New Year’s Resolution #3: To be a witness for Christ.
Read Mt 28:16-20, Acts 1:6-8
“You shall be My witnesses…even to the remotest parts of the earth.”
We all want to be a part of something greater than ourselves. In our search for meaning and purpose in life, we recognize that we are called upon to do more than just exist and take up space on this planet. We want to find significance in what we do. There is something inherent within us that desires to make a difference in the world, no matter how small that difference may be.
When Christ gave his commission to his followers in Matthew 28 and reaffirmed that commission in Acts 1, he was calling us to become participants in his eternal plan. When we become involved in the great commission, we not only become part of God’s universal plan, we become engaged in a work that accomplishes eternal results. There is no work more significant and has greater results then proclaiming the gospel of Christ to others. It is to be what drives our life and determines our purpose. Everything else becomes secondary to this task. This does not mean that everyone is called into full-time ministry or missionary work. Rather we are called to be his witnesses in every endeavor and place where God has placed us. We need to stop being concerned about being accepted by the world and be more focused on sharing our faith with the world. The gospel is inherently offensive. When our message becomes palatable to the world, it is an indication that we have compromised our gospel. While we should never be offensive in how we present the gospel, we should never shy away from proclaiming a gospel that is distasteful to those who refuse to accept it
But this brings us back to our mission in life as a follower of Christ. In all that we do, we are to strive to represent Christ and proclaim his message. People often use the statement, “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary” (which is falsely attributed to St. Francis of Assisi). However, the statement not only becomes an excuse for not sharing the gospel, but it goes against the very mission we are called to perform. The word “witness” is grounded in verbal proclamation. A witness is one who gives verbal testimony to what they have seen or experienced. While it is true that we should always reveal the reality of our faith in our daily conduct, it is also equally true that words are always necessary. Paul points out the necessity of verbal communication of the gospel when he states “How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14). Christ points out that the test of a genuine disciple is whether or not a person is willing to give a public confession of his or her faith (Mt. 10:32).
Today, more than ever, we need to be willing to publicly declare our faith and call people to repentance of sin and confession of faith in Christ. Not only are we commanded to do so, but the eternal destiny of people is at stake. Everything we do in life should be directed towards this end. We are to preach the gospel at all times in how we live so that we might have the opportunity to use words. This year pray God will give you both boldness and opportunity to share your faith with others, for there is no greater purpose than this.