September 3, 2021
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
If you haven’t had a chance to hear this past Sunday’s sermon about being a witness, I strongly recommend it. I attended the online service and heard Pastor Dave Collins talk about being a witness from a grammatical, spiritual, and legal perspective. I’ve been chewing on his definitions for days and here’s where I think you and I can make a personal application. Being a witness means spending time in two unique and critical contexts.
First, we must regularly experience God at work. Dave said that each of us has a story that only we can tell. As a witness, you must have a perspective, viewpoint, or experience to share. If you haven’t been an observer or participant in something holy and transformative, what story is there to tell? I Peter 3:15 tells us:
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
The assumption here is that we have hope. We are living a story as front row observers to God’s work and power. We are experiencing his transformative work to such a degree, it’s obvious to those around us. You cannot be a witness without first living the story. The challenge for you and I is to be ever watchful, and to invite God to put us in the places where his kingdom is advancing.
The second context required for witnesses is a place to tell the story. In our justice system, witnesses testify in court or to the police. For you and I, we cannot be witnesses if we never have a chance to share. Part of that is our own willingness. Are you willing to be “outed” as a Christian in your workplace or family? If not, sharing your hope will never happen. But second, we need to put ourselves in places where people are asking for our testimony. If your social circle has shrunk to one or two people, or if you only associate with people just like you, it’s far less likely anyone will ask what you have seen or ask you to share your story.
So as you reflect on our passage from today, ask God which context he wants you to experience more fully. If He’s calling you into a deeper experience of His goodness and transforming power, think about what that would mean for your daily rhythms and habits. If He’s asking you to tell your story, pray for boldness to take opportunities as they appear.