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“A Word for this Week” - Pastor Bill Mugnolo
Week of April 19-25, 2021: “To Be His Witnesses” … Luke 24:44-48
“You will be my witnesses”: This, Jesus said to his disciples both on the evening of His resurrection and right before he ascended into heaven (Luke 24:48, Acts 1:8). The word “witness” comes from the word Martus which speaks of bearing witness to a particular reality in life. It is also the root of the English word “martyr”a word which speaks being willing to suffer all, even death, than to renounce one’s beliefs.
To be His witnesses: In Acts 3:11-21, the Apostle Peter bore witness to the Christ by whose power he and John had healed a man who had been lame from birth. In bearing witness to the crowd at the Temple, Peter gave all credit for the healing to Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:31). He then called them out for having crucified Jesus. Then, not mincing words, He called them to repent and believe in Jesus. For this, Peter and John would be arrested and told not to speak again in the name of Jesus. But upon being released, they stated, “we cannot but speak of what we’ve seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).
Then, it was on April 18, 1521exactly 500 years agothat Martin Luther bore witness to his faith at a meeting of the Holy Roman Empire, the Diet at Worms. Upon being ordered to renounce his teaching that the Holy Scripture is the sole authority for the Church and that we are saved by faith apart from our own works, Luther held his ground saying, “My conscience is captive to the Word of God … Here I stand, may God help me, Amen”. For this, he would spend a year in exile and be under a death threat for the rest of his life. But Martin Luther would stay true to his faith and we are blessed for it to this very day.
To be his witnesses: On our own, we would only cower in fear and deny Christ as Peter once did three times on the night before Jesus died (Mark 14:66-72). But the Lord, who forgave Peter and gave him boldness, will forgive us, renew us, and give us the words that we need to say (Matthew 10:19-20). How blessed and privileged we are to be His witnesses!
Replace today's negative thoughts with God's eternal truths, guided by the following list passed down to us from an unknown source. This is especially important in dealing with the Coronavirus and all the bad news we are hearing. Keep God's Word close at hand to combat the negative thoughts.
The world says: "Its impossible." God says: "All things are possible." (Luke 18:27)
The world says "I'm too tired." God says: "I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28-30)
The world says: "Nobody really loves me." God says: "I love you." (John 3:16, 34)
The world says: "I can't go on." God says: "My grace is sufficient." (2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91:15)
The world says: "I can't figure things out." God says: "I will direct your steps." (Proverbs 3:5- 6)
The world says: "I can't do it." God says: "You can do all things." (Philippians 4:13)
The world says: "I'm not able." God says: "I am able." (2 Corinthians 9:8)
The world says: "It's not worth it." God says: "It will be worth it." (Roman 8:28)
The world says: "I can't forgive myself." God says: "I forgive you." (1 John 1:9; Romans 8:1)
The world says: "I can't manage." God says: "I will supply all your needs." (Philippians 4:19)
The world says: "I'm afraid." God says: "I have not given you a spirit of fear." (2 Timothy 1:7)
The world says: "I'm always worried and frustrated." God says: "Cast all your cares on Me." (1 Peter 5:7)
The world says: "I'm not smart enough." God says: "I give you wisdom." (1 Corinthians 1:30)
The world says: "I feel all alone." God says: "I will never leave you or forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)