Your Life is Your Witness

1 Thessalonians 5:14-23

5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
5:16 Rejoice evermore.
5:17 Pray without ceasing.
5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
5:20 Despise not prophesyings. 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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When you witness to the world, different people will need a different approach. Some will receive a message based on love. Others will want to reason out their salvation. Some will have to be driven by the fear of God.

Jude
1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

We are each also suited to deliver the gospel in different ways. Start your witnessing by listening, and let the Spirit guide you on the path that will best help your brother or sister.

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Jesus told us to love our enemies and do good toward them. We cannot witness to someone that is mad at us. Try to not strike back at people, but rather let God deal with them (no matter how much you think they deserve it).

Romans
12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Remember: the first step to really helping someone is to listen. You can’t do that is everyone is mad.

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God doesn’t want us to go around with a painted on smile. That’s no witness. Everyone can see through it, and won’t listen to you if they think you aren’t being real. Instead, always try to remember all the blessings God has given you. The joy will then come naturally.

James
1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

If you’re in such a tough place that it’s hard to remember any other blessings, you can always look back and know this; Jesus came to save you from your sins and bring you back into the family of God.

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God is in everything. Whatever you encounter in a day, God put it there for a purpose. Try to keep that in mind and pray to thank God for it. You may also need to ask Him how He intends for you to use it. Perhaps it’s a blessing you’re meant to pass on. Maybe it’s a lesson. Sometimes, it’s both at the same time.

Philippians
4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Don’t worry about your circumstances. Trust God and let Him use your situation for the purpose He sent it.

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The verse doesn’t say “in all things you like give thanks”. It says “in every thing”. I know it can be hard. One of my challenges right now is adjusting to my new medicines. They drain my strength and energy. However, this has allowed me to accept and appreciate the help of others more. I’ve been on the other side of that too. When I didn’t have anyone I could trust to help me. Then, the blessing was learning to lean on God. Even the world says “every cloud has a silver lining”. Everything has a blessing in it. It’s a double blessing when you can find it. Even trouble is a blessing if we let it drive us closer to God.

Romans
8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

No matter what happens remember, the God and ruler of the universe is on your side and He has allowed this for some good purpose.

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When you’re saved, the Holy Spirit comes to guide, strengthen and comfort you. He is a person and one part of the Trinity of God. You can draw away from Him and deny yourself access to His help. You do that by doing things that displease God.

Ephesians
4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

If you’re not feeling the Spirit it’s you that’s moved. He will also help you pray for forgiveness and help you find your way back to God.

20-21
There are so many false prophets about that I used to think the gift of prophesy had ceased. However, you can apply the same tests to modern day prophets as God first prescribed.

Deuteronomy
18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. 18:19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. 18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. 18:21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

To prophesy doesn’t always mean to tell the future. Sometimes it just means to speak the Word of God. The same thing applies. If someone preaches something that doesn’t follow from the Word, be very careful of them. It might be an honest mistake on their part, or a misunderstanding on your part. Whatever the case, the written Word of God has been given to us so we can know the truth.

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The world is watching you. Your first witness is the way you walk. If you appear no different than those around you, what do you have to offer them?

1 Corinthians
8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of your’s become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 8:10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 8:11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 8:12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 8:13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

We are God’s witness to the world. Just because we know something isn’t a sin doesn’t mean we should do it. We have to be careful that we don’t do something that spoils our witness. We are the light of the world. We can’t afford the appearance of darkness.

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The Father planned and directed, the Son came and died, the Holy Spirit protects and guides. You have been redeemed and sealed.

1 Peter
1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

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