Will the Witness Please Take the Stand
From January 24, 2010:
Sovereignty (Dictionary): Supreme power or authority, supremacy.
Sovereignty (Bible): Royalty, reign, dominion.
Witness (Bible): A witness (Hebrew-Ed), repeat, do again-root word-firm or strong (OT); in NT-to testify or bear witness.
It is interesting that the dictionary does not include any reference to God within the definition of sovereignty. However, God’s Word does declare His majesty and His sovereignty over and over:
Psalm 103:19: “19The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.” (NASB)
We all know that we are to be witnesses for the Gospel. Within this calling, we are to be a “living, vibrant testimony” of God’s love. It should be clearly seen in our lives. The Lord has given us such precious gifts! As we walk with Him we see both His glory and His love in creation. But over and above that, we need to know and understand that He is sovereign, almighty God!
In Isaiah, the Lord is intervening for the nation of Israel and is telling them that they are still His chosen people and loved. Beyond this, the Lord reminds them of His sovereignty and that they are to bear witness of Him! We too need to remind ourselves of the awesomeness of God and that within His sovereignty there is salvation, safety, and awesome Holy Spirit power. Hear what our awesome God says to His chosen people:
Isaiah 43:1-2: ”1 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “ Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.” (NKJV)
This is such an incredible Scripture! If God speaks over Israel this way, we can be sure that He speaks the same way over us! He is a God of great promises (2 Peter 1:4). God always uses His Word to help us understand who He is and what our position in Him means:
Isaiah 43:10-13: 10“You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.11“I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me.12“It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And I am God. 13“Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?” (NASB)
If indeed we are His witnesses, we absolutely must take a stand for Him and speak the truth.
Ephesians 6:10-11: 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
We need to reject fear! Listen to what Jesus said:
John 15:4-5: “4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (NKJV)
As we look at what Jesus was telling His disciples we see His sovereignty. It is the abiding that is key for us. Jesus presents a high calling to His disciples as fruit bearers. It is important to Him and He tells them that the source of that power is hidden in Him! The word “abide” in the Greek means to “stay, or remain”. That same power is ours today!
In a court room, when the witness takes the stand, the person swears on the Holy Bible and repeats that they will “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth-so help me God”. The jury then watches very carefully what is said by the witness. The appearance, the words and the demeanor of the witness are all noted. The testimony can result in freedom or conviction for the defendant. The witness can therefore have great power over someone’s life. We need to look at ourselves. We have professed Christianity and our hands are on the Bible. Are we a good testimony to others? How do we speak? How do we react to problems? It is like we too are on the witness stand and the whole room is listening to what we have to say.
As we look at our great God, we see that He desires us to abide(remain) within His shelter. We know that we shall have troubles and problems in our lives. It just happens. We don’t want it or ask for it, but it happens. If we are staying under His sovereignty, we are in a safe place but we should also be free to be a powerful witness for Him.
When we looked at the title of this 7-minute sermon, it was interesting to see that there was no question mark at the end of the title. That is because we are called and directed by almighty God to take a “stand” and to be His “witness”. It is not an option or a question in our lives.
As we walk out this week let us try to walk out Matthew 6:33-34: “33But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (NIV).
We may be in a struggle at the moment and it may be hard to cope but the Lord has such grace and mercy and He understands. The Matthew 6 Scripture shows us that we are designed by God to handle today-not tomorrow-not yesterday-just today. If we try to carry all three days (yesterday, today and tomorrow) we will be overwhelmed. It is sometimes hard to enter into God’s sovereignty and let go of worry, but we need to ask for His help to win our battles.
I have been on the witness stand in a court of law. It can be a little unnerving to be in that situation! But the lawyers said that all I need to do is tell the truth. Good advice! We must take the stand; we must be a credible witness and speak the truth. The truth of God’s Word will win out. If we stand firm, people will watch and see our witness and we will see people healed and restored and much fruit produced! So, be a witness and take the stand!
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