We Need to Witness to Believers Too

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“Witnessing” and “testifying” are words generally reserved for evangelizing. It is by hearing a testimony that many people become interested in the Lord. Through the witness of Christians, many have been convicted by the Spirit and accepted Christ as their own.

But there is also a place for witnessing to other believers.

1 Thessalonians 5:10-11 tells us that:

“He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

When we think of encouragement, our testimony isn’t often what first comes to mind. But encouraging one another isn’t just about pointing out strengths and speaking hope into hard situations.

The sleep referenced in this verse is similar to falling asleep physically. It’s the same word used in Scripture for the sick “dead” child who Jesus said was actually just asleep.

Although some suggest otherwise, this “sleep” does not indicate that one is in hell or unsaved (Mark 5:39). In fact, the writers of 1 Thessalonians are writing to believers in a church.

Of course, this simple falling asleep and being asleep is a metaphor still. It is described as a metaphor for “yield(ing) to sloth and sin, and be(ing) indifferent to one’s salvation” (BibleHub).

Here our testimonies have a great but often overlooked purpose: spurned the saved to live as though saved.

One of the best forms of encouragement we have as Christians is our testimony –both in the big and the little things. It’s through this encouragement that others are woken up to the possibility of living their new life in Christ now. Whether in a deep sleep of faith or a taking a little nap, forgetting to keep our eyes fixed on Him all the time, we all have times when a wake-up call to faith is needed.

The call isn’t always loud or startling. Our testimonies don’t have to be either. What we witness about doesn’t always have to be a matter of life or death (especially when talking to those who will live forever, asleep or awake!)

We can testify to the Lord’s desires for our lives through simple stories. Sharing our little victories in the faith serves as a witness to others of the Lord living out His promises. Salvation first. But also the Holy Spirit. Also His presence with us. Also His best plans for each of us.

Every day that we spend in fellowship we have opportunities to witness to other believers by sharing about answered prayers or things the Lord is teaching us. By testifying to how He works in our lives, beyond saving us in the first place, we remind each other that He is alive here and now too.

That matters. That testimony stirs us to wake and to live the life He has for us now. It’s no surprise that Scripture is clear on this: giving a wake-up call is one of our callings in fellowship as believers in the body of Christ.

This post is being shared on: #Thought-Provoking Thursday #Faith-Filled Friday, and #DanceWithJesus.

What Hope Can a Broken Heart offer?

How can our brokenness be useful to others? Offering our broken hearts to the Lord as a sacrifice and a praise is one thing. But, giving ourselves to others when we’re messy and vulnerable is another.

Though we shouldn’t recklessly hand over the reins to our heart or carelessly welcome anyone’s influence into to our hurts, there is a place for being broken among people. Scripture allows for this, explicitly and implicitly:

“Mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.” –Romans 12:15-16

We are to share in other’s sufferings and grief. At the same time, sharing even in Christ’s sufferings, we are to be those who mourn and who need others to mourn alongside us. That’s part of living in harmony. According to Christ, it’s part of living in this world:

“In this world you will have trouble.”John 16:33

Recognizing that fact and admitting to broken-heartedness is part of witnessing to others, Christian and unbelieving alike.

Unfortunately, there are two lies we believe that stop us from living and proclaiming Him to others even when we’re a mess.

The lies?

  1. To make anyone want the Gospel, we have to make it attractive by having it all together.
  2. No one else will understand anyway. Our comfort isn’t in this world.

Half-truths are deceptive lies, aren’t they? That anyone understands, and cares, and has been messy and broken and vulnerable –that’s what we need to hear. That’s what the unsaved and the struggling believer needs to know before they can live the end of John 16:33:

But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Living as those who know that He has overcome the world, our brokenness is a testimony to the Lord and to the realities of this world that many people deny. It means that in our brokenness, we still have hope to offer because:

  • We can be broken but not destroyed.
  • Our brokenness does not cause us to be useless and abandoned, but loved and sufficient in weakness because our strength is in Him.
  • The stream of living water in you and me doesn’t cease to flow when our persons of clay pottery shatter. It flows all the more freely.
  • Defenses down, hearts exposed, the honesty of being broken is something this world doesn’t admit or acknowledge -not with any hope.

BUT in our brokenness, we continue. We fix our eyes. We smile. We pray. We offer ourselves to others anyway, because our worth isn’t found in the all-together we have to give. Our worth, to others and in our innermost being, is bound up in the one who was broken for us.

That’s why our brokenness offers hope. His body and Spirit were broken, separated from God Himself, rejected. Offered as a sacrifice, as our broken hearts are to be. God uses that sacrifice, raw and messy in our lives and others’ to help restore life, revert perspective, and bring us into a more intimate reliance on Him.

Imagine- when your broken heart is sacrificed to the Lord, He uses the mess to let others know the truth, His presence, and the hope He has to offer all of us. The hope we need. The hope even we as believers ignore when we pretend that brokenness doesn’t come before redemption.

This post is being shared on: #Thought-Provoking Thursday #Faith-Filled Friday, and #DanceWithJesus.