You Are My Witnesses

in: Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

Witness and judge-210

Scripture

Isaiah 43:10-11 (NIV)

“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.”

Consider

In a court of law, witnesses play an important role. Witnesses provide a bridge between an unfamiliar event and the people (jurors or judges) who must render a decision about it. A witness’s value lies in his or her personal experience of the event in question, even when that experience is limited or not fully understood by the witness. A testimony that is limited but nevertheless truthful helps the court toward an accurate perception of the event, leading to conclusions that are reasonable and just.

The Isaiah passage quoted above was written to Jews living in exile in Babylon. God tells them they are in a perfect position to be his witnesses. God chose the Jews to share with their new neighbors everything they knew about God—how God’s prophecies had been proven true and how God cared for their ancestors in the wilderness. “Explain to them,” God says, “your hope in Me as your only God and savior.”

Before his ascension, Jesus commissioned all believers to continue this mission of being God’s witnesses in the world. If you are a follower of Christ, then you have been chosen by God to give true and faithful testimony of your experience to the people in your life for whom God’s saving grace is an unfamiliar event. You are the bridge God is providing them to make himself known.

Three assets qualified the Jews to be witnesses in Babylon: knowing God (personal experience), believing God (trust and faith), and understanding God (recognizing the nature, significance, and purpose of God as Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, and King). Jesus gives us a fourth asset in the Holy Spirit, who guides and empowers us to be true and faithful witnesses, even though our experience of God is limited and our understanding finite.

Pray

FATHER, help me to be a true witness for you in the relationships you have given me. Build in me a knowledge, belief, and understanding of your divine Self so that my witness will be accurate. Thank you for your Spirit, who gives life and power to my witness, making it an effective bridge to those who don’t know you.

Reflect

Acts 1:8;  1 Peter 3:15

Ponder

What personal experience of God are you willing to share with others?

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Quality Faith

in: Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

Climber needs help-trust Me-210

Scripture

Matthew 17:19-20 (NIV)

Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive [the demon] out [of the boy]?" He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Consider

Like the disciples, we sometimes wonder why our spiritual lives are not more effective. We love and believe in God, so why do we so often fall prey to worry and fear, anger and resentment?

Fruitful Prayer

in: Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

Oranges on tree-200

Scripture

Mark 11:22-25 (TNIV)

"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and do not doubt in your heart but believe that what you say will happen, it will be done for you. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."

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