The Puzzle of Christian Partnership, Your Witness
by Marlin Hoover
Your Witness - The last piece of our puzzle
If we’ve gotten the prayer, presence, gifts and service pieces of our puzzle properly put in place we’re seeing the beautiful picture this puzzle portrays. Now it’s time to put in the final piece to the puzzle. This piece of the puzzle is our witness, a form of sharing our experiences of God’s love with others.
As a witness, is our testimony believable?
This witness piece of the puzzle is the last piece because it relies on all the other pieces of the puzzle to first be in place, it needs those pieces in place before it can be effectively put in to stay. It’s through our prayers (both answered and unanswered), our presence (our attendance and the feeling of God’s presence), our gifts (accepted and given) and our service (using all that we have for God’s purpose) that give each of us something to witness, our own personal encounter with Jesus Christ. Having these pieces of the puzzle in place makes us a believable witness.
There’s going to be a trial and a star witness
We’re all sinners and we’re going to be tried, there will be a trial. There is going to be evidence admitted and testimony given and in the end there will be judgment. This is serious, eternal life or death is on the line. It should be a short trial, there’s more than enough evidence for a conviction, it’s an open and shut case.
Witnesses for the prosecution
The devil is the prosecutor, he has expert witnesses, eye witnesses, hostile witnesses, character witnesses, hearsay witnesses all of which are credible witnesses for the prosecution. We’re guilty of sin, no doubt, it’s a dead certainty. The judge hears all the evidence, the verdict comes in, guilty as charged! There are no appeals, the evidence is there. There is no feeling sorry for us, no matter how many good things we’ve done. There’s no getting us off the hook, it’s a death sentence. We’re sinners.
The star witness for the defense
But hold on, it’s not over just yet. Remember we’re Christians. We’ve accepted Jesus as our defense attorney, as our Lord and savior. He’s made an appeal to the court for a suspended sentence, not due to our insanity but His love. Jesus informs the judge He has already served our sentence when He was crucified on the cross. We’re saved, case closed. We’re free to go.
Now you’re a witness
This is where the other half of the witness piece of the puzzle comes in. We’ve just witnessed the greatest mercy one could receive, Jesus having been crucified for the forgiveness of our sin. The real purpose of having been a witness of God’s glory, grace and love is to give our testimony, this is what a witness does.
Galatians 2:20 says: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
If Christ truly lives in us we should be willing to tell others about our salvation, about this defense attorney named Jesus? When given the opportunity we need to be willing to give our testimony. Why in the world wouldn’t you want to share this beautiful piece of the puzzle with everybody?
1 Peter 3:15 says: “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
You may be called to testify at any time
Always be prepared. An opportunity can come along anytime, always be ready to share. This may be a door that will never be open again, be sure you take advantage of your chances to witness. It’s the way you live your life, your faith, hope and the love you show for others that serve as the testimony that may be questioned. Always have an answer in your heart that honors Christ as your Lord and Savior.
2 Timothy 2:15 says: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
Don’t be a hostile witness
Just because the door is cracked open just a little doesn’t mean we’re to rush in like a swat team, ordering everybody down on the ground. We need to always be ourselves. Don’t turn into a street preacher (unless you’re gift is being one) when given the opportunity to witness, be yourself.
Don’t be just a silent witness
Don’t be just a silent witness. I know silence is golden, and living your life the right way is one of the best ways to witness. However we should always be ready to explain our actions to others. We should be more than willing to share our faith with others, not just in deeds but with words. We should never be ashamed of sharing our faith in any way, shape, form or fashion.
Be ready for anything
Next we need to know what it is that we need to share. Is it the plan of salvation or the date for the planned church picnic? Never under estimate the power of a simple invitation to somebody to church. Listen to the questions. Make sure your testimony is relevant to the situation. Allow God to put words in your mouth. Remember as Christians we’re no longer confined by our sins. By having accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior our sins are forgiven. We’re free to praise God. We’re free to tell others of our salvation. We’re now eyewitnesses to God’s glory, grace and love through the gift of His only begotten Son, Jesus.
You’ve given your testimony, now what?
We’ve planted the seed of our witness to another, in the garden of God’s grace. Wait for it to sprout. It’s really important to know when to quit digging. Constantly poking at a seed you’ve planted can keep it from growing. Allow God’s rain and sunshine to do their work. Unfortunately all seeds are not going to sprout, so plant plenty of them. If given the opportunity check on the seeds you’ve planted. If they haven’t sprouted they may need a little more attention, a little more digging and weeding.
Matthew 5:16 says: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Don’t limit yourself
Most of us are only willing to preach to the choir, witness to our family or our friends at church, but a wider audience is what God desires. Witnessing at church is a great thing, it’s a start. Like anything the more you do it the more comfortable you will be witnessing to others. Once comfortable it’s easy to relax and be more confident when witnessing. This confidence makes your witness much more effective and makes you witness more, sharing your experiences of God’s love and the plan of salvation through Jesus with others, after all, isn’t this the idea? Through free will, you do have the right to remain silent - you shouldn’t. One of the first lessons we learn in life is to share. There are people we encounter on a daily basis that need to hear about God’s love. When given the opportunity share, testify and be a witness for God.
- Where did you hear about God’s love and His plan of salvation?
- When was the last time you told somebody about Jesus?
- When was the last time you invited somebody to church?
- Do your friends, family and co-workers know where you go to church or even that you go to church?
- How do you show your faith and trust in God to others?
- If someone ask you, do you know the plan of salvation?
- When was the last time somebody witnessed to you?
- When was the last time you witnessed to somebody?
- Can others see that Christ lives in us?
- How is it that you show your love for God?