Monthly Archives: January 2013

Witnessing Or Being A Witness

     I am still fairly new to the company I work for at the time of writing this. In the first few months though I have had some people come up and say basically there is something different about me, in a positive way, and others who are believers say they can tell I am one without even bringing it up. In talking to one of these people because they were going through some hardships relationally in their walk with God, they had told me they were brought up in and continue to go to a denominational church who emphasizes on the need to go and witness to people and bring people back into their church body. Because of this teaching and that they had not been acting in such a fashion they had started to doubt their value and condemnation had started creeping in.

     I told this person that their value is independent of anything they do and they need to see that regardless of what they do they are priceless in the eyes of God. Just as a good parent loves their own child regardless of what they do. We as parents may blur the lines by teaching our kids inadvertently that we love them more when they do good and love them less when they do bad, but this is no way reflects the unconditional love God has for us.

     It is interesting to note that unless you want to twist the context of scriptures we are not as believers to go witnessing as though it was a job title, but we are to be a witness. When I think of how various denominations go about witnessing I get this cold feeling where there is a lack of intimacy and feel like I am speaking to a salesman who is just doing what they do because that is what they do as a job. The reality is everyone is a witness to what they believe every moment of their lives. To those who love this world they bear witness that the love of God is not in them but the desires of this world are. And there are those who walk in the love of God and bear witness to His love. Just as in those who come to me noticing something different are seeing the witness I bear to them of the love of God for them and my faith in God.

     I do not go around preaching to everyone or trying to pressure anyone about anything. If my life does not bear witness to the quality of life that God desires for us to have, then why would people believe what I had to say? Sure there will always be someone who would believe the truth upon hearing it, but then they are just a likely to change their minds once again when they hear something else that they want to hear.

     There are very few people who I can think of historically that I would like to associate with for any length of time because of how I see the personification of God in their lives. To me witnessing or bearing witness about God can truly only come from one who has an intimate relationship with Him. Even Paul said that he did not minister by facts and intellectualism but out of his relationship with Jesus. (1Corinthians 2:1-5).

     It is easy to change ones beliefs when they are based on man’s wisdom. It may all seem perfectly logical until some new piece of information is discovered and then we have to rewrite our beliefs once again. But when you actually experience something that writes a belief on your heart then that is a lot harder to change. As a believer in God and the finished works of Jesus I have seen and experienced many things that would make it impossible for me to deny my faith. As they say you cannot kill a dead man and I have died to Christ. The things physically I have experienced as well as the state of being free from guilt, shame, condemnation, judgment etc. unto righteousness, peace, joy, contentment, love and others all out of this union with God is undeniable. Yes there are things that I am still growing in and God is ministering to me about that help me to experience life to the fullest more and more every day, but the overall transformation that I can see in myself has been tremendous.

     My advice to anyone who has been told they need to go witness to others is to just say no. Instead be a witness by sharing the love of God with those around you. Give to those in need if you can, comfort those who need comforting and rejoice with those who rejoice. I am reminded of Paul who said that he became a servant to all men in hopes that he may save some. A servant and not a slave, which most go about as slaves doing and feel under a burden. If you are doing something that is truly a burden unto you then God is not it and you are acting out of your own desire. Quite possibly to please someone other than God who is judging you based on what you do, yet in many cases are guilty of the same thing. But a servant in Paul’s context is one who is motivated by love and compassion. Desiring that everyone be at peace with themselves in a relationship with God our Father, our Lord and Comforter.

     In saying all this I do not want anyone to feel like they are to never say anything. There is nothing wrong with speaking the love of God if you feel led to do so. Just saying something like “God loves you” can make all the difference in the world to a person who needs to hear it, especially when spoken by someone who is walking in conviction of God’s love. I am just not a fan of and would never encourage cold calling just to satisfy some quota or put a notch in my bible.

