Courage & Witness

Many Christians are defeated in witnessing situations, and that for one of three reasons. First, they don’t recognize the situation as they arise. They don’t hear the longing in the heart of a co-worker for some relief from guilt or fear. They don’t think about Jesus and the promises of God when others are prattling on about their plans and dreams. They’re just not paying attention to the open doors of opportunity God presents to them. If they spent more time focusing on the promises of God and getting to know Him, they would be able to feel His nudges when doors of opportunity begin to crack open, and they would be ready with a timely word and an answer explaining the hope that is within them.

Second, some Christians don’t bear witness, even when they see the opportunity, because they’re afraid they won’t “get it right.” This is nothing less than presuming to do the Spirit’s work for Him. His job is to supply the words; ours is to open our mouths and start talking. If you’re growing in your relationship with the Lord and always moving toward His promises, you won’t lack for things to say whenever a witnessing opportunity arises.

Finally, some Christians don’t witness because they’re afraid of what others will think or say. But that is simply to fear men rather than God, to love your comfort rather than to walk the risky path of obedience.

The key to knowing courage in the face of witnessing opportunities is simple, as Jim Kennedy used to say, “Do the thing you fear.” Afraid to bear witness? Start bearing witness, and watch how the Lord shows up to provide the words, fill your heart with love and courage, and enable you to do something beyond what you’ve ever believed or done before. God promises we will be able to influence others, and He’s given us the Gospel to that end. And He commands us to be witnesses and make disciples. All that’s remaining for Christian courage to flow in a witnessing situation is to do the thing you fear. Start the conversation, and you’ll be surprised at the courage, clarity, conviction, and persuasiveness you are able to show.                (T.M. MOORE)

Historian Kenneth Scott Latourette makes this observation about the spread of the Gospel: “The chief agents in the expansion of Christianity appear not to have been those who made it a profession or a major part of their occupation, but men and women who earned their livelihood in some purely secular manner and spoke of their faith to those whom they met in this natural fashion.”                                                                       (TIM BEOUGHER)

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