Empowered to Witness
Recently, I was asked to give a presentation on behalf of my local pregnancy resource center to a company looking to partner with nonprofit organizations in my community. I prepped for weeks. I made a slide show filled with statistics, facts, graphics, and great pictures. I was confident that they couldn’t say no to the pitch I had planned!
But when it was time to present, my slide show wouldn’t work. It was all I had prepared; I didn’t have notes; there was no backup plan. So it was just me and that blank screen.
Yikes! Isn’t that everyone’s greatest fear when it comes to public speaking? Even with all the preparation in the world, something can go wrong. We’re afraid of saying the wrong thing, of sounding silly, or that somehow, we’ll be left without the tools we need.
I sometimes experience these same fears when it comes to talking about Jesus. I know Jesus commissioned me to be a witness for Himself, but what if I say the wrong thing or don’t make a good enough pitch? I want to tell others the Good News, but what if I mess it up?
Thankfully, because we serve a good God, He has not given us this commission without the key to fulfilling it! We don’t have to rely on our ability when bearing witness. We don’t have to depend on a slide show presentation or any other earthly thing.
Before His Ascension, Jesus said,
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NLT).
In addition to the command to be His witnesses, Christ promised that He will never leave us standing unprepared or empty-handed when sharing our testimonies. He made similar promises in John 14:16-17 and Luke 24:49. Jesus promised us something infinitely more reliable than a slide show presentation; He promised us the power of the Holy Spirit!
Paul knew this truth and expressed it in 1 Corinthians 2:4,
“My message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Christ has already equipped us to be His witnesses by the power of the Holy Spirit. We don’t need a fancy presentation or a long speech full of big words. The power of our testimony is not dependent on us but our never-failing God!
May these promises encourage and empower us to be witnesses to a world that is in desperate need of the hope of Jesus Christ. We can depend on the power of the Holy Spirit as promised to us in the Word of the Lord!
1 Kings 8:10-11 10When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. 11And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.
When Solomon had finished building the temple that David had planned, the priests stepped out of the Holy Place (an inner room of the temple). Then a cloud filled the temple of the LORD. The Hebrews associated clouds with the glory of God. Their ancestors had seen the cloud on Sinai when Moses met with God. The glory of the LORD so filled the temple that the priests could not come in and do their assigned duties.
Our bodies are the temples of the LORD. Jesus said, “Destroy this temple (meaning his body) and in three days I will raise it up.” His body was so full of the glory of God that He did nothing except what the Father showed Him. Jesus didn’t really have His own ministry isolated and of itself. He was a yielded instrument to the glory of His Father. He always yielded Himself to the Father, and so “we have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 The glory of the Father was His operating source.
We are often carried away with our ministry and wrapped up in what must be done. If we are not careful and focused, we will end up ministering from the wrong source. The glory needs to fill our temple, our earthly body. Then there is no room for us to get in the way and make a mess of things. The glory needs to fill us so that He is the source of our activity and we are merely submitted vessels for that glory.
Consider: What is the source of your activity? Is your temple filled with the glory of God?
Streams in the Desert – June 14
- 202214 Jun
But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. (Luke 22:32)
Christian, take good care of thy faith, for recollect that faith is the only means whereby thou canst obtain blessings. Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes.
Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth to Heaven, on which God’s messages of love fly so fast that before we call He answers, and while we are yet speaking He hears us. But if that telegraphic wire of faith be snapped, how can we obtain the promise?
Am I in trouble? I can obtain help for trouble by faith. Am I beaten about by the enemy? My soul on her dear Refuge leans by faith.
But take faith away, then in vain I call to God. There is no other road betwixt my soul and Heaven. Blockade the road, and how can I communicate with the Great King?
Faith links me with Divinity. Faith clothes me with the power of Jehovah. Faith insures every attribute of God in my defense. It helps me to defy the hosts of hell. It makes me march triumphant over the necks of my enemies. But without faith how can I receive anything from the Lord?
Oh, then, Christian, watch well thy faith. “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
—C. H. Spurgeon
We boast of being so practical a people that we want to have a surer thing than faith. But did not Paul say that the promise was, by FAITH that it might be SURE? (Romans 4:16)
His Name is Grace
From: Today Devotion
SCRIPTURE READING — EXODUS 34:5-10
“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness . . . forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”
What do you say when you introduce yourself? Most people introduce themselves by saying their name, and they might tell about something they like to do, what their work is, or where they are from. People can learn some important things about you right away, just from the words of your introduction.
In our reading from Exodus today, God meets with Moses and pauses to describe himself so that the people can know who he is. God calls himself “the Lord” and says he is “the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” Similar descriptions of God are included in many places in the Bible. The gracious nature of God is at the heart of his identity. How beautiful!
Knowing who God is, we can take comfort that nothing from our past, present, or future will separate us from God’s love. When we meet the God of grace, we can find peace, knowing that God is forgiving, patient, and loving. God’s grace and forgiveness lead us to know him, and his patience and lovingkindness faithfully guide us to follow him forever.
Lord, I praise you for your beautiful name. You are compassionate and merciful. I praise you for forgiving my sin, and for guiding me to follow you always. Amen.