“You are My witnesses, declares the Lord, for I am the Lord, your God… your Savior…”
(Isaiah 43:10 & 11, NIV)
If we truly know God, then we already are His witnesses! For over 27 centuries, since Isaiah was inspired to write these words, this has been true. However, there are other equally important questions for today’s consideration. What quality witnesses have we been? Have our daily prayers focused on sharing God’s “good news” with others? Asked another way, are we making a positive spiritual impact on those whom we know? As we pray about our days of future ministry, let us quietly think about the Lord’s all-encompassing instruction –
“…let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
The Bible explains that – “The man who plants and the man who waters have the same purpose…” (1 Corinthians 3:8a) Additionally, the Scriptures employ the agricultural term – reaping. This means that we are called to participate in all three phases of the Great Commission. Planting is the first phase which relates to the privilege of initially sharing God’s message of grace and repentance. This often takes place with a new acquaintance, a personal friend, or a family member. The Bible refers to the time of spiritual planting as “sowing the seed.” Each believer’s witness could be the first, second, third, or even the hundredth time that the truth has been sown in a seeker’s heart.
When describing heaven’s process or transformation, Paul reminded us that spiritually just as in nature, only God can “…make things grow….” (1 Corinthians 3:7b) As the Bible explains, “… it is God who works … to do His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). This is why He alone – deserves our praise when a seeker is redeemed, and their character begins to change. This is the work of the Holy Spirit!
In Luke 10:2, Jesus introduces the third element of our Christian witness. The Bible explains that we are not only called to plant and water, but also to reap. Over time, the seeds that are planted through our witness – will have been watered through numerous forms of spiritual encouragement. Then, when they become ripe, they will be ready for harvest!
The Bible declares, “The harvest truly is great … therefore pray asking the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Luke 10:2) Spiritual reaping is a time of celebration both in heaven and throughout the world. This happens daily in the Lord’s multitude of churches. The Scriptures declare that “…there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over even one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10)
If you already know and love God, but are not yet planting, watering, and harvesting, then someone failed to properly disciple you – when you were a growing new believer. Because God called you to “share the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) and invest your life in others, even now you can request additional training from a seasoned Christian disciple-maker. The Bible explains that you have already been empowered to enjoy the high privilege of serving in the Great Commission!
“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.” (Acts 1:8)
By Billie Hanks Jr.