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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Witnesses.

It's been a busy few days - attending a Fellowship Group, an all-day Seminar, and Café Church fellowship Lunch and monthly gathering - interspersed with some house viewings - all in Bergerac and its environs.  Our sincere thanks to the Coles for providing the hospitality that saved us countless 104-mile round trips from the static!

The one thing that stands out from all of that is, in fact, something of which we were reminded at the Seminar.  Apparently, only about 4% of disciples of Jesus are called and equipped to be evangelists.  However, when it comes to being a witness, the number rises - to 100%!

So what is a witness?  In legal terms, a witness is someone who tells what they know.  What they think, or what they have heard someone else tell, is irrelevant, and any jury would be instructed to disregard such "second-hand" testimony.  They are not allowed to share an opinion (unless called as an "expert witness" for that very purpose).  A witness is someone who "tells it as it is".

Sometimes, in a Christian context, that 'telling' will be vocal.  Someone will ask a particular type of question (perhaps to do with morals) and, in my response, I will be 'witnessing' to the Gospel truth.  More often, however, we are witnesses by the manner in which we live our lives.  Annie Flint (1862-1932) knew that, and was inspired to write a poem:

Christ has no hands but our hands, to do His work today,
He has no feet but our feet to lead men in His way.
He has no tongue but  our tongue to tell men how He died,
He has no help but our help to bring them to His side.

We are the only Bible, the careless world will read,
We are  the sinners' gospel, we are the scoffers' creed.
We are the Lord's last message, given in deed and word,
What if the type is crooked, what if the print is blurred?


What if our hands are busy, with other work than  His,
What if our feet are walking, where sin's allurement is?
What if our tongues are speaking, of things His lips would  spurn,
How can we hope to help Him, and hasten His return?


I wonder if you find those words as challenging as I do?  When we live, and behave, just as our unsaved friends do, we are doing them no favours.  When we criticise, and complain, we are being no different than the unsaved.  When we spend more time on worldly pleasures than we do in His service, and in seeking to know Him better, then we are allowing ourselves to drift away from Him - and the one who delights in that is the enemy, the satan!

Any barrister will tell you that there are good witnesses, and there are bad witnesses.  The same is true for the confessed disciple of Jesus.  I am either a good witness - in which case the praise and glory go to Him; or I am a bad witness - in which case the fault is entirely mine.   Only one thing is certain - I am a witness.

If you claim to be a disciple of Jesus, then you are also a witness.  Are you a good one - or a bad one? 

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