Series Code: RQRA
Program Code: RQRA000025A
00:01 I don't understand.
00:04 Why did this have to happen to me?
00:08 I feel like I just can't make sense of things.
00:12 I need answers.
00:15 Where is God?
00:21 Hello and welcome to Raw Questions Relevant Answers.
00:24 A program where we look at your questions about God,
00:28 about life, spirituality, religion,
00:30 these are the questions that you have sent in
00:32 via the internet, Facebook page,
00:35 and we're excited
00:37 to be part of looking at those today.
00:38 Today, we're going to be talking about witnessing,
00:40 and I have with me our two co-hosts,
00:43 Dee Casper and Mark Paden.
00:45 And so we're going to jump
00:47 right into some of the questions here
00:48 'cause we have some good ones here today.
00:52 First question comes from a female, age 23,
00:55 and Tennessee.
00:56 "If I am a busy student
00:58 who ends up exhausted by the weekend,
01:01 how much outreach does God expect me to do?"
01:07 I want to kind of start with the premise
01:09 that the purpose of outreach is not to appease God,
01:13 the purpose...
01:14 And I don't mean to imply sour motives
01:16 on behalf of the question or answer,
01:18 but just sometimes, we feel like I have to do this
01:20 so God will be happy with me.
01:22 I want to give the example of the woman at the well.
01:24 When Jesus changes this woman's life,
01:26 knowing her broken past, this is in John 4,
01:29 she's had five husbands,
01:31 the man she's living with now is not her husband,
01:33 instead of shaming her for what she's wrestling with
01:35 or what she does,
01:36 Jesus heals her completely of her brokenness,
01:40 and the logical response
01:41 to her being healed of her brokenness
01:43 was to go and tell all the people in her city
01:45 that she could find...
01:46 That "I found a man Jesus who knew everything about me
01:50 and He still loves me."
01:53 I think the main motive and impetus for witnessing
01:56 is not that we have to or we ought to,
01:59 but it's a privilege to because we've found someone
02:02 who's radically changed our life.
02:04 So I think just from the ground level,
02:06 when it comes to witnessing, the whole purpose of witnessing
02:09 is sharing the beauty
02:10 of what Jesus has done in your life
02:12 and that can be done in any setting,
02:14 in any environment, at any point in time
02:16 as opposed to like mustering up the guts
02:18 to knock on a door, do something else,
02:20 and people will do that.
02:22 The purpose of witnessing is sharing with those
02:24 in your sphere of influence, wherever that is,
02:26 the goodness of God in your life.
02:27 So just a practical way of doing that, I mean,
02:30 you may not be able to go and knock on doors all day
02:33 and give Bible studies all the time,
02:35 but can you talk to your classmates?
02:37 I mean, guaranteed, almost no matter
02:40 what school you go to,
02:41 there's people that you can reach out to,
02:43 people that don't know the love of God
02:44 that you can witness to.
02:46 I don't think that we should ever be in this place
02:51 where we are negating what God has asked us to do
02:55 because something else is more pressing,
02:57 and I think this is another aspect
03:00 on this question too.
03:01 You know, I think, many times in our college experiences,
03:06 there's a lot of stuff that goes on that
03:10 it's almost too much sometimes.
03:11 If we lose our Christianity because we're getting a degree,
03:16 how worth it is that?
03:18 You know what I'm saying?
03:19 Like you may gain all this knowledge
03:22 on whatever your area of study is,
03:25 but is that knowledge worth you losing your eternal life?
03:29 I think this is something that...
03:31 especially you as students at college
03:34 need to think about seriously.
03:38 And let's be real too.
03:39 In a lot of cases, when people are at college,
03:43 there is time, you know?
03:45 If you really love God and you're really passionate
03:48 about sharing Him,
03:49 you're going to make time to do it, you know?
03:51 You'll find opportunities...
03:54 You just are influenced, you know?
03:55 Right. Right.
03:57 It kind of asked the question with this, what is witnessing?
03:59 We haven't even defined that.
04:02 In society, by definition, a witness is someone
04:05 who's actually been there for an event.
04:07 They've seen something.
04:08 I can't be a witness for a crime
04:10 just because you told me about it.
04:11 I have to actually have seen it to be a witness.
04:14 And it kind of goes with what you were saying, Mark,
04:17 if we're not spending time with God ourselves,
04:20 how much value is all of our education
04:22 and everything else?
04:23 But on the other hand,
04:25 if we are spending time with God,
04:27 if we are experiencing something with God,
04:29 will we not be sharing Him?
04:31 And maybe our definition of witnessing
04:33 can sometimes be a little narrow,
04:35 like it has to happen when we go out
04:38 at a certain time with our church
04:40 or to do a certain activity,
04:42 but what about the witnessing in just day to day life
04:46 with those people?
04:47 I was just going to say that there are people
04:49 in your sphere of influence who are fellow students,
04:51 who are struggling, who have difficulties,
04:53 who need someone to listen to them,
04:55 to point them to Jesus, to show them that,
04:57 "Hey, I was wrestling with this, too."
