Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Daily Challenge - June 14, 2011 - Impossible Not to Witness???

Acts 4:20 - "For it is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard."

These words were spoken by Peter and John to the Jewish rulers, elders, and experts of the law. They had been imprisoned by those in charge because they were proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus and had healed a man in Jesus' name. By Peter and John's testimony, it was evident that they had been with Jesus, though they were ordinary men. This made the Jewish leaders intimidated and they wanted to quiet the disciples. Therefore, they asked them to stop proclaiming the gospel.

Acts 4:20 was the second portion of their response. The Greek uses the double negative for emphasis, literally giving the translation, "For we are not able to not speak about what we have seen and heard." This emphasis implies that their encounter with Christ had welled up enough response within them that they had to act upon it. The message was so compelling it had to be carried out through works. This is the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) lived out in real life. As Jesus' disciples continued about their lives, Jesus was their focal point. This was a result of the impact he had made on their lives.

The picture I think of relating to their enthusiasm is a woman who just got engaged. She just cannot help but talk about her new fiance. It glows out of her like the diamond that is on her finger. You cannot ask her fast enough how it happened before she beats you to the story. She does this because she is so in love with her soon to be husband. He has made a great impact on her life. In the same way, as the Bride of Christ, the Church should have that same kind of enthusiasm for the Gospel message. Unfortunately, when looking across the pews it looks like we are at a funeral rather than a wedding. Moreover, for many, one of our biggest fears would be to have to tell a coworker or friend about Jesus because of the fear that they might judge or reject us. Our response to Jesus should come from what we know about Him. If we have the relationship with Him, it should be natural to testify and act accordingly. Peter and John were uneducated and ordinary men (Acts 4:13). It was the power of the Holy Spirit that allowed them to testify about Christ (Acts 4:8). When the time comes for us to stand up for Christ, the same Spirit who empowered Peter will empower us to boldly proclaim who it is that we cannot help but speak about because we have seen and heard about what He has done in our own lives and in the lives of others.

The challenge today is to think of one person with whom you need to be more open about your relationship with Jesus. Begin to pray for the words to say. Ask God to empower you through His Spirit. Begin to pray for that person and that the Spirit will begin to draw him/her.

No comments:

Post a Comment