The Reluctant Witness

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“I will speak of the glorious honor of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.”
–Ps. 165: 5

There is an old story in New England…

…that occurred in the time of Jonathan Edwards, during the First Great Awakening.  And it happened in the midst of a gracious revival that was in progress. The pastor had called his church members together in a meeting to divide the town into districts, and thereby to assign to each member a certain portion of the town in which they were to personally invite each one to attend the revival services there at the church.

11-27Among those that were appointed to “go out into the highways and hedges,” was a poor, ignorant man, who felt he could not perform the task assigned him. For in his district lived a certain scandalous individual who was noted for his wickedness and hatred of all religious objects. The church member thus designated called at the home of this sinner and, to his great relief, found that the man had gone to a field nearby to attend to some work.

He left, feeling greatly relieved, and congratulated himself that he had so easily escaped the taunts and abusive language of this loathsome individual. But before he had gone far, his conscience smote him for his thoughts, and he turned to search for the man. As he did, he saw him coming toward him. They exchanged greetings, and in simple, earnest words, the member told the man that he had come to extend to him a personal invitation to attend the meetings at his church, and that many blessings had already been bestowed upon them, and that they had felt a deep interest in him, and that earnest prayers had ascended to the throne of grace in his behalf. As the member continued his simple, earnest pleadings, he noticed the reviler turn his face from him so that his emotions might be hid; images (14)turning suddenly, he said, “I have wondered why some of you Christians did not come to see me. I have hoped and expected you; I am so glad you have come, I will go immediately and attend the meeting.” He did go, and became a living witness to the saving power of Christ.

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From this simple narrative may we not take new courage and let no opportunity pass, of speaking to some unsaved soul.

God says, “I will not let my word return unto me void.” Some of us say, “The way does not seem clear, I can’t do it.” My dear friend, God will gladly open the way for us if we make a start, but he never removes the obstruction until we come to it.

The Red Sea was not opened until’ the Israelites came to its banks. God never leaves capital lying idle. If we poorly invest the few talents left us, he will withhold his treasury from us, but if we use what we have, he will abundantly supply us with all the capital that we can use.

Let us then cease not to speak of “the glorious honor of his majesty,” the unsearchable riches of his love, and the wondrous working of the Spirit in the heart.

One thought on “The Reluctant Witness

  1. Thank you! This is truly edifying.

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