People who really know Jesus, have a deep desire for others to know Him as they do. They have no greater joy than sharing their faith with anyone who is open to listen.
This desire is part of a "normal" personal relationship with Jesus.
Jesus' "great commission" is to "go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." But Jesus went on warning us that, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe, will be condemned" (Mark 16:15-16).
It is "normal" for a Christian who has a relationship with Jesus, to be excited about telling someone something about themselves that will lead them to believing in Jesus also.
That excitement, however, is tempered by the awful knowledge of what will happen to someone who doesn't want to believe and accept Jesus.
The power to witness comes with the infilling or baptism of the Holy Spirit. As outlined in Acts 1:8 - "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit (Ghost) comes on you; and you will be my witnesses... to the ends of the earth."
Christians tend to grow tired and weary when they try to witness on their own strength, and not in the power of the Holy Spirit. The power to witness can be the ability to be bold; to be assertive; to have wisdom; to quote the right scriptures and to have the confidence that Jesus will impart the words of what to say when we need them, "...for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said" (John 12:12).
Bob Davisson, the owner of McDonalds Restaurant in Swift Current, Saskatchewan had cancerous tumors in his lungs and he was dying. I first met him at a Full Gospel businessmen's meeting where I was the guest speaker.
Bob was desperate - he had been trying to figure out a way to commit suicide, and have it look like an accident so that his family would be able to collect his life insurance.
However, God had a different plan in mind (Proverbs 16:9 ), and Bob's life turned around for the good the night he allowed his friends to bring him to our meeting for prayer.
I initially learned about his problem while he stood in the prayer line at the front. I remember how I assured him that Dr. Jesus is "no respecter of persons" and that he can heal anyone - including him (Acts 10:34-35).
First I prayed with Bob for his Salvation, then for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and finally, for his healing of the cancer. He then immediately fell to the floor, slain in the spirit, and the Holy Spirit came upon him in a mighty way. After some time later, he got up and left unnoticed.
Later I heard that he had gone for tests to the hospital in Regina that following week. After the first set of tests, the doctors told him they wanted to do a second battery of chemo on him.
With enormous apprehension and thinking that the cancer had progressed, Bob agreed and took the second set of tests.
The doctors met with Bob after the tests, and shook their heads in disbelief when they told him that all the tumors had disappeared! There was no longer any sign of cancer anywhere! Praise the Lord!
Bob was stunned and overjoyed all at once with the news. He realized that Dr. Jesus had in fact healed him!
Overwhelmed with gratitude for his new Savior Jesus, he shared his story with everyone - telling others of what Jesus did for him.
Today it doesn't matter where Bob is - whether on the street, in his restaurant, behind the church pulpit, where ever an opportunity exists, he talks to people about God's grace and goodness. His favorite line is, "Whatever Jesus did for me, he can do for you too!" A powerful testimony and witness for Jesus.
Some Christians seem to think that unless they have a dramatic story like Bob's where God intervened in their life in a major way, they will not be able to witness effectively. This is just not true!
Every Christian has a testimony no matter how tame it might sound. A testimony has the power to set someone free from Satin's grasp and the ability to open the door to eternal life in Christ Jesus.
Revelation 12:11 tells us that the believers overcame him (the devil) "by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony." It's awesome to think that we can thwart the plans and actions of Satan by just sharing and telling others what God has done in our lives.
When I was the Area Director for 100 Huntley Street," Canada's first national television ministry, I was put in charge of the telephone counselors. An 18 year old girl who had been raised in a Christian home had just came in, and wanted to be a counselor. She had lived a very protected life and her mannerisms were of a girl who was very privileged.
Several of the other counselors expressed their concerns towards her young age and inexperience, but I decided to give her a chance despite their concern. Her spiritual maturity, along her desire to share Jesus with others, would give her the edge that she needed for witnessing.
On her very first call, she covered up the ear receiver with her hand, and leaned over calling out to me, "Pastor Gord! Pastor Gord! Come quickly!" I rushed over to see what was wrong as she whispered out loud in a panic, "It's a hit man with the Mafia! You have to take this call..."
"Sorry", I replied smiling at her. "This is your call!" By now she was terrified, and began to tremble. "But I don't have a testimony to share," she moaned.
"Just tell him what Jesus has done in your life," I replied sympathetically. Then I turned around and walked away just far enough so that I was in earshot of the conversation - I wanted to hear how she was going to handle it.
The young girl was very nervous and her voice quavered as she spoke with him. It appeared the mafia man had opened up to her and told her everything - he painted a graphic picture of his life to her. In her shy, timid voice she said, "Sir, I'm sorry but I don't know much of what you've been talking about 'cause I was raised in a Christian home, and I can't remember a time when I didn't know Jesus. I've never smoked a cigarette; I've never tasted alcohol; I've never done drugs; and I've never had sexual relations..."
She went on listing all the things that she didn't do not acknowledging that this man was really hungry for righteousness (a right relationship with Jesus). He was like a dry, hardened, old sponge - he soaked in all the things she told him about Jesus from start to finish. When she finally asked him if he wanted to invite Jesus into his heart for salvation, this sinful, ravaged man began to cry like a baby, and for the first time in his life he finally knew peace, and what it was like to be forgiven of his sins.
Sometime later, I had been blessed to meet and talk with this man. He told me that he had worked with his godfather in New York City for about 25 years. He told me after his call to Huntley Street, he phoned his boss and asked to meet with him to tell him what had happened.
When the time came, the man took a limo to the designated place where his godfather waited for him. When he arrived, his godfather climbed into the back seat of the limo beside him. The limo driver pulled out of the driveway and drove them around the city limits while the man explained what had happened to him.
The godfather on hearing his story, lowered his head in thought, and there was a long pause. Then he raised his eyebrows on his creased forehead, and looked hard at the man. His gaze penetrated right through him like a dagger.
Finally he spoke, "You know the rules... nobody leaves." The man felt his heart sink into his hands. He swallowed hard while the silence continued and the godfather stared at him for a few moments longer. Then again he spoke:
"You and me - we've worked together for a very long time. But, if you will promise me that you will never tell anyone one word of what we have done, I'll let you go free."
The man's heart leaped for joy upon hearing the his words. He vowed he would never mention a word to anyone! He was set free!
And to remind ourselves, that it was all initiated from one little girl - one who never thought that she even had a testimony! In her mind it seemed tame, but God used it mightily. It spoke volumes to man and softened his heart so he could to receive his salvation! Thank you Jesus!
Many people continue to misunderstand and undermine their testimonies if they don't sound miraculous like Bob's! After hearing about this little girl's first telephone witness, we know is just no so. Testimonies are meant to be told regardless of how simple. Our job is to give account, while the Holy Spirit moves softening the hearts of those who listen.
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