Courage to Witness

Micah Simpson

"But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also." (Acts 23:11)
This must have been quite a scene! Can you imagine hundreds of religious leaders arguing! Can you picture a violent verbal battle of epic proportions! Can you imagine that Paul was at the risk of being torn to pieces! Can you imagine such an uproar!

I have personally never been in a situation that was this intense, but I can imagine that the riots in Egypt or the protests in middle east countries might be close to the intensity. When I think about someone being torn to pieces, I think back to the LA riots, which were violent and scary and filled with verbal and physical battles.

So Paul is in the midst of this, and I bet he was nervous, I bet he was fearing for his life. So how comforting it would have been for JESUS to stand by his side and encourage him! WOW! Talk about coming to the rescue!

What really caught my attention in this passage is the fact that Jesus instructed Paul to take Courage to Witness. This was not a vague command to be strong, or to be courageous, this was a commissioning! Take courage to be My witness!
Can you imagine if God's people had courage to witness!

It seems like even though we have courage, strength, the Holy Spirit, and all of God and His resources behind us, we do not do anything with it! Jesus stood by Paul and said take courage because you still have much more witnessing to do! This was a courage to witness!! This was a courage to continue on! this was a courage to stay faithful to the cause of Christ!

This causes me to wonder, am I a faithful witness for Jesus Christ? Is there a seriousness and boldness about me for the cause of Christ?

I think that there needs to be some serious consideration as to why many of us as Christians are scared and fearful about witnessing? Why are we scared to be faithful and consistent in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ? I think today is a great day to step back and make sure that we are using the courage of God to be witnesses!
Lord, I pray that just as you stood by Paul to give him courage and commission him, I pray that you would fill me this morning with a courage to witness. If there is any fear of man in me, I pray that it would be crushed by your greatness, and that only the fear of God would reside in my heart. I pray that you would forgive me for being soft and lazy, and for being filled with complacency. I repent for not being a faithful witness of your life, death and resurrection. I pray that I would be able to be a faithful and courageous witness for you, and that I would never back down or give up no matter how heated the battle may be.

Thanks Jesus for your patience with me, please give me courage in order to witness about you!


Devotions for February 16

Leviticus 26,27
Acts 23

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