Christ has called every believer to witness and share the good news of the Gospel with the world. In Acts 1:8, Jesus imparted a powerful command to his disciples, setting the foundation for the mission of the Church. The 2023 PRF theme, “Empowered to Witness,” emphasizes being “sent,” as one of its three core pillars. How can we then understand the significance of this command and effectively fulfill our role as Christ’s witnesses?
Understanding the Command
Before ascending to heaven, Jesus instructed his disciples not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. He assured them that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit, enabling them to be witnesses not only in Jerusalem but also in Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. This command wasn’t limited to the early disciples; it extends to all believers throughout history, including us today.
Embracing the Power of the Holy Spirit
To fulfill Jesus’s command effectively, we must recognize the indispensable role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit empowers and equips us to be effective witnesses, guiding us in our words and actions as we share the message of salvation with others. Through the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we can overcome fear and doubt, boldly proclaiming the truth of Christ’s love and redemption.
Witnessing Locally and Globally
Jesus’s command challenges us to embrace the dual focus of witnessing locally and globally. In our immediate communities (Jerusalem), we can reach out to our neighbors, friends, and colleagues with the Gospel. Simultaneously, we must be attentive to the broader world (Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth), using various means such as missions, technology, and partnerships to extend the reach of the Gospel to the farthest corners of the globe.
Living as Transformed Witnesses
To effectively witness to others, we must live as transformed witnesses ourselves. Our lives should reflect the transformative power of Christ’s love. As believers, we are called to be set apart, living in a manner that exemplifies God’s grace, love, and righteousness. It is the aspect of being set apart and walking as the redeemed that sets us up to become aware of the mandate we have as “the sent” of the Lord. Our actions, words, and attitudes should align with our faith, drawing others closer to Christ through the witness of our lives.
To actualize Jesus’s command to witness, intentional discipleship is crucial. We should invest in nurturing and mentoring new believers, helping them grow in their faith and understanding of God’s Word. As we equip and empower others, they too can become witnesses for Christ, perpetuating the cycle of spreading the Gospel.
Ultimately, as we focus on being “sent” this year, we must heed Jesus’s command to be his witnesses. Embracing the power of the Holy Spirit, witnessing locally and globally, living as transformed witnesses, and investing in intentional discipleship are key steps to actualizing this command. Let us unite in service for the Lord, fulfilling Jesus’s commission to reach the lost, bring hope to the broken, and share the eternal love of Christ with a world in need.
Jackson Macharia is a Brand Strategist, Editorial Expert and Disciple Maker. He is married and passionate about ministering to the youth. He owns Piranhajack Publishing, a publishing firm with a focus on budding Christian authors, and is the Strategy and Operations Lead at Digicreative Ltd. He is a co-founder and editor-in-chief at Shuzia, a Christian creatives movement based in Nigeria that produces a monthly Christian magazine. Jackson is also a disciple maker for the 10K Project, an acclaimed discipleship program whose tools are used across the world. He has been part of Parkroad Fellowship since 2010.
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