Just before he leaves his disciples, Jesus gives them one final task. His last words to his disciples–to us–are both challenging and exciting: “You are my witnesses.” That is the task before us to be true witnesses of Jesus. Our vocation is to stand with the living Jesus, to witness on his behalf. But to be a true witness for Jesus in our times means that we may have to witness against the culture and to call everyone to peace and nonviolence. We are to stand for truth and to be willing to live with integrity even if it means we stand alone.
Lord, be my strength’
Where am I willing to compromise my beliefs in order to fit in with others? How must I change?
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them safe.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.
John 17:11 -19
We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make, which, over time, add up to big differences we cannot foresee.
Marian Wright Edelman
Do not be surprised or scandalized by the sinful and the tragic. Do what you can to be peace and to do justice, but never expect or demand perfection on this earth.
What others most need is to see in you a reflection of what God is like and of the transforming power of the Gospel. Your life can create hunger and thirst for God in others’ lives and can be a powerful instrument in the hand of the Holy Spirit to draw their hearts to Christ.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss
To follow Jesus means to follow Jesus into a society where justice rules, where love shapes everything. To follow Jesus means to take up his dream and work for it.
Let this be thy whole endeavor, this thy prayer, this thy desire,–that thou mayest be stripped of all selfishness, and with entire simplicity follow Jesus only.
Thomas à Kempis
It costs something to be a true Christian. Let that never be forgotten. To be a (lukewarm) Christian, and go to church, is cheap and easy work. But to hear Christ’s voice, follow Christ, believe in Christ, and confess Christ, requires much self-denial. It will cost us our sins, our self-righteousness, our ease, and our worldliness. All must be given up. Our Lord Jesus Christ would have us thoroughly understand this. He bids us count the cost.
J. C. Ryle