Summary: This is the Fourth in a 5 part series on becoming a witness for Christ. This message investigates the idea of witnessing as a way of life. A simplified understanding of witnessing that is real.
You Shall Be My Witnesses
Pt 4 ¡V Witnessing, A Way of Life
In Acts chapter 1:8 Jesus says to His disciples ¡§you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.¡¨ Those words mark the beginning of the Christian Church. They mark the heart of the church. They represent the calling, purpose, and potential of the church. Before I left two weeks ago we had been discussing how in a day where only 1/3rd of all believers say they have a responsibility to share their faith, how do we become what God has called us to be ¡V His Witnesses?
I¡¦ve been gone for a couple of weeks and we are just picking up this series again so let me get you caught up.
ƒß Week one we talked about developing a desire to be witnesses. That desire is Implanted in us by God and Inspired in us by His goodness.
ƒß Week two we talked about getting started ¡V that getting started as a witness is simple. It really only requires two things; knowing who we are and knowing who God is.
ƒß Week three we talked about the next step ¡V getting intentional ¡V deliberately looking for opportunities to connect a world in desperate need with a God of infinite resources.
Today I want us to look together at the idea of witnessing as a way of life. Often witnessing is a foreign idea to us. When we do testify for the Lord it is strained and uncomfortable because we are not only out of practice but we see witnessing as an uncomfortable process of life. I don¡¦t think it should be that way. Witnessing for Christ should become for us as natural as breathing.
Now understand that preaching, teaching and the like don¡¦t come quite that easy but those are not the things I¡¦m talking about. Let me share with you a few principles that might help.
ƒß Talking about the best things in life comes naturally ¡V we don¡¦t strain to talk about our kids, grandkids, or blessings ¡V good things come naturally to the forefront of conversation. When we have been healed, delivered, saved, touched by God ¡V those things are good things ¡V we can¡¦t help but talk about them. Don¡¦t make this so complicated ¡V witnessing is not always sharing bible verses, do¡¦s and don¡¦ts, or even the 4 spiritual laws. Witnessing is simply telling other people what God has done in your life ¡V from the simple to the complex. It is simply expressing the joy over who God is and what He has done. You are not out to convince or convict that¡¦s God¡¦s job ¡V you are simply to share the joy.
ƒß God has given you gifts, talents, and abilities to share ¡V God has given each of you spiritual gifts, talents, and abilities to be used in His service. We often get over complicated in this thing and think that witnessing is sitting in a quiet corner with a Bible sharing scripture texts. Witnessing is really about connecting need and service. In other words it¡¦s about using who God made you to help the people around you and in the process telling them that the reason you are doing that is Jesus Christ. This develops the hunger that God will fill.
ƒß Be yourself ¡V God made you, saved you, and filled you with His spirit. He doesn¡¦t want you to be Billy Graham, or Chuck Swindall. He hasn¡¦t called you to be D.L. Moody. God has called you to be you ¡V not your copy of someone else. This is not rocket science folks it¡¦s simply allowing the love of Christ to be shared through our lives.
So how does all this happen? How do we turn witnessing into a lifestyle for us?
I have two suggestions for you from this scripture this morning. The call of God to His disciples then and now.
1) The first is to cultivate an Intimate walk with God. Look at verse 5. Jesus describes a natural process of an intimate relationship with God. An intimate relationship with God bears fruit. The intimate walk with God has two components listed here:
ƒß God¡¦s part ¡V God is the vinedresser ¡V he spends time with each branch pruning and dressing it so that it is best able to bear fruit. The scripture is talking about us. God takes and active role in your life developing, pruning, and shaping you so that you can bear fruit. God reaches out His hand in offer of intimate fellowship. Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest. The offer of intimate fellowship with the father is ours. In Romans Paul says we are offered the opportunity to call Him ABBA.