So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the Name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard." Acts 4:18-20
In the Civil War, the actions of one Army nurse became the subject of considerable concern.
That was because she often wandered into the battlefield and would return to the medical center with a soldier who was in special need of attention. It made no difference to her if the wounded was wearing blue or gray. The nurse went out and brought back the wounded.
Eventually, she received a gentle reprimand which said, "You have no business on the battlefield." Then she was asked, "Do you understand?"
She said she did. Then, after the next battle she was, once again, seen wandering around in no man's land combat zone. An officer came out and began to scold, "You have been instructed. What do you think you're doing on the -- ?"
Before he could finish, she gave him an icy stare and, in a tone which indicated the matter was closed, she said, "What am I doing? I'm looking for wounded. Looking for the wounded is what I do."
"Looking for the wounded is what I do." I wonder how many churches and individuals can say the same.
Now you and I all know the reasons why people don't witness. Most of us could, if we were hard-pressed, give our own special reason(s) for not bringing in the wounded. Yes, there are many reasons not to witness, but almost all of them crumble when you know about a survey done a few years back.
More than 4,000 people were asked what first had brought them to church:
* 2-3 percent of them said they just walked in, and another 2-3 percent said they came because of the programs.
* 5-6 percent were attracted by the preacher, and
* 1-2 percent came out of a special need they had, and a similar figure said they had been reached by an evangelism program.
* 4-5 percent came because of a Sunday school class, while less than
* 1 percent was touched by a public evangelistic crusade.
* Somewhere around 75-90 percent had been brought to the church through the influence of friends and relatives who had gone out into the battlefield and brought back those who had been wounded.
Witnessing is what we do. It's what I'm doing right now. It's what you do when you forward this devotion to someone else.
Now we all know many people who think witnessing is obnoxious and pushy. Others, believing all religions are ultimately alike think we're putting others down. And, of course, there are the throngs of folks who believe we ought to mind our own business. Now that I think about it, there are probably just as many reasons to not hear as to not witness.
And, in opposition, there are two reasons we ought to share the story of salvation with sinners: Jesus asked us to, and the lost desperately need to know how they can be saved.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, remake me so it can be said, "Witnessing is what he does" and "Listening is what others do when they are told about the Savior and all He did to save us." In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries