Being A Witness Through Christ

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” -Act 4:13 (NIV)

We often think that we are unsuited to share our faith with others. Pointing to those who are eloquent in speech and educated in the nuances of Google+Photothe Scriptures, we ask ourselves whether we are truly capable of bringing forth an effective witness for Christ. Yet when we look at Peter and John, we see this assumption debunked. Though they could not boast of any considerable education in the Scriptures, they were able to boldly proclaim Christ and His Truth to the amazement of Sanhedrin, the council representing the Jewish religious elite. How was this possible? It was evident even to the religious teachers that Peter and John had spent time with Jesus. They had heard, seen, and experienced His Word in action. He was the core of their witness. The Sanhedrin recognized that the courage and speech displayed by Peter and John did not come from within themselves, but from their relationship with Christ.

Sometimes we may use our inabilities as a convenient excuse to shy away from those opportunities where God is explicitly telling us to proclaim His Name. But the truth is that wherever we are, Christ has called us to be witnesses for Him and we are to be ready to tell others about what it means to be His children. We can only do so when we have entered into that relationship with Christ ourselves; personally accepting His redemptive sacrifice on the cross and allowing Him to dwell within our hearts. When we submit ourselves to Christ’s perfect will and permit Him to enable us to live according to the righteousness He has bestowed upon us, He will guide our speech and our study of His Word in order to draw others to Himself. Our witness for Christ is not based on our own actions and knowledge, but solely by what Christ does and is doing through our lives. A living relationship with Christ is the most effective witness for Him, and this is accessible to all who genuinely desire to be in His presence and to be made whole in Him.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Standing for Christ

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” -Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV)

Sometimes being the bearer of God’s truth can be a formidable and daunting task. Not everyone will want to hear it, for God’s truth has the Google+Phototendency to pierce deep into the inner recesses of the soul and reveal areas in our lives where His cleansing power needs to wash us of sin and wrong attitudes. This fact makes people uncomfortable. Out of a desire to hold onto their wickedness or to tolerate its presence in an effort to not disturb the peace, others will do all that they can to snuff out the truth and drown its voice. In such a climate it is easy to give into discouragement and question whether we did what was right in taking a stand for God’s righteousness and truth.

God never promised that upholding His cause would be an easy task. If the examples of the prophets and of Christ Himself are an indicator, standing up for what is right and pure in a sinful world can often be dangerous, painful, and lonely. But God, in His goodness and love, promises that those who call upon His name and are obedient to His call to proclaim His truth never fight alone. If He has given us His torch of righteousness to bear and go forth into the darkness, He will see to it that it is never snuffed out. Through the suffering and opposition we may endure, He will be the one to help us raise His torch when we are weak and give us the boldness to speak when our mouths fall silent. As long as we allow Christ to guide our steps towards the fulfillment of His perfect will for the world, we can be assured in the fact that our simple obedience to Him will not return void; that God will work out His redemptive mission even in the face of vehement opposition. As children of Christ who know that their security and strength comes from God, we must always be ready and willing to stand up for His truth and for what is pure and just. It may not be the most comfortable of tasks and it may result in conflict. But God sometimes needs to shatter the false sense of peace and façade of righteousness we have created if true restoration and peace is to flourish.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Speaking the Words of God

“If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God…” -1 Peter 4:11 (NIV)

We have often heard the maxim, “Actions speak louder than words”. But by no means does it indicate that we should neglect the way we Google+Photoconduct ourselves in our speech. If anything the words which we say, and the way we say them, reveal something about our character, our values, and our entire outlook on life. Anybody can act in a kind and charitable fashion. However, when we are in environments where we are not hindered by mere social convention or when the wrong buttons have been pushed to arouse our ire, it will be our words which will betray any façade we have created. Out of the heart, our mouths will speak and our words will reveal to others what we really serve and hold dear.

It is interesting to note that God reveals who He is not merely through His actions, but primarily through His words. The words He used to speak the world into existence reveals His creativity and loving provision. His commandments and decrees to His people and prophets reveal His nature as being, pure, holy, and just. His constant assurances towards those who are undergoing or entering into a period of trials and suffering, display His great love and faithfulness. The very fact that we have the Bible, literally God’s Words to humanity, shows the importance that God places on words and speech. As His children who are called to be His witnesses on Earth, every part of our lives must display His character being manifested in us. The tongue is no exception. Our words should reveal our Lord as being uncompromisingly holy, faithfully just, and irresistibly compassionate. When we allow Christ to take reign over our hearts and mouths, we will be able to speak life into the hearts of those around us; using our tongues as a witness for who He is and what He can do for all who call upon His name.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.