Compulsion makes rockets fly into the sky and outer space. Compulsion also carries us forward enthusiastically when we believe strongly in something. We want to tell everyone. Sometimes we just can’t help ourselves! When we get a new car, find a great deal, we often find it difficult not to tell everyone we know. I remember even telling people I did not know when I thought I had found a great deal. I couldn’t help myself, I wanted everyone to know. My friends you and I have a good deal, in fact a great deal from God; in Jesus our sins are forgiven and we are called sons and daughters of Almighty God. We are promised everlasting life in heaven with Jesus. We should be like Peter shouting it from the mountain tops but today we live in a society that tries to silence us telling us not to talk about politics or religion.
Peter and John were eyewitnesses of Christ’s ministry, His crucifixion and also saw the resurrected Redeemer. He was alive! Now a miracle of healing had also been performed in the Name of Jesus and Peter and John were jailed and told not to teach the people about this Jesus or His resurrection. Peter replied, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Oh, I pray for such a stirring of the Holy Spirit in our churches that each of us would be so bold as to speak out publically about Jesus and His resurrection. I pray for a people, myself included, that we would say with Peter, “how can I NOT speak about Jesus!”
As contemporary Christians we need to pray to the Lord that He would “restore unto us the joy of our salvation,” and we also need to be “joyous about our joy.” (Ps. 51:12) Finally, we also need to pray God the Holy Spirit would prepare us to “always be ready to give an account of the hope that is in us.” 1 Peter 3:15b.
Do you know in detail the hope that is in you? I find it easier to give examples of my hope in God as told in the stories of my life. In a workshop setting I will have everyone write down the events of their life from their early life to present highlighting them on a graph and asking them to graph where their relationship with God was at this same time. I then have the participants tell their story and how their journey with Jesus has gone. In a witness setting these stories can then be used to share the “hope that is in us.”
In telling my story I inject Christ into it, giving God credit and glory appropriately throughout the story. People can see the benefit Jesus has brought to my life, how He has answered prayer, helped, and given me strength. Usually such stories allow them to respond and for further ministry and witnessing to occur. It might mean asking, can I pray for you, could we talk again in a few days, would you like to meet my pastor or go to church with me? It might be an invitation to a small group or event that could further the opportunity to deepen the relationship, especially between them and Jesus. Remember you are not witnessing alone, God the Holy Spirit is mightily at work!
Let me know how your witnessing is going! Share your own witnessing tips.
Rev. Doug Kallesen