Relationships – Day 15
Bearers of good news: You and I
Witnessing is a lifestyle. You are a witness. You live your testimony, even if you do not think about it consciously (R.E. Coleman). These are loaded words, because the real you can only stay hidden for a short while before it tunnels an opening for himself to the outside.
The church of the Thessalonians was an example of such an assembly — they practiced what they were to the core. Their faith was visible in their work; their love could not but express itself in labour; their endurance was inspired by their undaunted hope in Jesus Christ — the One for whom they lived and testified (1 Thessalonians 1:3). That is not all. Despite their suffering, their lives were examples for believers in other parts of the country. Their work plan also involved proclaiming the word of the Lord and making their faith become visible for all (1 Thessalonians 1:7-8). They were indeed bearers of good news in word and deed.
Ordinary people on a mission.
What was the secret of this fearless and dedicated lifestyle? They became “imitators of us” (Paul and his co-workers), but more importantly, they also became “imitators of the Lord; you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6). This message “was not the word of men, but you accepted it as the word of God, which is at work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
This lifestyle of being a messenger is still valid in our modern era. How would people know about salvation in Christ if our lives do not testify to this and if we do not use our voices to spread the good news? The truth of Romans 5:15 is still valid: “How beautiful are the feet of them who preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15). You do not have to be a preacher to spread the good news. Your “pulpit” is your home, office, community, school, people lining up at the shop, and the car guard.
The Bible is quite clear on why man should hear this message: Everyone sinned and do not live as God desires us to live (Romans 3:23); man is dead and needs to become alive (Ephesians 2:1); man is separated from God and walks a lonely road of self-destruction and hopelessness (Ephesians 2:12). The good news is: The blood of Jesus Christ draws anyone who is separated and far from God’s presence close to Him (Ephesians 2:13). Anyone who came close because they obeyed and believed this message, is a bearer and potential messenger of the Good News.