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The Responsibility of Witnessing

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Christians are often relieved to learn they are not responsible for saving souls; that role is divine and not ours. Just as a witness is not responsible for the verdict, we are not held accountable for whether the people we invite to know Jesus accept that invitation.

A witness only shares his experience and then leaves the outcome up to the judge or jury. In the same way, we share the Good News and then the Holy Spirit takes over.

What was most effective about the Samaritan woman’s testimony was the joy that overflowed from her changed heart. She went from being a woman who drew water in the heat of the day so that she could avoid contact with the townspeople to actively engaging everyone she knew to tell of her wonderful experience. Her simple testimony was highly effective. John 4:39 says, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.”

Do you want God to use you more this year to witness to the wonder of His love, mercy, and grace? We must first start with confession of any sin in our own hearts and repentance. Worldwide revival must start with facing our own sin.

Pray that God will reveal to you any sin you may have rationalized or not yet dealt with. Ask for a pure heart so you can go forward with His work. Then go out into the workplace, the gym, the classroom, or wherever God has placed you and share the story that only you can tell—the story of how you came to know Jesus and all that He has done for you. Someone you know needs to hear it!

Prayer: God, I pray for a pure heart and a joyful spirit that I might be a witness for You. Help me to be obedient to what You have called me to do and then trust You with the rest. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24).

The Joy of Witnessing

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

When the Samaritan woman accepted Jesus as the long awaited Messiah, she was instantly transformed into a new being. The woman at the well was so thrilled that she left her water jug behind in her eagerness to tell everyone what Christ had done for her! She went back to the streets where she had previously walked in shame as people whispered unkindly about her.

She had given her sin and guilt to Jesus and now could boldly engage each and every person she met in earnest conversation about her amazing experience. In short, she became a witness. John 4:27-42 tells the story.

Many Christians talk about witnessing, but most do not have an accurate understanding of what it means to be a witness. To better understand the term, just look at what a witness in a court trial does. His duty is simple: he tells the truth about what he experienced. He is not responsible for fully understanding the law or the process; he is only obligated to tell what he saw and heard.

Telling others what we experienced when we met Jesus is our duty as witnesses for Christ, and it should be our joy to do so. How can we keep the gift of salvation quiet and not share it with others?

Prayer: God, help me to remember what You have done for me and to count it a joy to share my salvation story with others. Help me to be a bold witness this week. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4).

The Importance of the Truth

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Historical revisionists and liberal Bible scholars are trying to apply modern-day values to the Word of God and to historical facts. They remove the pieces they don’t like. May we be warned: if we continue on this path, we will end up with a pack of lies and our children will not learn the Truth about the Word of God or the history of this nation.

Scripture is clear. In 2 Timothy, Paul warns his young friend to not be ashamed to preach the Gospel, saying: “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the Truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:2-4).

It is politically incorrect to say that Jesus Christ is the way, the Truth, and the life—but it is the Truth. Only His Truth changes lives and unlocks the beauty of our full worth as men and women who are made in His image. Only He can change our hearts so we are able to love our neighbors.

We must remember that the only thing that counts is true faith “expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6).

Prayer: Lord, thank You that You are the only way, the Truth, and the life. I pray that my church, my family, and my nation will not turn aside to myths, but will embrace the full Truth of the Gospel. Help us to be on guard against deception. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).

Proclaiming the Truth

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Have you ever hidden your faith from others? Have you ever softened the message of God’s Word? If you find yourself feeling ashamed of the Gospel, remember this: No matter how Satan tries to trap us, no matter what other people can do to us or say about us, we can know that we already have eternal victory through Jesus Christ.

Our eternal victory doesn’t mean that proclaiming the Truth will be easy. We may lose friendships or face slander or hear insults. But Paul says, “And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day” (2 Timothy 1:11-12).

In this world, we will face the pressure to conform. We will encounter people who spread a false Gospel. But as we hold to the Truth, speaking it in love, we won’t have to hang on with our own strength. God will be there to help us and to uphold us in our battles.

Prayer: Father, give me courage and strength to boldly proclaim the Truth of the Gospel. Amen.

“Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold” (2 Corinthians 3:12).

No Shame

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Shame is a powerful and damaging emotion. Have you ever felt shame or disgrace? Have you ever been ashamed of someone else? People can be ashamed of their appearance, their social status, or their family heritage—anything that they feel is unacceptable or unattractive. Shame is what we feel when we think that something about ourselves does not measure up to the expectations of others.

Where does shame come from? It is the child of fear and the cousin of timidity. In 2 Timothy 1, Paul is warning Timothy about shame. Fear and shame are closely related. When we fear what others think of us, we feel ashamed and attempt to hide our “faults” from them. Unfortunately, many Christians have allowed the world to shame them into hiding the Gospel. They feel ashamed of Biblical morality and of following God’s standards. Paul encourages Timothy, “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God” (2 Timothy 1:8).

No matter what we face, God’s power is with us. Even in the face of death, we shouldn’t let fear trap us. When Jesus died on the Cross, He not only abolished death for His followers, He also abolished the fear of death. While we will all experience physical death, those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior have the joy of anticipating eternal life with Jesus. We should feel honored to endure hardships for Christ—even death: “If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name” (1 Peter 4:16).

Prayer: Father, help me to not be ashamed of the Gospel. Where there is fear in my life, replace it with faith. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day” (2 Timothy 1:12).

Trust in God's Love

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

God's redemptive love for us is beyond anything this world could ever offer. There is nothing we can do to earn it. God’s love is a free gift that He has chosen to give us. However, it is our responsibility to accept this gift by faith.

E. Stanley Jones writes:

“I am inwardly fashioned for faith, not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are like sand in the machinery of life; faith is the oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear, doubt, and anxiety.”

We have been redeemed from eternal death through Jesus Christ. We no longer have reason to fear because we belong to a God who says, “Fear not.” Our fate has been sealed, and we have every reason to have hope for the future.

Many people do not realize the power of God's redemption. They cower in fear and worry about tomorrow. Each one of us can think back to a time when we felt fearful and wanted to retreat, but God calls us to move forward in victory.

Fear stifles creativity.

Fear destroys the dreams God has given us.

Fear keeps us from fully receiving His love.

Fear prevents us from telling others about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Fear is one of Satan's favorite weapons against the believer.

The apostle Paul reminds us that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us and gave Himself for us (Romans 8:37). The redemptive love of God is yours to rest in and enjoy. Don’t let your feelings dictate your faith—trust in God’s love for you and refuse to allow fear to rob you of God's blessing.

Prayer: Father, thank You for sending Your only Son because of Your great love for us. Help me to be confident in Your love and boldly share it with others. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).

Managing God's Vision

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

God gives His vision to those who are good stewards. God is looking for stewards who will manage His plans well, even in the face of opposition, frustration, impatience, or even spiritual attack.

As we follow God’s timeline, we may experience anxious moments and frustration while we wait for God’s plan to unfold. Satan will tempt us to bypass God’s timeline and question God’s direction. Yet God entrusts His vision to those He knows will persevere through criticism, seasons of waiting, and spiritual warfare.

God also gives His vision to those who are faithful in small things. He will give greater vision to those who are being faithful with what is already in their charge. The Bible teaches us that this is how God rewards His faithful servants: “You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things” (Matthew 25:21).

The good news is that it is never too late to start seeking God’s vision. We are always at the right point in our lives to decide to honor God and to delight in Him.

Prayer: God, I pray that I will be a good steward of the vision You give me. Thank You for all You have entrusted to me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:36).

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