This is the final post in a series about being children of God and how that informs our various roles as women. Read all of the posts in the series here.
I sit on my bed and stare out the window, my head against the wall. My youngest is nursing in my arms; the other two will be fine. My back, legs and arms give into the soft mattress beneath me and the morning’s worth of aches pulse in time with my slowing heartbeat. I mentally make a list of what I need to accomplish before I can collapse on the couch for an hour. Two if I’m lucky. Change Kai’s diaper. Make sure his socks are on. Pour him cold water. Spend time with Nadia working on letters until Kai is asleep. Tuck Nadia in. Do dishes? No, I’ll do them later. Maybe I should look up the recipe for dinner tonight. No, that will only stress me more.
I valiantly try to dodge all the sticky-notes popping to the forefront of my memory as I close my eyes for a minute. I’ll remember tomorrow to call and make that chiropractor appointment for Kai. There are enough oats, peanut butter and honey to get us through another breakfast and lunch, so we’ll go grocery shopping tomorrow. I’ll send that card of encouragement to my friend sometime; at least the card is out on my desk as a reminder. I just need to sleep. My feet are cold. Remember to grab a pair of socks out of the drawer before I lay Percy down and leave the room…
A few months ago, the mere mention of witnessing overwhelmed me. I could barely care for the basic needs of my three young children and wanted to invest so much more in my church family. The idea of investing in additional relationships with the unsaved so I could share the Gospel with them? It sent my head swimming. And it’s not as if I didn’t try. My husband and I hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas parties for our apartment building, went on walks with the neighbor across the hall, babysat the little girl downstairs, stopped to talk in the laundry room with the neighbor just below us, and drove the neighbor across the street to the doctor. At one point a single neighbor friend was sitting on my couch, sharing with me just how badly she wanted to marry her boyfriend of seven years. But the conversations never seemed to give way to sharing the Gospel naturally, or, as one pastor put it, organically. At what point did sharing my faith become so complicated? So impossible?
Today, my life still looks and feels the same. But a good confrontation with Scripture changed what I hadn’t realized I’d come to believe about witnessing, that I must first gain relationship with a person. As an exhausted, overwhelmed, frazzled (albeit thankful) mother of three, I no longer feel the need to request a witnessing pass. Instead, I feel freedom from the Scriptures to pursue this calling with joy.
Scripture teaches me that witnessing is boldly preaching or proclaiming Good News of the Gospel to others. Not sharing it.
This makes a critical difference in how I view witnessing. I don’t need to nervously wait for my neighbor to see how wonderful I am and ask me what it is that makes me so different. She might never ask, and she might never hear the Good News!
“Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’”
“And He answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.’”
“Soon afterward He went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him,”
“But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”
The Gospel is clearly an urgent message that, as a child of God, I must urgently preach and proclaim to those around me. Instead of waiting for an opportune time to move in with my sales pitch for a better way of living, I am called to approach people with the truth of the Gospel, exhorting them to repent and believe.
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
“But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.”
“But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
Scripture teaches me that witnessing is preaching and proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel to others with a sincere heart.
The words preaching and proclaiming make me a bit nervous. They seem so harsh when outside the walls of a church. Inconsiderate, perhaps? But as clearly as Scriptures show the Good News of the Gospel being delivered boldly, they also clearly show the Gospel being delivered in all sincerity.
“I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.”
“Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.”
“And Agrippa said to Paul, ‘In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?’ And Paul said, ‘Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.’”
And so the Gospel is preached sincerely, out of love and with much prayer.
Scripture also teaches me that God is sovereign, and I cannot fail when I boldly preach or proclaim the Good News of the Gospel to others with a sincere heart.
My success in preaching the Good News of the Gospel is not dependent on my circumstance or relationship, their acceptance or rejection. Obedience is my success. It is the power of God that does or does not bring to life His words of truth in the hearts of those who hear. I have been given responsibility, yet I am not responsible!
“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
1 Cor. 2:1-5
“…because He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead. Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, ‘We will hear you again about this.’ So Paul went out from their midst.”
“And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.”
If I have any remaining fear of boldly and sincerely preaching the Good News of the Gospel, it is only my pride:
“Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in Him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.”
As a child of God and an exhausted, overwhelmed, frazzled mother of three, may I daily continue in repentance of my sin and belief in God, even as I earnestly invite the unsaved to repent of their sin and believe in God. And as a child of God and an exhausted, overwhelmed, frazzled mother of three, may I sincerely and boldly preach or proclaim the Good News of the Gospel to others with the glory of God as my joyful motivation.
May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make His face to shine upon us,
that Your way may be known on earth,
Your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise You, O God;
let all the peoples praise You!
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for You judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise You!
The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear Him!
 Emphasis has been added to passages throughout this post.