“When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished…” (Luke 2:15-18, NLT).
Christians are supposed to be witnesses, not judges. It is not our responsibility to tell people their faults and sins; it is our privilege, especially this Christmas, to tell them about Christ and the salvation he alone can give. Like the shepherds and the apostles, our task is simply to tell people what we have seen and heard concerning Jesus Christ.
This makes witnessing a personal, practical thing. Some Christians “play the same old record” (consider how the Christmas messages were delivered for the past few years) and think they are communicating the excitement and challenge of the Christian life, but they’re not. Unless we personally walk daily with Christ in a real experience, we have nothing to share with others. The Gospel or Good News is not past history (although it is certainly based on historical facts) – it is present reality. “We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us” (1 John 1:3).
If witnessing means sharing a personal experience, then the believer must maintain that fellowship with Christ. The indwelling Holy Spirit makes Christ real to us, and then through us to others. “[I] will send you the Advocate – the spirit of truth,” said Jesus, “He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry” (John 15:26-27).
Don’t allow witnessing to become a strained, artificial thing. Stay in the Spirit, enjoy a personal walk with Christ through his Word, prayer and fellowship, and like the disciples, you will say, “We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Merry Christmas!
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.