He [Jesus] said to them, â€œThis is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.â€
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, 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 clothed with power from on high.â€ Luke 24:44-49 (NIV)
[This is the first of a three part series.]
Yesterday the Church celebrated Jesusâ€™ Ascension into heaven. I heard a message yesterday that has kept me thinking all day. I suspect I will be thinking about it all week also. (sigh) Thatâ€™s a good thing for my spiritual health â€“ like eating cauliflower and exercise is good for me â€“ even though I donâ€™t always like it!
Luke records Jesusâ€™ lasts words in chapter 24 of his gospel and in the first chapter of Acts. The central point of the message that I heard was: My purpose of my life here on earth is to be a witness of Jesus Christ for the glory of God. I was sitting there nodding, â€œYup, got that.â€ And then the seed of that truth took root and began to grow. By the time the message was over and I received communion â€“ God had â€˜hammeredâ€™ three points for me to ponder into my spirit.
Karl Barth (1896-1968) was a Swiss theologian. Aldolf Hitler called him â€œthe most dangerous man in Germanyâ€! Why? Because he wrote a lot and talked a lot aboutâ€¦JESUS CHRIST! Barth was a witness! The â€˜fire in his bonesâ€™ was SO HOT â€“ that his God-inspired words â€“ scared Aldolf Hitler!
Being a witness for Jesus Christ is not like a â€˜jobâ€™ â€“ Itâ€™s my life! The first place I am a witness is to myself! Yes, you read correctly. I am a witness to ME! Every time I spend time with the Lord, I am a witness to what He says to me and teaches me. I make a choice to be open to His agenda for time He gives me for that day. I choose to be obedient to meet with God, follow His ordering of my life that day. What kind of witness that I am on that day â€“ begins with me.
Part of my spiritual health has to do with accountability. To whom do I hold myself to a standard? It is so easy to pick some person out and line myself up and find that I do â€˜better than him/herâ€™! Well, duh! Iâ€™m not going to pick somebody better than me!!! But God â€“ my Father â€“ gave me the standard in Jesus! In sending Jesus as Redeemer and Savior, I also have the example to follow in all aspects of life as a disciple. Jesus is my standard!
I have much to think about as I consider my personal witness that begins with me.