A Witness for GodBro. David Chancellor
6/13/1999 6:00 PM
"When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion..." It was a literal captivity for the Israelites, but also the freedom from the captivity of sin. When God sets people free from sin - the heathen should make this observation: "...the Lord hath done great things for them..."
Acts 1:7, 8
They were to receive the power of the Holy Ghost (not necessarily the power to witness)... Your personality won't change when the Spirit of God comes on you (in other words... if you were shy, you'll still be shy). Character and other aspects will change. When the power of God is in your life, people will see there's something different about you. Something about you will be just different from the life of sin. The Spirit of God won't change your personality, but it will change your character and life so that you can be a witness for God. If the power of God can be seen in your life, you will be a witness for him. It is the power found in a holy and sinless life. If we are always having to tell the world that we have God, we should be concerned. They should be able to see it in our life without our always telling it. The heathen should see our testimony, and carry it forth. The Holy Spirit will make us witnesses; the power of God in our life.
Our testimony should also be... "The Lord has done and is doing great things for us." We should sow in tears; sow in difficult circumstances.
1 Peter 4:12-14
Don't think the trial you are in is strange... There may be some unhappy circumstances that come to you. If the world is going to observe a difference in you, you are going to have to go through some troubles. If it all just fell into place, if you lived a "charmed life", how could they see God at work for you? Rejoice in the trials, because you are suffering for the sake of Christ. Christ suffered unjustly, but gave us a pattern to follow. "When his glory shall be revealed..." you can be glad and rejoice. If you're faithful in trial and persecution, you'll reap in joy. It will establish a testimony for God. If you're reproached as a Christian, be glad because they can see Christ there. The sad situation is when you walk among the world and they can't tell you are a Christian. If people can tell that Christ is there, you can rejoice, whether they reproach you or no. "He that goeth forth weeping bearing precious seed..." Don't be unemotional and indifferent about the work of God. Good business presentations are not how you witness for the Lord. It should carry some emotion with it. When you present something in an unemotional way people know it is just a presentation.
"If a MAN be overtaken in a fault..." The thought usually with this verse is "If a BROTHER... but those that are in sin are also overtaken in a fault. We want that our words and actions don't cause damage. Have the spirit of meekness - go forth weeping... watering the precious seed with your tears. We need to go forth in the spirit of meekness... sorry that the ones are where they are. It's not the attitude of "they deserve it." We need the spirit of meekness put with the precious seed. We need to water the seed with our care and concern. We need a genuine burden for the lost, a desire to help and restore the one taken in the fault. ".. shall doubtless come again with rejoicing..." Labor brings results. Those that work are those who leave behind a testimony and benefit. A work well done will bring forth good results. Honest work brings joy. There's no happiness in doing nothing. Honest toil brings joy. The work itself brings joy even if you don't see many results. You don't get any job satisfaction out of sitting around doing nothing. Give of yourself for God. Do what you can do. You can rejoice when the seed's put in, because it's been planted. If we're faithful with the seed, the sheaves will come. If we'll be faithful to God in life, the results will come. Sometimes you have to wait longer for the better fruits. Be faithful and let God work the work.
Deuteronomy 10:12, 13
What does the Lord require of us? ...fear God, walk in all his ways, to love God, to serve God, to keep his commandments (which are for you good, by the way). God expects a loving service. Let God use you as he will. He wants your life committed to him and his work. God can make the opportunity for you to give your service. Our mode of operation may have to change as we grow older, but we still need to give loving service for God. It should be your desire to give a service to God. There may be tough trials to face so people can see the power of God in you. Be meekly faithful to God all your life through.