January 25, 2008
For God did not give us a Spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
Many times I debate with myself exactly what is meant by “witnessing”. How does one bear witness? Need I communicate my truth to every person I see? In my heart of hearts, I believe if I possess true conviction, I should not shy away from doing exactly that.
There is not one person in this world who does not need to hear the Good News of God's forgiving love for us in Jesus Christ. So there should be no reason why I should not be able to tell it to all. And yet, time and again, I find myself making excuses about why I should not communicate my beliefs to this or that person. Sometimes it’s because I am afraid I will alienate that person. At other times it is because I convince myself there is no way I can get through to them. But mostly it’s because I fear ridicule.
I find myself cringing when I encounter people enthusiastic in their witness. Whether I observe them on street corners or meet them in person, such people have a way of making me feel very uncomfortable. I believe the main reason I feel this way is because I am forced to appraise my own witness. Why am I unable to loudly declare my beliefs? Have I not received as much, if not more, than these people?
Of course, I know God understands my character and does not expect me to engage in contrived testimony. However, I think the reason I feel guilty in the face of witness from others is because, deep down, I feel I am not doing enough. I turn again to Christ and His forgiveness.
Bearing testimony in the face of opposition and ridicule, not to mention at the risk of offending someone else, requires courage. It requires courage to risk imparting the message and courage not to be discouraged whatever the outcome.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me not to conform and take the coward’s way out but to tell of the forgiveness You have given through the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Biography of Author:
Meron Tekleberhan, 24, attended Sanford English Community School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is currently working on her thesis in international relations.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.