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Photo: Enigma-Sports

"God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast and when I run, I feel his pleasure."

Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire

Witness

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8

The words of Jesus just before his ascension are both encouraging and a challenge to us. There is a promise that we – like the first disciples – have access to God’s power through the Holy Spirit who is in us. And there is a consequence of that indwelling of the Holy Spirit – we are to be witnesses.

Sometimes we find the thought of evangelism scary. What we are called to be here is simply a witness. In court a witness is not expected to construct a complex legal argument. A witness is asked simply to tell what they saw. Most of us are not called to be preachers; we are called simply to share with friends what we have experienced.

I am currently writing a series of articles for a secular athletics magazine. All the athletes I am writing about are Christians but I don’t want the articles to be preachy. In the last one I quoted this sentence from the athlete: “I have always been a believer in God and Jesus and in those tough times I knew that God was with me”. Perfect! Not pushy just a simple statement of faith and how it helps. A simple witness to what Jesus has done.

As we train (or work with) with friends we should talk about Jesus naturally, about what he does for us day by day. We don’t need to go with a theological speech prepared. It is more effective – with the athlete quoted above – simply to say that God is with you in your challenges.

Some people have suggested that witnessing in “Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” means three spheres of influence – home, your country and the world. As I think of some athletes I have met this year in two or three continents, you have literally been a witness to Jesus “to the ends of the earth”.

Let us today be encouraged and challenged by Jesus’ words

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