First Hand Witnessing
“We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life.” (1 John 1:1)
We begin 1 John with this verse about witnessing. The author is not just passing on information that had been through the grape vine. This author is sharing from his experiences and his own encounters with God.
Witnessing is an important part of our faith. To witness is to share what we have seen or experienced. In Acts 1, the risen Christ tells the disciples, “You will be my witnesses…” Again, the emphasis is on sharing from experiences. Telling more than what have heard – we are called to share from what we have had first hand knowledge of.
Each of us is called to bear witness from our experiences as well. This means that in order to witness we each need a vibrant faith life. It is not enough to know that Jesus died on a cross 2000 years ago. We can share that information second hand (but we weren’t alive then!). To bear witness requires that we have a vibrant faith that relates to the risen Christ in our lives today. People don’t want to know what God DID thousands of years ago. They want to know what God is DOING in people’s lives today.
This week, think about two things:
- If you were to tell people about your experiences with God, what would you say?
- Who have you shared this with in the last few weeks?