Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (NIV)
We often shy away from witnessing and discipling for a variety of reasons: I am too young in the faith; I have blown it and am not worthy; I do not have a life worth emulating; I need to grow in maturity in the faith. Some other reasons not openly expressed might be: I am afraid of what others might say; I do not want to lose their friendship; I do not want people to think negatively of me at work; I do not have the time. Whatever your reason for not discipling and witnessing, you still have to contend with God’s commands to witness and disciple. God did not command us to come up with reasons why not, but only to do it.
What is always missing in the call to obediently witness and disciple others is God’s role expressed in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (NIV) Your job is to be obedient while God will do the growing and reaping. Being obedient is not an opportunity to prove your competence with God, but an opportunity to trust Him. God wants an open heart that is available throughout each day. God wants followers who ask Him each day for opportunities to witness and disciple. God longs to act on your obedience so that He can bring salvation to the lost or kindle the faith and walk of believers who desire to experience more of Him.
Witnessing and discipling are not only critical in saving the lost and helping others experience Christ, but more importantly they provide one of God’s best opportunities to work in you. 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 shows the power that awaits faithful believers who step out in faith: “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.” (NIV) God can provide for any nonbeliever the same miraculous Damascus road experience He provided for Paul for his salvation. God’s way, though, is to not just bless who you are talking to, but to also bless you! God longs to show His hand in your life. Yes, God desires the salvation of all, but in 1 Peter 4:11 you see how He desires your praise as His glory is shown: “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever.” (NIV) Put away the excuses, put on boldness, and trust God for a great harvest and work which He desires to do in your life and the lives of others!
Acts 4:33 “With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.” (NIV)
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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “God’s Purpose For You” and “Transformation – Part 3”
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