MATTHEW 28:18-20 – And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
When it comes to witnessing for the Lord Jesus, who has not had an opportunity to share Him with someone but out of fear, we became “tongue-tied” and said nothing. Afterwards, we felt guilty and wanted to kick ourselves for being silent. Well … there is hope for us in our desire to share Christ in our circles of influence.
As Jesus prepared to ascend to heaven, He gave the disciples and us a huge responsibility. It is called the Great Commission. As His children, He commands us to “Go into all the world and make disciples.” And to do so as His witnesses – You will be witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8b). And before we look at what will make us effective as witnesses for Him and His Gospel, we must get this settled in our minds. We are witnesses. It isn’t an option. It is a command. The question is “What type of witnesses are we? Ones proclaiming in words AND lives the truth of Christ and His Gospel? Or “silent witnesses” who out of fear say nothing of Christ and His Gospel?” Remember, we cannot justify our fear by saying, “I will live the Christian life before my unbelieving friends and neighbors. That is my witness.” Yes, please do so but no one gets saved by simply observing a Christian. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a message to proclaim and every Christian is responsible. The Apostle Paul writes of our responsibility for the Gospel in his second letter to the Corinthians – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). So, with that settled, since we are witnesses for Christ by words and lifestyle, how do we gain confidence and boldness in proclaiming Him? Two promises the Lord Jesus gives us in today’s scripture which without fail emboldens His people as witnesses for Him.
First, we are bold for Christ because of His promised power to us. Before He gave the Great Commission, Jesus states, “All power or authority in heaven and earth is given to Me.” And what the Son has, He gives to us–His power to obey His commands to include the Great Commission. When tempted by fear to remain silent, stop and grab Jesus’ promise by faith; the promise of His power. Fear will take flight from our hearts and we will experience the joy of sharing Him.
A second promise given to help us be confident in witnessing for our Lord is the blessedness of His Presence. He closes out the Great Commission with the greatest of promises – And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. We are not witnesses on our own but do so in the Presence of Him we are witnessing for. Here is a tremendous confidence-builder; Christ is not only in us but with us as we proclaim His name. Rest in this truth to defeat fear of telling others of Christ.
Bold witnesses for Christ. He has given us all we need to be so–His power and presence. Trust both and share Christ through the strength from both.
PRAYER: “Father, help me step out in faith and witness for Your Son and not be paralyzed by fear of people.”
QUOTE: “God commands us to witness for His Son and then gives us the power to do so. Believe Him and share Christ.”
Because of Him,