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Witness: Protect and Serve

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”
—Matthew 28:19

Growing up hearing people talk about being a witness for Christ interested me because, like most people, I was curious why someone would devote their lives to seeing something through but since I have joined the ministry, I have been able to answer my own question. Being a witness is not about having the spot light on you as an entertainer would or is about having all credit directed your way but it’s about spreading a message and sharing your witness with the world: the message of Jesus Christ.

A true witness of Christ does not want the attention on themselves because our goal is to get people Home rather than an eternity in Hell. Probably the best analogy that I can think of is a police officer as their job is to literally protect and serve We the People. They do not do it for fame or fortune as few ever get wealthy enough to call themselves rich. Too few of the population today give them the credit they deserve and no, most do not ask for it because it’s their job but too many of them take abuse that they do not deserve.

Sound familiar? The position that witnesses fill is not one of fame or fortune and our commitment is often times taken for granted. Being a witness for Christ can be a full time job regardless of your status and most witnesses are proud of that. However, with that said, once a witness does something wrong or what appears wrong in the eyes of the public, too much blame is given to them. Think of the toxic environment that our police officers live and serve in among many of the bigger cities across the country but sadly, there are many small communities across this country that do the same disservice to the men and women who protect and serve.

As Christians, we are to protect and serve the communities in which we live from the dangers of this world: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). Sadly, this may come at a great price as some parts of this country are truly extreme and dangerous whether you’re a conservative, republican, Christian, and so forth but very little thought is given to this matter because America is still the home of the brave but many Christian witnesses have lost their lives in other regions of the world protecting and serving: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mathew 5:10).

When we read these words from Christ, we understand exactly what we are up against and do it sincerely just like a police officer. It’s nice to have someone thank you for what you do because witnesses are human, too, and can become discouraged. Regardless, we must stand strong in God and spread His word, not emotions: “A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful [witness] speaketh lies” (Proverbs 14:25). Along the way, even when the clouds are gray and darkness surrounds us, we must allow for God’s word to shine: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

“Ye [are] my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I [am] he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.”
—Isaiah 43:10

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Written by Billy Ray Parrish


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