Wednesday, February 11, 2015

We Promise our Witness

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”     Acts 1:8 (NLT)
Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles.  All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.  Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people.  And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.    Acts 2:42-47 (NLT)
We are summing-up five weeks of learning about our five promises we make to God and each other as part of the United Methodist Church.

This is one of those “easy-to-connect-the-dots” scenarios…Peter shared Christ with a whole crowd…and 3,000 responded; they were saved.  In turn, they went and shared that with others. 

How simple is that?

We sometimes make it rather complicated, but sharing the Gospel as it came to us is effective – after all, it worked that way at least in your case.  The problem is not with evangelism being too hard – it isn’t.  The problem is more with saints who won’t even give it a try.

My brother Thom has a sister-in-law, Anne.  Anne is my friend and loves Jesus.  She is also the opposite of a “Yankee” in the South; Anne is from the South, married and moved to New York.  Go figure! 

Anyway, Anne told me about her young Grandson, David:

David was sitting at the breakfast table [one] morning when he made a little noise and jerked backwards. He mashed something in the tablecloth and threw it on the floor.  Her husband, John asked, "What happened?"

David answered, "There was a spider there. I killed it."  

"Wow! You were so brave to kill it," [Anne] exclaimed.  

True honesty came to the fore when David explained, "I’m only brave when the spider is little."

Friends, let me sum this up by saying that when it comes to evangelism, serving, giving, prayers and presence, ALL the spiders are little!  Next to God, everything in this universe is little, and under His control. 

Do you want to move on to maturity in Christ?  Put these five promises under the column of your life’s major commitments to God and your fellow members here:  Prayers, Presence, Gifts, Service and Witness.

Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger people! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then doing of your world shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle. Everyday you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.
 --- Phillips Brooks:

Still worried you can’t cut it?  Take a little advice from a great old preacher who helped many overcome their fear of serving well…

Let the church say, Amen!

[1] By MC3 Damian Berg [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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