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August 17 | Acts 10:39-43


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


We Are Witnesses

by Beth Voltmann


“We are witnesses of everything he did…” (vs. 39a)


But we’re not really witnesses, right?


That thought might serve to let us off the hook a bit when it comes to walking as a disciple of Christ Jesus. We reason to ourselves - sure, we’re disciples, but several tiers down…

  • We didn’t walk with him while he wandered “in the country” for three years teaching. (Acts 10:39a)

  • None of us stood near when “they killed him by hanging him on a tree.” (Acts 10:39b)

  • Most certainly we were not of those who “ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.” (Acts 10:41b)

  • Not to mention, our ears did not hear the direct command He gave on the mountain to “preach to the people and to testify that He is the One whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.” (Acts 10:42)


And yet, isn’t it true…

  • “We live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7)

  • We know that “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Heb. 11:1)

  • We eat and drink with Jesus whenever we join Him at the Holy Sacrament of Communion. “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Cor 11:26)


When Jesus gave the Great Commission to His disciples just prior to His ascension into heaven, He was speaking to and through all witnesses, past, present, and future.


“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19-20)


The Greek word translated as “witness” in the passage of Acts we read today (martyrs) is the same word used in Hebrews 12 when referring to the great cloud of witnesses surrounding us who lived by faith but never saw the promise of the Messiah fulfilled. Though they didn't see God in the flesh, they were witnesses of His faithfulness.


“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…” (Heb. 12:1-2a)


Consider these three points as you ponder this passage today:

  1. God’s witnesses, many of whom were prophets of old, lived before Jesus ever walked the earth. We read in our daily passage, “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:43)

  2. Those who shared life with Jesus during His earthly ministry were witnesses. “The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.” (1 Jn. 1:2)

  3. Still today, we are witnesses of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. He is with us ALWAYS. We have His Word that we can hold in our hands. We have seen evidence of His grace and mercy. His Truth Is marching on!

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Pet. 1:8-9)


PRAYER

Lord, give us courage to be your witnesses yet today. We live in a broken world and so many

are lost and unsure of where to turn. We know and believe that Jesus is the light of the world.

Help us to speak up and point to Him as our blessed hope. Everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness and newness of life in His name!



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1 Comment


Judy Webb
Judy Webb
Aug 17, 2023

Beth, Welcome to the team! I this devotion is any indication of future readings, we are in for a treat. Thanks for these words this morning.

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