Encouragement for your daily walk with God
One thing that stands out in my mind as I read the Gospels and Acts is the boldness of Christ followers to speak out (witness) about their faith in Christ. It is what made people say of them, “They who have turned the world upside down have come here also.” (Acts 17:6) Image the courage it took to be that kind of witness!
Of course that gets me to thinking about my witness, and yours too. Interestingly, the early Christ followers did their witnessing in the face of violence. Many of them faced hardships the likes of which we know nothing about. A quick read of Hebrews 11 reveals that fact. I have to say in all honesty that I have never faced a single moment when I was in danger because of my faith.
For better or worse, things are pretty easy for us in America. When we witness for Christ, the biggest threat to us is ridicule or indifference, not violence. We may be ignored and we may be laughed at, but the only real risk is to our pride. And for many, that is where the witnessing stops. The biggest threat to the spread of the Gospel, then, is not the radical left, the radical right, or radical Muslims. It’s the radical silence of so-called Christ followers.
Here’s one lesson I take away from the reading of the Gospels and Acts: If the early Christ followers were bold enough to witness for Christ in the threat of violence, surely we can be bold enough to witness in the threat to our pride. The same Holy Spirit that lived in them lives in us. He empowered them, He will empower us. Jesus, Himself, said so, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you: and you will be My witnesses…” (Acts 1:8)
When the next opportunity to witness comes my way, I will ask God to give me just a fraction of the incredible courage possessed by those early Christ followers. That's my resolve. And you?