Friday, 27 February 2015

Witnessing For God In An Every Day Situation

One Sunday we had a guest speaker from Quebec come and preach. It was a great sermon and one thing that really stuck out for me was how we could witness for God in an every day setting and how many times we waste away a perfect opportunity by just thinking about ourselves. He told us a story, which I'm going to give a bit altered as I can't give it word-for-word. So just as a warning, the story might be slightly exaggerated in some places, though I'll try to keep it as close to the main plot as I possibly can.

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(In the story, the "I" is the speaker FYI)

There was once a time when I had to rent a car and I booked way ahead of time so that I knew it would be there when I came to pick it up. I was told to come at 9:00 a.m. on a certain day. The day rolled around and I went to pick up the car. Another person was being served, so I had to wait for about 15 minutes. It was 9: 30 when the attendant was finally free. 

"I came to pick up my car," I told him

"What car?" the attendant looked confused.

"What car? You know, the car that I booked way ahead of time!" I exclaimed. "I thought it was supposed to be here!"

"Well - um - yes - but it isn't here," the attendant stammered. "I'm not sure where it is." 

"What do you mean you don't know where it is?" I could literally feel steam coming out of my ears. For the next few minutes, I poured out my anger and frustration onto the poor young person behind the desk.

A little while later, a car drove up to the shop and a man jumped out. "Sorry I'm late," he panted. "But here's the car."

"Oh, there's your car!" the attendant said in relief. "No worries now, sir!"

Immediately, I felt ashamed. I could have stayed calm and prayed that the car would come and when it did, it would have been a way to witness to the young man and show him that God answered prayers. But instead I had freaked out and made the attendant rather uncomfortable. I had just wasted a perfect way to witness for God!

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This story really stuck out for me because it made me realize that witnessing for God isn't necessarily a formal sort of thing. You could do it just anywhere and everywhere and there are many chances to do it. But how many times have I not done it? When I was just so full of thinking about myself that I ignored my chance and didn't see the perfect opportunity to witness to someone about God and the Gospel? 

I admit that I'm a very shy person. I can't count the number of times I noticed someone looking left out, in church or just anywhere, and I didn't do anything about it. I just left them alone and talked with my friends, otherwise just being extremely selfish! That and other times I know that I've just wasted away a perfect opportunity to witness or to talk with another Christian. So now, what am I going to do about it? Romans 1:15 tells me that I should be eager like Paul to preach the gospel. To let the world know that God loves the world so much "that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). And 2 Timothy 1:7 (a verse commonly given to me by my parents when I was younger) which says, "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control." In other words, put away my timidity and be bold in Christ. 

Following the rule of JOY, I need to dedicate my life to first Jesus, then Others, and then last of all, Yourself (myself). And to do that, I need to put aside any shyness and be eager to preach the Good News to everyone I meet AND be prepared to notice any chances for witnessing, even especially in an everyday situation. 

Of course, I can't do this on my own. It is necessary for me to pray and ask God for the strength to give me boldness to carry out His command to "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation" (Mark 16:15). 

What do you think about this?

All scripture passages come from the English Standard Version (ESV)

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