[Jesus said,] â€œThis is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothes with power from on high.â€ Luke 24:46-49 (NIV, my emphasis)
Did you know that Luke wrote a ‘commission’ in his gospel? I didn’t. I love reading Luke’s gospel and I missed this! Jesus tells us the Good News very succinctly: The Messiah will overcome death in the world as we know it AND we are to tell all the world about how He saves us through repentance and forgiveness. I have experienced this and so I am to be a witness. Just as in Matthew’s gospel there is no question as to whether this word is for me. It does not qualify the mandate to be just for ordained, paid clergy to â€œGO!â€ or â€œBe a WITNESS!â€ Jesus gives the command to all â€“ me, you, your parents, your children, and even your church.
Do I really â€œget itâ€ that until Jesus came and saved me â€“ I was dead? There was nothing for me after this life. And this life would be hope-less without Jesus’ promises and the Holy Spirit’s comfort and strength and wisdom and…I think you get the picture. If I â€œget itâ€ then how can I refuse to share this Good News with the world? Does that mean I should quit my job and start shouting on street corners or in the local burger hut? No, that isn’t what God has laid on my heart. He has opened doors for me at my job to share with people that I would never thought I would meet. He made that opportunity happen. He has given me a â€œstreet cornerâ€ in these devotions and the books that I have written to be a witness. Have I always gotten it perfect? No. If you have been a part of this devotion group you know that some days â€“ well, if I were a pitcher the Divine Umpire would have had to call my pitch a ball instead of a strike! Some days it might even been seen as a ‘wild pitch’!!! Jesus didn’t say that I had to get it perfect every time. It doesn’t say â€œYou are perfect witnessesâ€! I seek the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. I pray for Jesus’ example and example â€“ and just â€œGo!â€
Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame?
How long will you have delusions and seek false gods?
Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him.
In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.
Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD.
Many are asking, â€œWho can show us any good?â€
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD,
You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound,
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4 (NIV)
â€œMany are asking, ‘Who can show us any good?’â€ I can show the goodness of God that has come to a woman who was not good. God, who is good, came to me any way. He wants to meet and have a relationship with all His children. That is Good News to share whether you live in Two Egg, Florida or Snowflake, Arizona.
â€œ…when you are on your beds, search your hearts and LISTEN!!â€ (v.4, my paraphrase)