Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

Being a Silent Witness

We have heard people say, "I just live my Christian life and let it speak for itself". Others say, "I really don't have a testimony to share". And some may say, "I don't remember when I became a Christian. I just always thought I was one". In New Testament theology, all of these are in violation of Christian discipleship. One thing for sure about being a believer: We cannot be a silent witness and please God!

Remember when Joshua was gearing up to cross into the Promised Land (after Moses had died). He said, "I want you to choose today whom you will serve...Is it the God of your forefathers, or those idols?" Each generation of believers must do the same. Paul and Barnabas were whipped and told never to preach the Word again in the city. But Paul replied, "We cannot keep silent about this marvelous Gospel". We marvel at the boldness of Paul once he experienced the dramatic salvation experience on the Road to Damascus.

After Jesus chose his disciples and spent three years with them, some still denied they even knew Him. When given the opportunity to stand with Him through those last few days of his life on earth, they fled the scene. Where were they when Jesus was suffering an agonizing death on the cross? Isn't this the same Master to call them away from their nets to become "fishers of men"? And now they were silent!

I am not fisherman, but I know choices have to be made to catch fish: choices of bait, water and tide conditions, time of day, along with many other factors. It is the same way with 'catching men'. We may have to do the same in our witness - change our style, our method and sometimes our approach. The disciples had been called to 'change the world' - yes "turn it up-side down"! We have the same challenge placed on us today!

Recently I heard a chaplain tell the story of visiting a young family with a sick child. "Who are you?", he was asked. "Chaplain" was the reply. "What do you do? Pray for other people?" "Yes, that is part of it", as the reply. "Well, then, would you pray for my family?" No silent witness here. Sometimes people can sense our witness on our sleeve can't they?

Someone jokingly said they were planning a mission trip to Hawaii, hoping to get a group together for a week there. The plan was to 'go to the beach early each morning, write Scriptures in the sand, and then sightsee the rest of the day'. Repeating the process each day! Somehow I don't believe this would qualify for 'church support' as a mission trip. This would be a definite silent witness venture.

We have heard all kinds of excuses haven't we? Today's choice reason for not being a vocal witness for our Lord in the marketplaces of life is: "I may offend someone." But how can that be? We simply want to tell what the Lord Jesus is doing in our lives and how He wants to do the same for all mankind. The Great Commission (Matt 28: ) is a directive we must all obey as we live the Christian life. It is certainly not a 'silent expression' of our faith through the redemptive blood of our Lord.

We must be daring (like Peter), courageous (like Paul), caring (like Barnabas), loving and forgiving (like Jesus). As disciples, we cannot be silent. We must praise the Lord, the God of our Salvation. We must rise up and meet the challenge of today's society.

Share your witness with boldness - do not be silent!






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