Many people set goals for the New Year. As believers we should prayerfully set spiritual goals. To have powerful and effective goals one should know the heart and mind of the Lord. Before his ascension back to heaven, Jesus revealed his purpose and power for his followers – the church. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Jesus taught that it is imperative that every believer be a witness. He sent the Holy Spirit to fill and empower every believer. Ask yourself this New Year, “Am I a witness? What kind of witness am I?” Let’s consider how we can be a more effective witness.

First – DON’T BRAG. A prideful heart will nullify any witness you may have. Paul said that he had no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3:3) His only boast was in the cross of Christ. (Galatians 6:14) The Pharisees were too proud to stop and help the beaten and fallen man on the Jericho Road. The Good Samaritan humbly did what he could to show compassion. Don’t brag about your gifts. We are nothing but by the grace and mercy of God. “With meekness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil having been held captive by him to do his will” (II Timothy 2:25-26).

Second – DON’T NAG . Be a witness with your life. But don’t nag. Jesus said we are to be salt and light. Peter said that wives can greatly influence an unsaved husband not by nagging, but by their Christ-like life. (I Peter 3:1-4) Pray and wait for the Holy Spirit to open a person’s heart to receive the Word. Share Christ boldly with love – but don’t nag.

Third – DON’T LAG. Paul admonished young Timothy not to lag behind in his spiritual gifting. “And for this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you” (II Timothy 1:6-8). When the Holy Spirit told Philip to go witness to the Ethiopian, Philip ran up to his chariot. When the Holy Spirit prompts you – don’t lag. Always be ready. (I Peter 3:15) Be obedient! One’s eternal destiny may depend on your witness.

Fourth – DON’T SAG. Our humanity is sometimes tempted to give up, slow down, or retire. Don’t sag in your witnessing. We have God’s promises. “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary” (Galatians 6:9 NASB). It will be worth the hardship and heartache. (Psalm 126) You’ll have tremendous joy when you see those in heaven that your witness influenced for Christ.

Do you need power to be a witness? Be filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s the promise of the Father. (Luke 24:47-49); Acts 2:33) “And you shall be witnesses.”

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