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Apr 21

Can I Get a Witness?

20120421-064656.jpgCan I Get a Witness?

April 21, 2012 Bible Reading

Joshua 22:21-23:16
Luke 20:27-47
Psalms 89:14-37
Proverbs 13:17-19

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Can I Get a Witness?

It took this simple country boy a minute or two this morning. Reading the Word daily has become a great part of my day. Sometimes, truth be known, it is difficult to interpret what the Lord is trying to say to me through his Word. Somedays it may be something profound that jumps off the page. Other days it takes a little more meditation for me to get it.

Here goes… In the Old Testament the Reubenites, Gadites, and Half-Tribe of Mennassah returned to the allotted portion of the Promise Land after the Lord had “given the land peace”. They knew that future generations would have disassociated with them due to geographic reasons and they built an altar. Only it was not an altar for worship. It was an altar to mark a place in time. A memorial. A Witness.

My next stop today wasn’t Luke. I scoured Luke for the word “witness” and could not find it. My next stop was Psalms. The Psalmist writes:

it will be established forever like the moon,
the faithful witness in the sky.” (Psalm 89:37 NIV)

Bare with the danger of taking things out of context for just a moment and roll with me here… That faithful witness in the sky, the moon is a big rock that has seen it all. It also is a marker in space that has been there through the ages. It reminds me that regardless of time and space, we are all in this fallen world and have been since the beginning. Nowadays, we have TVs, cars, and iPads instead of the scrolls, chariots, and tablets they had then (Well, that tablet reference wasn’t a good one was it?).

I went back to Luke and found my witness…

While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.” (Luke 20:45-47 NIV)

Jesus was making everyone a witness that day.

Ok. Cool. You Pulled Out The Word Witness. Now What?

Great question. To answer it let’s take a look at another question.
What is a witness?

witness [?w?tn?s]
n
1. a person who has seen or can give first-hand evidence of some event
2. (Law) a person or thing giving or serving as evidence
3. (Law) a person who testifies, esp in a court of law, to events or facts within his own knowledge
4. (Law) a person who attests to the genuineness of a document, signature, etc., by adding his own signature
(Law)
bear witness
a. to give written or oral testimony
b. to be evidence or proof of Related adjective testimonial
vb
1. (tr) to see, be present at, or know at first hand
2. (Law) to give or serve as evidence (of)
3. (tr) to be the scene or setting of this field has witnessed a battle
4. (Law) (intr) to testify, esp in a court of law, to events within a person’s own knowledge
5. (Law) (tr) to attest to the genuineness of (a document, signature, etc.) by adding one’s own signature
[Old English witnes (meaning both testimony and witness), from witan to know, wit2 + -ness; related to Old Norse vitni]

A common practice in Old Testament Times was to pile up rocks in remembrance of an event. We do this today in the form of statues. You don’t need a trip to the Mall on Washington or Mt. Rushmore to see it. You need only to pull some change out of your pocket to see the imprinted “evidence” or “witness” of an event in our Great Nations history.

But a witness is also a person who testifies. That is what most of us struggle with as Christians. “What is my witness”. I was talking with a friend the other day about witnessing and he told me compassionately that it would be easier for him to witness to people in a different country than to people in his own family.

Many people feel that way when it comes to being a witness for the Lord. I believe (and it’s open for discussion) that’s true because we don’t know how to effectively witness for the Lord.

So How Can I Be An Effective Witness For The Lord Then?

Let’s start with Scripture. How about John 4. Jesus shows us how to witness with the Samaritan woman. “But He is Jesus… He can do that… I can’t.” True, True, and False. He did have a unique perspective in this woman’s life because He is all-knowing. True we cannot know the history of someones else’s life, but we can know the history of our own life and what Jesus has done for us.

The Holy Spirit will let you know when you should witness. It’s that sweaty palms moment when your ears get all hot and you know you should ask a question of someone but don’t know why. That’s when you should ask the question. What question? The relevant one. Just like Jesus did to this woman.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (John 4:7 NIV)

He didn’t begin with ramming scripture down her throat or exposing her past. He certainly didn’t begin with, “You Sinner. You are going to hell, but before you go… Get me some water!”

He began with a conversation about what was going on in that moment. He allowed here to open up and when she did, He gave her reasons to believe.

That is what I try to do and it seems to work for me. The thing for me is not to try to “Tell” someone why they should believe, but rather tell them why I do. That makes all the difference.

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