04:59 Maybe they're in a situation where they're so busy
05:02 with their school requirements, it's difficult for them
05:05 to feel like they can do what they need to do.
05:07 I've heard so many testimonies of people who stood for God
05:10 in spite of the seeming schedule conflict or difficulty
05:14 because of work at school,
05:16 that God always showed up for them,
05:17 they chose to have time with God
05:19 and not sacrifice that when they had an exam that day,
05:22 and they couldn't study as long as maybe they would have
05:24 had they not spent time with God,
05:26 and God honored it, right?
05:27 So these testimonies, you can share
05:29 the faithfulness of God in your experience
05:30 in this environment, and that people...
05:33 Be paying attention
05:35 to the needs of the people around you
05:37 and doors will open, I guess, is my point.
05:39 Here's one other thing
05:40 that I would throw into this mix.
05:43 In Galatians 1, Paul is talking to the Galatian church,
05:48 and he basically makes this point,
05:51 and it's part of a larger point that he's making,
05:53 but he basically says
05:54 that as soon as he got converted to Christ,
05:56 he didn't immediately go and start preaching.
05:59 He went to Arabia for three years
06:01 for God instructed him.
06:03 I think, sometimes...
06:05 And even look at the life of Christ.
06:07 Did He immediately go out when He...
06:10 As soon as He was able to talk, that He immediately go out
06:12 and start talking to all the nations?
06:15 He faithfully did the work at His shop
06:19 and He blessed the people around Him,
06:22 you know, He helped those that were in need,
06:25 He stooped to pick up the hurt animal.
06:27 This was the picture that we got of Christ,
06:29 but He wasn't necessarily going and giving literature
06:31 to everybody on the street, you know?
06:33 And I think...
06:35 And same with Paul,
06:37 he had to have a time of learning,
06:39 and I'm sure, in that time,
06:40 he was sharing the things that he was learning
06:42 with the people he was in contact with,
06:44 but he wasn't going out on his major missionary trips.
06:47 And I think this is another thing too
06:48 that we should remember is, you know,
06:50 if we're taking time to study for God
06:53 and learn more about Him,
06:55 sometimes an important part of that
06:58 is dedicating the majority of our time to that.
07:03 So pulling that together, we are always witnessing,
07:06 we should be witnessing,
07:07 whatever we're hearing, we share,
07:09 but that doesn't mean that we're going to be
07:11 the big public evangelist or have a certain mission.
07:14 We could still be witnessing with what God gives us.
07:17 I think sometimes, we can downplay the benefit
07:20 for the kingdom of heaven of the day to day work.
07:23 You know, we think that if we're not
07:24 the famous missionary, if we're not the pastor,
07:26 if we're not the whatever,
07:28 then there's nothing I can do for God,
07:30 which isn't true,
07:31 like the woman who is administering
07:32 to the needs of her children in her home
07:34 as a single mother is doing just as much
07:36 for the kingdom of heaven as the man who's going
07:39 and preaching the gospel to thousands in Africa.
07:42 Each of us have been given a sphere of influence
07:43 we can make a difference for the kingdom of heaven.
07:46 And so bloom where you're planted,
07:48 value the opportunities God does give you,
07:51 and don't let what someone else is doing in a different context
07:54 devalue what God has given you in your context.
07:56 That's right. That's right.
07:59 Well, here's a kind of a twist on this though.
08:02 There is someone that is asking,
08:03 "How can I share my faith and witness for Christ
08:06 when I still feel like I have so much growing to do
08:09 in my own relationship with Him?"
08:12 Perfect example.
08:13 Demoniacs, Jesus crosses the sea and...
08:16 Oh, man.
08:21 So picture this, right?
08:23 Christ, He crosses the sea with His disciples,
08:25 He gets on to this land and...
08:27 What was it? Damascus, something like that?
08:29 The Gadarenes is where He's going, yeah.
08:32 He gets over there and immediately,
08:33 He is assaulted by these two demoniacs,
08:35 they come rushing at Him.
08:36 What happens?
08:38 Well, they try to get Him
08:40 and Christ His power holds them at bay, right?
08:42 And then He delivers them from these demons,
08:46 and then immediately, what does He tell them to do?
08:48 Go back and share. Go back and share, right.
08:50 They want to go with Him
08:51 to go follow with the famous missionary work,
08:53 and He says, "Bloom where you're planted."
08:54 Right. Stay there.
08:56 And how much did they know?
08:59 They didn't know anything, they had just been set free,
09:00 they weren't even part of the Jewish nation.
09:02 And yet, Christ told them,
09:03 "Go and tell what has happened to you."
09:05 And that's to this question, you may not know
09:09 how to parse through everything in Scripture,
09:13 you may not know all the fancy terms
09:15 and all the theology,
09:16 but have you had an experience with God?
09:18 Yeah. Right.
09:19 Has God done something powerful in your life?
09:21 Have you been renewed?
09:22 That's your qualification for ministry,
09:25 and God can use you in that state.
09:27 I've heard a phrase this way, that everyone is born
09:29 into the kingdom of missionary.
