Post date: Jan 7, 2013 2:58:18 AM
From the Shepherd's Heart
In Acts 1:8, God gives us the strategy for advancing the Gospel. "You shall be my witnesses." The word witness there in the original language means martyr. So the lifestyle of a witness of Christ is a risk-taking lifestyle. The word martyr appears over 30 times in the book of Acts. Herb Hodges - in reference to being a witness/martyr says, "it informs us that we are to forget any thought of a safety-first lifestyle." When witnessing, our comfort is not our priority. In Romans 1:1a Paul says "I Paul, a bondservant of Jesus..." A bondservant is one who freely gives up his rights to be obedient to another (see also Matthew 6:24)
God in His sovereignty has chosen the church, His children, to be His stewards of advancing the Gospel. Read Philippians 1:5 where Paul expresses gratitude to the Philippian church for partnering with him in advancing the Gospel. Are you currently a partner in the advancement of the Gospel? Herb Hodges believes "the church is guilty of chaining Jesus to the pulpit." Which means we talk about Jesus at the pulpit, in the church, but then we walk out and leave Him there. We don't talk about Him out there in the world.
Lets be obedient and respond to Christ's calling on our lives. There is no better time than to start now because we do know the real reason for celebration this coming season.