Sometimes in our witnessing we need courage and confidence to face others, because of what they might think of us or do to us or ask us or expect from us.
Sometimes we need courage and confidence to face ourselves and our own fears and insecurities inside. We know we’re not supposed to be afraid but we are, and we know that God knows.
So Jesus says, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
A little puzzling that in one breath our Savior Jesus says both “Don’t be afraid” and “Be afraid.”
That’s because there are two of me listening: my sinful old self and my spiritual new self.
My sinful self, tyrannizing me with temptation and lying to me about God, hears “Be afraid of God!” And he cowers into a corner scared, thanks to this threat from Jesus.
My spiritual, Christ-like self, eager to be a witness but hesitant when the situation isn’t just right, hears “Don’t be afraid!” He steps forward with courage and confidence to act and speak like a disciple.
Jesus continues, “Whoever acknowledges me before people, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:32). There’s something otherworldly about sharing Jesus with others, more than their faith created or strengthened by the Spirit.
When you tell others about Jesus he tells the Father about you.
“Father, look at Laura, see her being a blessing to her roommate? Take care of her, okay?”
“Father, you have to see this, Eric is sitting in the doctor’s office telling a total stranger that you can help. Give power to his words.”
Better than that, believers have Jesus’ promise that on Judgment Day we will meet our God and he won’t say, “Who are you?” because Jesus will have already introduced us.
You are so loved by Jesus. Introduce someone to him this week by what you say. You are so loved by the Father. Bring him into someone’s life this week by what you do. So do not be afraid to spend your paycheck in a way that tells others, “I love Jesus.” Do not be afraid to arrange your weekend plans in a way that tells others, “God is number one in my life.”
It’s important for us to understand that Jesus isn’t asking us to question whether or not he is part of our lives. He is. He promises so. He has died for you and now lives in you and with you; you are his disciple.
No, the question isn’t whether Jesus is in your life. The question is: will others see him there?
PRAYER: Jesus, will they see you in me? Will they see you when I make my decisions and spend my money? Will they see you when I work diligently? Will they see you when we I talk about my weekend or share my dreams? Will they see you when tragedy strikes? Even as you speak well of me to the Father, give me the courage and words to speak well of you to others. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: List 3-5 friends or family members you know who are outside of the Christian faith or the church. Pray for them, and for an open door to witness.