May 01, 2009


Acts 1:1-11

“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:8


What does it mean to be a witness? Do you have to be a good talker? Christians talk a lot about witnessing, but what exactly is it?

The word “witness” comes from the court system. God’s relationship with his people has, among other things, a legal aspect to it. The people promised to obey God’s commands, but then they broke their promise. So God said to them, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). God is the Judge, and heaven and earth are witnesses that we have sinned against him, rebelliously preferring to do as we want to rather than accepting his offer of life!

Now, in Acts 1:8, Jesus commissions his followers to be witnesses too—not just of human rebellion but of the good news of God’s love for the world.

We are among the witnesses God summons to testify for him. Life itself is like a courtroom, and we are called to tell the truth about God, even though lies may fly thick and fast around us. We are witnesses “to the ends of the earth.” When people accuse God or make excuses for their rebellion, we must point them to the cross and say, “What more could God have done for us than by sending his Son to die in our place?”

Lord, many people think you are uncaring and powerless against evil. Help us to share your love and to honor all you’ve done to destroy evil without having to destroy us. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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