Newsletter June 2018
Witnesses of Jesus
That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. (1 John 1:3-4)
The apostle John describes the fellowship he has with Jesus by the Spirit. The Word of Life, Jesus, came from the heavenly Father and was manifested to John and his fellow disciples and, after His resurrection and ascension, Jesus was present with them by the Spirit. He had told the disciples before He went to the cross that His going away would be to their advantage for then the Helper, the Holy Spirit would come. (John 16:7) The Spirit would be in them and through Him Jesus and the Father would be present with them. (John 14:16-18) John declares this to his readers so that they may share in the fellowship he is experiencing and that their joy too may be full.
Are you experiencing the joy of God’s presence? Do you know that fellowship with Jesus that John is talking about? Does the joy you experience cause you to want to declare to others the truth about Jesus? Is Jesus so real to you in your everyday life that you can’t stop talking about Him and sharing His goodness with those who do not yet know Him?
Before He ascended to the Father, Jesus told His disciples to wait for the Spirit to come upon them. They were to be witnesses of Him. Not only had they been with Him during His time on earth and seen and touched Him after His resurrection – they would enjoy His presence and His leading by the Spirit, and so they could be witnesses not only of what they had experienced in the past but also of what they were experiencing every moment.
God calls us to be His witnesses in a world of darkness and confusion. In Jesus we know the peace and joy that the world so longs for but cannot find. We can declare to them that the Son of God came into the world in human form, just like you and me, to bring us back into fellowship with God through His death on the cross and His subsequent resurrection. We have this message of hope for the world, not because we have rehearsed a script for evangelism but because we are true witnesses of His goodness.
Evangelism means sharing good news (from the Greek euaggelion). The message of Jesus is the only truly good news there is. That is why Paul says (2 Cor. 5:18-20), Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
Are you an ambassador of Christ? Are you a representative of His kingdom (His divine rule) on earth? Are you a witness of His goodness and His love? Do you declare what you have experienced and are experiencing to those you meet so they can share in your joy?
Or do you struggle to share the good news of Jesus because you are not experiencing it yourself? If so, Jesus invites you to Himself. He longs to share fellowship with you more than you can ever imagine. He is knocking at the door of your heart. Will you let Him in? Will you make room for Him in your busy life so He can come and share fellowship with you? (Rev. 3:20) As you experience the joy of fellowship with Him you will be His witness, for we cannot but speak the things we have seen and heard. (Acts 4:20)