December 9 I Sunday
“…and you will be My witnesses...” —Acts 1:8
Witnessing is not something we do but someone we are. We must not confuse our identity with a practice we can switch on and off. Being a witness is not a choice. We become witnesses of Christ as a consequence of the Holy Spirit indwelling us. The question is whether we are going to be a good or a bad witness, a true or a false witness. Does the way we live tell others the truth about Jesus?
Being a witness involves more than speaking the right words; it also involves our actions. Our words need authentication, which is why we need works, and our works need an explanation, which is why we need words. For example, when the questioning Pharisee Nicodemus first spoke to Jesus in secret, he said, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs You are doing if God were not with him” (John 3:2). In other words, there were things about Jesus’s behaviour, not just His words, that defied natural explanation. We may not do miracles like Christ, but there will be a noticeable difference in our actions and character when we live by the Spirit.
The sad reality is many Christians do not live by the Spirit, and their lives consequently suggest that Christianity has nothing to offer. When Christians act self-righteously or adopt an arrogant attitude, observers will respond, “If that’s what it means to be a Christian, I want no part of it.” But this is not what it means to be a Christian.
A true witness for Christ dies to their own agenda and lives for Christ’s. They are empowered by His Spirit to face any situation, yet there are many Christians who seem to have no idea what it means for Christ to be sufficient in their lives and circumstances. They do not know what it means to draw on His strength, to claim victory over sin or for the law of the Spirit of Life to set them free from the law of sin. They are bound every bit as much as their non-Christian neighbour because they are still living in dependence on themselves.
Because we are Christians, people will be watching us, which is why we must take seriously that we are Christ’s witnesses. Is there a difference to our words and actions that points people to Christ? Do we live by the Holy Spirit’s empowering, letting our lives reveal His work and character? We are often the first Bible people read, so may our lives be witnesses to Him that draw others to want the difference we have in Christ.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the incredible opportunity to be Your witness. May my life reflect
Your character so that others might be drawn to You.