038: Can I Get a Witness?


Shownotes Episode 038: Can I Get a Witness?

Witnesses. That’s what we’re called to be, isn’t it? Witnesses. People who can testify to what they have seen and heard. As John puts it,

We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete (1 John 1:1–4).

We too have experienced the Lord and the new life he brings, at least I hope so. We too can talk about what we have seen and heard.

Witnesses. About what do witnesses talk? What they have seen and heard. What they have experienced. How did we get to the experience? We believe. We repented. We received God’s love. That’s part of our witness, isn’t it?

Talking about repentance during Lent is sort of normal. However, is it the repentance that leads to life because of its genuine acceptance of the sinful nature, heartfelt confession and turning from our sins? Or, is it another formality. Morever, does repentance lead us to humbly call others to repentance in the spirit of John the Baptist and Jesus?

Can I get a witness that making disciples entails a call to repentance preceded by “godly grief” [which] produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret (2 Corinthians 7:10)?

Words. Jesus came announcing the kingdom and calling people to repentance. His witness was in his words. But, it was more than that.

Think about it. If someone were to ask you to tell them about Jesus, if they were to say, “Can I get a witness about this Jesus about whom you speak?” What would you say? Yes. You would talk about what Jesus said but you would also talk about what Jesus did. Jesus’ words and deeds were inseparable. You’d also get personal, about the difference Jesus makes in your life.

What would that difference look like?

Now, if there is no difference, we’ve got a problem. But, I’m sure this is. You just need to talk about it for after all, when it comes to our faith, since we are transformed, not only do we talk, we also walk the talk. Thus our witness is also what we do.

Enter Dorcas; well that’s her Greek name. This is the woman who died, the called Peter who was nearby, he came, prayed, she was resurrected. That in itself is powerful.

Here is what struck me as I was thinking about where we are now and the number of words that are floating around us:

The main thing about Dorcas was what she did not what she said.

First we get her name, then her claim to fame that caused them to call Peter when she died: “Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity (Acts 9:36). What happens when Peter arrives? They show evidence of her discipleship, of her heart—“All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them (Acts 9:39).

Actions. Deeds that served others.

These days, as I noted, we are surrounded by words. Words of outrage, words of solidarity, words of accusation, words of

Witness is nothing more than sharing God’s story and our stories: our stories about God in our lives, God’s story of good news in Jesus Christ.

It wasn’t actions on an agenda but how they responded to what was before them with love and the power they had in the name of Jesus. As a result, there was an alignment of their words and actions.

They never compromised on their words and their actions matched their words so they never compromised in their actions.

Peter and John at the gate beautiful knew what they did not have but they also knew what they had. They bid the man rise up and walk in the name of Jesus. It didn’t matter that they did not have money.

We often run ourselves ragged trying to find money for grand ways in which to witness. What has God put in front of us? What could we do to respond to the situation in front of us with God love? It could be as simple as sitting with someone, helping to clean a yard or a house. There is so much we could do in line with our resources if we would allow the Holy Spirit to show us what we can be doing.

Just a reminder that this month, we have moved to an every other week schedule beginning in March.

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Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Music:A True Friend” by Josh Molen

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