On Witnessing…

Often in church you’ll hear Pastors, Youth Pastors, Evangelists, and others speak about witnessing. They’ll preach “Go, tell others about God.” They are correct in quoting the Great Commission Matthew 28:19 which reads:

Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

However, we, the religious ‘leaders,’ often forget to explain “why” it is important. Sure, there is no doubt that Scripture and Jesus teaches us to go witness. The Bible clearly tells us that it is important. But why is it important?

Shortly after the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us the answer:  

Matthew 9:35-36  And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 
But seeing the crowds, He was moved with compassion on them, because they were tired and scattered like sheep having no shepherd.

Jesus was explaining that many people will believe. Once we get people out there telling others, people are going to follow. However, we need leaders who will continue to develop others and step up and “shepherd” the flock. We need people not only to witness, but to lead. The trailing edge of the Great Commission reads:  

Matthew 28:20  teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you.

Here we find that teachers or leaders are also a necessary part of God’s growing Kingdom.

Matthew 9:37-38  Then [Jesus] said to His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. 
Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest that He will send out laborers into His harvest.

I ask that each of us pray today to find out if God wants us to be one of those leaders, who He’ll send out to shepherd His flock.

Communication…

Communication? A long word to describe what should be a simple concept, but it is quite hard at times. Have you ever mis-communicated to someone? Text messaging and e-mails are probably the worst forms of communication, because the receiving person can’t interpret your body language. Take for example “I HAVE TO STUDY TONIGHT.” Does that statement imply that you “need” to study because of academic requirements, or because your parents are making you study? Does it imply that you desire to study to do better, or that you’re doing it against your desires because you must do it. Does it imply that you’re SCREAMING at the person because you’re using all CAPS, or was the writer just too lazy to change to small case?  Communication is more than words though.

Studies show that only 7% of communication is through words. Another 55% is visual (body language, eye contact), and another 38% is vocal (pitch, speed, tone, etc).  Interestingly enough, even face to face communication can be quite difficult. 

As perfect as He was, Jesus even found difficulty in communicating His mission and methods while on earth, and around people he dealt with every day:

Matthew 9:2-8  And behold, they brought to Him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, Child, be of good cheer. Your sins are forgiven you.

And lo, some of the scribes said within themselves, This one blasphemes.  And Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier? To say, Your sins are forgiven you, or to say, Arise and walk!

But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, then He said to the paralytic, Arise, take up your bed and go to your house.  And he arose and departed to his house. But when the crowds saw, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

Jesus tried to explain to the scribes and people that forgiveness of sins is much more valuable than walking, but they didn’t understand. However, in order to counter their remarks, He replied appropriately stating “Arise, take up your bed” – WALK!

In responding to them, Jesus communicated that He had the authority to do anything. God’s Word communicates over and over again the truths that we need to know in order to live a life that leads to Heaven. Yet, every day people ignore it. Why? Because every day WE fail to communicate it!

Tell someone today about God’s love. It will bring a blessing to your life and theirs!

Communicate God’s love…