throughout New Years you hear a lot o talk about resolutions, but we do not need a change in the year in order to have resolutions. I want to ask you, what type of person are you going to be in 2007 and beyond? Over the next several weeks I want to commit with you to different goals of how we will live our lives. Most of these goals are really not even options that we have, but are reinforced in Scriptures by commands from God. This week, I want us to commit not only 2007, but the rest of our lives to being a good witness. We all have been called to be witnesses for Christ. Jesus told the disciples, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and in Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth.” That duty as Christ’s witnesses is handed down for us. A witness is someone who speaks up or testifies on behalf of another. We are called to do that for Jesus, aren’t we? We are called to speak up for Jesus among people who reject him? We are called to tell of Jesus to those who do not know or are misguided. We are called to be his witnesses. Can we commit to being a good witness for Jesus this year and for our lives?
When I was in elementary school I used to love the time we called show and tell. During that appointed day the kids would bring in something to show the rest of the class and have the opportunity to tell them about it. People would bring their pets, their favorite toys, movies, games, or clothes.
That is kind of what we do on a daily basis with our faith. We show through our lives and then we tell people about Jesus.
One time when I was in North Carolina we decided to split up on Sunday Evening into classes. One class was on stewardship and the other was on personal evangelism. I was curious to see the turn out in the various classes and thought they would show sometimes of people’s interests and passions. I overheard a conversation in the hallway of two ladies talking about which one they would attend. One lady said, “I am going to the stewardship class.” That was fine, and nothing wrong with that, but what followed bothered me. Then she said, “Evangelism just isn’t for me.” I thought then Heaven probably isn’t for you either.
I believe there are a lot of Christians than think evangelism just isn’t for them, so they leave it up to someone else to do, failing to accept any personal responsibility in reaching the lost.
If I was to ask you today if you were a good witness or a bad witness I would suspect that the answers would either be people claiming to be a good witness, or people stating that they may not be a good witness, but they are not a bad witness either. The reality is we only have two options. Either we are good witnessed for Jesus or we are bad witnesses. The reason that some people do not see themselves as a bad witness is because they see a bad witness as someone who lives a totally immoral life. I believe that you can be a bad witness in two different ways…
1. Does not accurately portray Jesus
This is almost obvious. Someone who claims to be a Christian, but does not accurately portray Jesus and the way we should live our lives is a bad witness to the world and to non-Christian people. How does your life portray Jesus? Are you giving a good representation of how a Christ follower should act and live? This is not always easy and we will make mistakes at times, but a bad witness does not portray Jesus accurately or more simply they could be labeled as hypocrites.
2. Does not actively speak of Jesus
A bad witness is also someone who fails to do their job as a witness. If you were hired for a specific job and were given specific instructions for that job you would be considered a bad employee if you did not do it right and well. Suppose with me though, your boss comes in and questions you as to why you have not done what he said for you to do. He then calls you a bad employee. You question why he called you a bad employee and the answer is obvious you haven’t done your job. If that is true, and it has to be because I said it, then many who do not see themselves as a bad witness may in fact be a bad witness because they are not doing any witnessing.