     Hopefully I am have left the clear impression that I believe in the old adage that our actions speak louder than our words. I can tell someone I love them until I am blue in the face, but if I never show that love it is pointless and will have no real impact. Jesus did not tell everyone that our Father loves us but he demonstrated love. He revealed to us that God is merciful and full of grace and that His love knows no bounds.


God’s Love For Us

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:6-8)

     I want to expand our mindset to think about something in order for us to experience even greater value for the lives of all humanity. Note here that in verse 8 it reads that Jesus humbled himself and this was purely out of love. Because of God’s great love for us Jesus was willing to come to rescue humanity from death. We are taught traditionally that Jesus came to satisfy the wrath of God towards humanity and make amends between God and man for man’s trespass. This statement though takes a small bit of truth and then twists the intent to make our father appear as one who is mad at us. The fact is that God is love and has never stopped loving us. Man fell and God knew before man was ever created that he would. In knowing this though sin which was brought manifest first through Satan, had to be dealt with so God in making man mortal created a way for sin to be captured in an entity and then destroyed once and for all. Man’s history was never a surprise to God but a way for Him to deal with sin and yet still create a family, that upon becoming immortal, will never deal with sin again.

     I previously said that there was some truth to what was taught and that is God’s wrath towards sin, but note that it is towards sin and not towards man. God’s passionate hatred towards sin is because of its ability to destroy what He so dearly loves. As soon as man sinned man tried to remove himself from the presence of God and started to doubt God. It was this destruction of relationship that God hated, the effects of sin’s existence in one’s life.

     So when we read this part of scripture instead of thinking that Jesus came to save us from the wrath of God think more along the lines that God so desired to have a family that He came to rescue us from the effects of sin by becoming a sacrifice for all of humanity.

My Commentary on Ephesians 1:3 thru 5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
(Ephesians 1:3)

     It is true that in the times prior to the ministry of Jesus and his finished works, that one’s life could be influenced by varying degrees of being blessed by God. Today though we have been blessed with ALL spiritual things because of Jesus. As we remain in him, like a branch that is connected to the vine, we experience the fullness of all he has to offer for us in this time. There is no more seeking after a double portion as Elisha received or five times the portion as Benjamin, but we as believers are fully immersed into His blessing. If we seek after that which we already have then we persuade our hearts to not believe the facts of the matter and therefore no longer walk by faith which causes us to not allow ourselves to experience the fulfillment of this way of life. As believers we have 100%, ALL, and you cannot add to that.

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
(Ephesians 1:4)

     Some have used this verse to say that all have been chosen to be in Him prior to man ever existing therefore all men are in Him and all are saved. The fact is that in context Paul is writing not to everyone everywhere but to the saints, who are those who have believed on Jesus for salvation. The only benefit that I can see for anyone to believe that all are saved regardless of what they believe is that they are trying to deal with some sort of condemnation. If all are saved then when one feels compelled to share their faith and does not any guilt from not doing so is immediately resolved by their reasoning that it was not necessary because everyone is saved anyhow. If this is the case, or anything else that may produce a sense of guilt, then the root of this is pride and they have allowed dead works to creep into their belief system because they have placed a value on themselves based on what one does rather than accept the fact their value comes solely from God who declares us priceless regardless of our actions.

     What Paul states here is true in that every believer has been chosen to be in union with God before mankind ever existed. This statement alone also tells us that mankind did not come along as an afterthought but contrarily this was part of God’s plan, from before time as we know it existed, so that God could expand His family.

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
(Ephesians 1:5)

     God’s predestination all of humanity to be adopted through Jesus unto Himself does not mean that all will. This is God’s plan and His desire for all of humanity but to say that all are because God planned on this being the method by which all would enter into a restored relationship is bunk. In the most simplest of answers to a thought like this one can easily look to scripture and see the question imposed of “What must I do to be saved?” and the response is always “believe on the Lord Jesus” and not “you already are”. In fact scripture uses such actions as shall be saved, should be saved, may be saved and might be saved but never once eludes to the fact that all are saved.