Summary: I would like to thank Pastor Jerry Shirley for sharing this series on Acts. It has been a blessing as well as a great help. I have used these for our church, as I spend my days caring for my dying father.
Acts series # 15
My Faith is saying Go but my fear is shouting NO!! Acts 4:1-12:
We have been looking at the early church and trying to understand what Elim Bible should look like. If you remember the very beginning of this series we talked about writing Acts chapter 29 and we discussed the blunt way that chapter 28 ended. I questioned the possibility that Peter was leaving the end of the story for you and me [the church today] to finish. We are to continue the story.
I believe that every true believer in this place today would love to share his/her faith but you have some “good” reasons why you don’t.
I understand that this problem is common today.
BUT if you had a cure for cancer, for Ebola, or any other deadly disease no one would be able to stop you from sharing that cure with the world. Most Christians have no problem talking when it comes to their college or pro football team… but let someone ask you about Jesus and you clam up...
If you are a born again believer, washed in Blood of Calvary, here’s what I want you see;
Every one of you has knowledge of something far greater than a cure for any disease mankind could ever face.
Question: What is it that keeps us from really witnessing?
The #1 answer to that question is fear. We hear a message like this on witnessing and many of you will hear your faith say “go” and then your fear shouts “NOOO”!
We get intimidated, afraid, or we rationalize why not, or why not now, and despite good intentions, we don’t ever seem to get around to it.
Years ago the Southern Baptist Convention put on what was called the “Good news America, God loves you” campaign. I was a young believer who had very no experience going door to door witnessing so our pastor partnered me with the oldest man in our church. He was a godly man and an awesome witness for Christ so he was to teach me a few things and I felt honored to be with this man of God to learn from him. As soon as we got to the first house he said, “Now son don’t be afraid.” I thought “I’m with you, what have I got be afraid of?” Then he said; “I’m going to let you do all the talking.” “WHAT!!” I remember walking up to that first door almost praying that no one would be home. My hands were shaking from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet and for the first time in my life, I knew what fear tasted, smelled and felt like.
Now here was a man who, before Christ, called himself the baddest dog in the yard, a man who feared no human being, yet I was trembling in fear like you wouldn’t believe.
Unfortunately this describes many of our witnessing experiences!
Let me give you the same encouragement Paul gave Timothy.
Don’t be afraid!
[2Timothy 1:7] “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; (If not from God then who?) (Notice what God gives) but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
God does not give us fear that causes our mouth the get dry and our hands to sweat, that comes from the enemy. God fills us with real power, with love in our hearts for fallen man and with understanding to share the salvation HE has given, through His Son Jesus Christ.
All we need to do is get the conversation going and God will say the rest, through us!
A major part of fear is NOT knowing what is going to happen next or NOT knowing what to expect.
So let me show you a few things you CAN expect, should you decide to be a bold witness for Christ:
1. Expect Doors Slammed in Your Face: Look at verse 3
Last week we talked about persecution being a part of living a godly life and being a witness can and will bring persecution.
I remember one man, during the “GNAGLsY” campaign. He was raking with a real rake with real teeth, made of metal. I tried to give him one of the New Testaments we were giving away but he would not take one. I kept trying to tell him that it was FREE but he threw a few frills and dressings at me (cussed at me) and told me to get out of his yard. The people on the porch really found this humorous but what they didn’t know was the man standing in their driveway was certainly under the blood of Jesus or he wouldn’t take the abuse thrown at him. I finally turned my back and walked away, which is something I never did. I learned early that you never turn your back on the enemy. Every joint I ever went into, even a burger joint I always sat where no one could slip up behind me; but that day I turned my back. God was showing me that this man was not the enemy. As I walked away I heard this horrible sound. It was the sound of metal teeth skidding across concrete and my body prepared for the worst. I felt the blood pouring down my back and waited for my head to fall off. No he didn’t hit me with the rake but in my minds’ eye I saw him swinging that rake at me.