Prayer Theme--Passionate Witness
Intercession Focus—Mission to the World
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. NKJV
This is one of the landmarks of the Adventist movement. We have established global evangelistic networks and programmes, a global publishing and media network, a global Christian educational system, hospital system and much more—all with this mandate of Jesus in mind:
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. NKJV
One might say ‘Passionate Witness’ and ‘Mission to the World’ are the job descriptions for this family business we find ourselves involved in through the new birth experience!
But at the end of the day, when we get to the root of all the programmes and institutions, what really drives this whole thing? Where do the passion and the scope come from? Can we generate it through motivational techniques? Slick advertising? More education? More money?
While all of these aspects may play a part, I’d like to suggest that there is one foundational aspect, without which, the rest are hollow and flat:
Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." NKJV
The resources, infrastructure and personnel really add up to a big zero without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, not in a building or an institution, but in you and me! If the Spirit is going to fall upon ‘The Church’, it must fall upon us first. With the Spirit comes the love of Christ, without which we’re zero to the tenth power.
As we pray about our family business, let’s invite the Spirit into our hearts each morning and throughout the day. If the church is to have a passionate witness, we need to have a passionate witness. One of the biggest aspects of this witness is being able to model and communicate what the Lord has done and is doing in our lives! The big things that happen in the world are generally a collection of many little things, and we are all a part of that whole, our influence does and will change things!
Work with the Holy Spirit to develop a relevant testimony to share with people you come in contact with. It should not be long, but rather powerful. Not in theological terms or Adventist lingo, but in ‘street talk’, the phraseology that the people in your work-a-day world can understand and relate to. What has the Lord done for you? Let the world know in a joyful and appropriate way. Passion has a way of being infectious and people are looking for something real to grasp, whether they will admit it or not. Don’t say too much, short and powerful is the key. Leave a seed that the Holy Spirit can work with, and they will want to know more in time, maybe even come to a programme at church at some stage.
Yes we need to take this gospel of the kingdom to the world, but that job will not be finished until it has been taken to the people we associate with day by day. And remember, people can pick up whether we really care about them, or are just ‘witnessing’ to gain our brownie points. So our prayer today is for deeper surrender, and more willing submission. When the Spirit fill us, then and only then can the love of Christ reach through us to those around us.
Brad Bushey is pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist group in Waterford.