Sermon

The Power of Our Witness

Michael Beck

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There is no inheritance more valuable than the treasured memory a righteous man or woman leaves to their family.

The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot. (Proverbs 10:7)

… The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. (Psalm 112:6)

The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him. (Proverbs 20:7)

As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation. (Proverbs 10:25)

If we will walk with God as we should, He will use our life as an inspiration and example for generations to come.

And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. (Isaiah 58:11,12)

A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children … (Proverbs 13:22)

How we have lived before others is our most powerful sermon.

Before Job’s afflictions, his greatness lay in his wealth. Afterwards, he became known for his faith, his patience, and his mercy. The highlight of his life was his testimony in suffering.

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east. (Job 1:1-3)

Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. (James 5:10,11)

And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10)

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3:3,4)

The disciples were impacted by the life Jesus lived before their eyes, a witness “full of grace and truth.”

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Jesus redefined for His disciples what it meant to be great. He not only taught the truth, but He displayed it before their eyes. They were given a “front row seat” to all He said and did; but they were privileged to know the “inside story” as well.

And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke 22:24-30)

Jesus prepared His disciples to face the worst that men and devils could throw at them, by facing it for and before them.

And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again. Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. (Matthew 20:17-23)

So many things Jesus did are unknown to this day, but the cross was the highlight of His life, and the attractive power which continues to draw all men unto Him.

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. (John 21:25)

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die. (John 12:32,33)

The apostles lived their own lives with the witness of Jesus always before them. They exhorted those under their charge to increase and abound in love to ALL people, according to the witness they displayed.

And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you (1 Thessalonians 3:12)

The glory and beauty of Christ’s life was most clearly demonstrated by His godly response to all manner of mistreatment. Rather than being overcome by evil, and resorting to a sinful response; Jesus overcame evil with good.

Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. (1 Peter 2:17-25)

The disciples spent three and half years being mentored by their Master. He modeled for them how to be overcomers in this life.

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. (John 13:15,16)

Every generation of believers is called to re-present Jesus to those who have a front row seat to their lives. The enduring highlight of our lives will not be found in our mightiest feat or most eloquent words; it will be found in our witness of Christ’s power to overcome the world.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

As we follow in Christ’s steps, we become a “repairer of the breach” and a “restorer of paths to dwell in.” We “build the old waste places” and “raise up the foundations of many generations.”


Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.