09:31 And so whenever you have an encounter with Jesus
09:33 that changes your life, that immediately is some form
09:36 of credentialing that you have something
09:38 that you can tell and something you can share even then.
09:41 And what you're able to share will grow
09:43 as your experience grows, that's logical,
09:46 but what you can do now
09:47 is what the woman at the well did
09:48 and what the demoniacs did.
09:50 "I was in this condition
09:51 and Jesus came looking for me..."
09:54 "And He changed my life.
09:56 And that's what I can start with."
09:57 And, you know, something I'll add to that is
09:59 even if there's someone watching this
10:00 who's struggling spiritually.
10:03 I have found that sharing what I do know about Christ
10:08 is sometimes the best thing to help in...
10:09 Yes. That time.
10:11 When the devil is coming and you don't feel like
10:14 you have an experience to share at that time,
10:18 remembering what God's done for me in the past,
10:21 sharing that with people can be the best thing
10:23 to overcome that spiritual slump
10:26 that Satan tries to bring out on us.
10:27 And the darkness and discouragement
10:29 you're going through in your experience too,
10:30 being willing to serve and give is an amazing testimony.
10:34 I'd also say too, you know, I think it's easy sometimes
10:39 for people to look at those who are in spiritual positions
10:42 of leadership and think that they have it all together.
10:46 You know, I mean, I can speak for all of us.
10:48 I know we're still wrestling through questions,
10:51 there's things that we wrestle too,
10:52 we don't have it all figured out.
10:54 And if God's requirement for the bearer of His good news
10:58 was that they be perfect, well, He'd have to use angels.
11:02 But He doesn't, He uses us, sinful and weak as we are.
11:06 So here's a question with that.
11:08 It's from a college student from Tennessee, it says,
11:10 "Is it bad if I never know
11:12 if I have led someone to Christ?
11:15 Is it bad if I never see a baptism
11:17 as a direct result of me giving a Bible study?
11:19 Would the absence of such things indicate my lack
11:22 or that I'm not all in
11:24 or that I am not being intentional enough?"
11:28 Are you doing it?
11:30 I think this is the biggest question
11:32 in your heart of hearts, are you a worker for God?
11:36 Are you doing your best where you are?
11:38 Are you doing everything to the best of your ability?
11:41 Or are you slacking?
11:42 You know, just because you haven't
11:45 led someone to Christ, I don't think is a criterion.
11:47 There's a story of this minister
11:50 who at the end of his career,
11:52 he was lamenting because he only had...
11:56 He had only baptized one person, one child...
11:59 In his whole career?
12:00 In his whole career.
12:02 And that kid was Robert Moffat,
12:06 who was the first missionary to Africa,
12:09 who was responsible for David Livingston
12:12 going there as well.
12:13 So that one pastor,
12:15 he might have impacted that one life,
12:17 of course, I'm sure he even impacted others,
12:19 but he might have had that one baptism,
12:20 but what did he do in the bigger scheme, you know?
12:24 What can give one peace at the end of the day
12:26 is that you've done what God has asked for you to do.
12:29 The results are not your responsibility.
12:30 There are variables in the equation,
12:33 but what I have found is that
12:34 even in those moments of discouragement,
12:36 if I've done what God has asked me to do,
12:39 God always finds ways to let me know
12:41 that something is happening to keep me going.
12:43 You've had this, you've had this I'm sure.
12:45 You're doing what you can but you just feel like
12:47 I'm beating my head against a wall.
12:48 I had a situation, I was working
12:50 in a boarding school, and I'll make this quick,
12:51 I was working in like a Christian boarding school,
12:54 and I was just wondering, "God, am I getting anywhere?"
12:56 I had a really difficult class that year to work with.
12:59 It was just making me wonder
13:00 am I making any difference at all.
13:02 And on that day,
13:04 the most difficult kid in the school
13:05 came up to me and asked for Bible studies.
13:08 And I remember thinking to myself
13:09 that your work is not in vain,
13:11 we're told to, "Do not grow weary in doing good
13:13 for it's not been in vain."
13:15 And I think that that's a lesson
13:17 that we can learn that the results...
13:19 We're not going to see all the results of our work,
13:20 but we do know that if we do
13:22 what God has asked us to do, stuff does happen.
13:25 And He's promised that, and He will give us tokens
13:27 along the way to keep us going.
13:28 I love how Paul puts it.
13:30 "I planted, Apollos watered, God gives the increase."
13:33 We don't know whether that we are the one to plant
13:35 or the one to see the fruit of what's been planted.
13:39 But I think of it this way.
13:41 If you help someone become one step closer to Christ,
13:46 then they would have been otherwise,
13:47 you've made a difference.
13:50 You don't know if you're coming to that person's life
13:51 at step one or step fifty and where it is,
13:55 but that's a step towards the kingdom of God.
13:57 So thank you for joining us
13:59 on Raw Questions Relevant Answers.
14:01 We want to hear more of your questions.
14:03 Please go on our Facebook page RQRA3ABN,
14:08 find us on Facebook.
14:10 We look forward to seeing you next time.