I don’t know about you, but for me “talking about” Jesus sounds easier than “bearing witness.” When I think about “witnessing” I think about a court room, stern lawyers, a judge, a skeptical jury, stacks of documents, and harsh cross examination — and frankly it starts really freaking me out! When I think of the words “talking about” — I think of a warm cafe, I think of the pleasure of happy eye to eye conversation, and topics springing from my heart.
Why did Jesus use the words “bear witness?” I think he wanted to remind us that the stakes are high. When we talk about Him, we are giving another person a legal opportunity of eternity. It is recorded. Our hopeful words, our stories of miracles, our invitations of forgiveness — all of it passes a legal cashable check called, “salvation” into the other person’s ears and mind. You are putting the deed to a celestial mansion into their lap. When you say goodbye, the Spirit stays with the person and urges them to take that check to the bank. Yes, they received good news. And yes, what they do with it is their destiny.
I think one of the greatest jobs would be to distribute money for a generous philanthropist. (I can imagine flying in a helicopter and dropping down in someone’s backyard, to leave a surprise envelope with a check for someone who the philanthropist has identified as his target.) What a job! Can you imagine making a call like this . . . “Madam, I have heard that you are in great need, is that right? I am happy to tell you that you have been chosen by Mr. Generous to receive what he calls his “mercy grant. Hello?” (Person faints from joy and disbelief.)
I did that for a gas station attendant not long ago. She had helped me with the pump, and then as we both went inside I opened the door for her. I said, “ladies first.” This tattooed woman, said with a smile that was missing several teeth, “At least someone sees me as a lady.” I said, “You are much more than that, you are a princess . . . Jesus made you an heir in his kingdom, you know.” She beamed and immediately jumped subjects, “I have been divorced only two weeks, and I really needed to hear that.”
It’s a whole lot of fun to be a spiritual philanthropist. Working with the Spirit (who moves like the wind) you are following up His requests to go to people that He has prepared. Some of them will be overwhelmed with awe, others will simply put the check you deliver in a drawer. Remember, their response doesn’t change the gifts value.
When talking about Christ: Here are five key concepts you can use and those you share Him with can “take to the bank”:
1. Focus on Jesus as remarkable. His life was remarkable. His present work is remarkable. His future work is remarkable. Talk about Jesus in ways that relay His unique and awesome attributes. (John 3:16; Luke 9:35; Revelation 21:27)
2. Emphasize action when you talk. Doors must be entered. Bread must be eaten. Promises must be believed. Water is wet even in the jug, but it is only of use when some action is taken. (John 1:12; Romans 10:9; John 6:37,40)
3. Present the big points. Namely: Jesus in relation to, condemnation, choice, acceptance, forgiveness, assurance, and eternal life. Talk of these things and let the Spirit work on their heart to sense the risk of loss and the pleasure of redemption. Invite the person to believe. (John 3:18, John 1:12; 6:37,40; Revelation 3:5)
4. Invite your contact to pray as an action of faith to receive Jesus Christ. Help the person understand what it means to confess and acknowledge Jesus. (John 16:24; I John 1:9)
5. Affirm their obedience to God, and pray a prayer of thanksgiving. Help the new believer get started in their walk with Jesus by providing them with resource and fellowship. (I John 3:24; Philippians 1:6)
The Lord will make you an effective witness . . . simply start talking about Jesus. Watch what the Spirit does from there! Yes, you can bring people a lot of joy — you have the primary quality of a philanthropist — you are rich! Simply share out of your abundance.
Live your Potential,