Marvin Gaye recorded a song, years and years ago, titled Can I Get A Witness? Though it wasn't one of his bigger hits, it has a nice beat and Dick Clark fans thought it was easy to dance to.
Last Sunday, along with our church's Associate Pastor Al Frank, we asked that question, "Can I get a witness?" of the all those gathered for worship, and not rhetorically. The tag-team sermon included time for an invitation to worshipers to "witness" to their praise and thanksgiving to God. The idea was for all those willing to give voice to their experiences of God's love, mercy, grace, provision, protection, providence and more!
A witness is, in fact, someone with a firsthand, personal account of something that happened. In both Old and New Testament scriptures we are taught that reliable witnesses must have firsthand experience. Hearsay is not considered believable and those who bear "false witness" are guilty twice over. In the case of the most serious accusations, two or three reliable witnesses are needed for conviction. Sounds like wisdom to me.
So, we were looking for reliable, believable, firsthand witnesses. That meant we were looking for those who had experienced personally God's hand of blessing on their lives. We wanted to hear their testimonies because it is encouraging to both the believer and the skeptic. The believer's own experiences of God's graciousness is reinforced while the skeptic, the seeker, may be increasingly convinced that this is real and not coincidental.
Because I'm having to write this article before Sunday the 24th for publication the following Wednesday, I cannot report on the witnessing we all enjoyed. But I anticipate we'll run short on time before we run short of witnesses. God is that good to us. His graciousness is offered to everyone. His mercy endures forever. And, God is still on a mission to seek and save, rescue and redeem. What a privilege to be able to say I am one of those who God loves so much that He gave me His Son, gave Him up for me, to be my forever Savior and Lord.
Every Sunday we offer up worship filled with thanksgiving and praise to God. That's just one of the ways, on one of the days, we answer the question, "Can I get a witness?" How it fills us with joy to say, "Yes! Let me tell you about what God has done and is doing in my life. And I'll start with praising Him for Jesus!"
"O give thanks to the Lord for He is good! His mercy endures forever!" (Psalm 107:1)
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Mark Voll is a pastor of the Village Bible Evangelical Free Church. Opinions expressed are those of the author.Religion on 11/27/2019
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