Witness Accountability

 

Victory parade dedicated to the Soviet victory over GermanyI have learned to become more aware of my surroundings and what is happening around me. I try to notice little things as well as big things. I witness way more things in life than I often realize. I witnessed signatures of a buyer purchasing a home for the first time and I witnessed the joy and anticipation of the buyer. I also witnessed the relief of the seller. The seller was moving to another town to begin another phase of life and be near her family in the later years of their lives. The relief was a bit bitter sweet as they were leaving behind some memories as well. Being a witness means paying attention. I witnessed an auto accident before and was so traumatized by the injuries that I couldn’t recall what I had just witnessed. I think witnessed should speak clearly about what they saw and heard.

The other word here is accountability. If someone witnessed me doing something on a certain day or time it’s my word against theirs. If there are more than one witness, it’s hard to refute that.

The writer of Hebrews challenges me to endurance because of so many witnesses. The witnesses can hold me accountability for my steady endurance and discipline. Check this out…

1Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2 CSB)

The passage always makes me think about people who’ve gone before me. There are so many who poured into my journey of faith. I often wonder if they could see me now from where they are in heaven. If they can see the good, I would assume that they could see the bad choices too. I also recall the people of old who’ve gone on before me whom I’ve never met. I can hardly wait to meet some of them – like Moses, Abraham, David, Daniel, Jeremiah, Luke, John, Paul, Timothy – it could be a really long list. There are others I’m looking forward to meeting as well: Dwight Moody, C.S. Lewis, Warren Wiersbe, Norman Vincent Peal, Zig Ziglar, to name a few, who have a great journey with the Lord. There is also my family, some of who are still living today. I think about my grandmother (aka Mammie) and wonder if she knows what an impact she had on my life – is she part of the large cloud of witnesses.

When I become aware of people witnessing my behavior, I can usually pull it together and live right. I do have that following. There are people watching me – my wife, kids, friends, colleagues, co-workers, acquaintances. I am being watched by the most important and significant witness of all – Jesus. He is with me wherever I go. He hears how I talk. He sees what I do and how it matches up with what I say. I want to keep my focus on what He sees and what He thinks of me. I want to stand on His shoulders and love like He loved and live like He lives.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Final Thought

 

Retro typewriter text the endI sometimes like to get to the end of the chapter of book to get the authors final thoughts/summary of the chapter. Some books do this with the conclusion. I think the reason the final thought is so powerful is because it’s the last thing we read. The final thought seems to tie the concepts contained in the main body of the book with a bow. Hosea does this in the final verse of his book. I wasn’t expecting the ending, but yet it was powerful and abrupt. Check this out….

9 Who is wise? Let them realize these things.

    Who is discerning? Let them understand.

The ways of the Lord are right;

    the righteous walk in them,

    but the rebellious stumble in them. (Hosea 14:9 NIV)

 

I feel like that Hosea sort of summed up several of the books of the Bible. The people of Israel had once rebelled now they were reconnected with the Lord. I believe wise people learn from their mistakes, but really wise people learn from the mistakes of others.

I do believe that the Lord’s ways are right.

I do believe that He will lead me – it’s my call to follow.

I do believe that I would be wise to follow Him all the days of my life.

I want to be wise and discerning and follow the Lord fully.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Exchange

Exchange or trade conceptual illustrationUsually when something is exchanged, there is value to both people who are “exchanging” something. I’ve have stuff that I thought was junk others thought was valuable. I guess the old adage, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure”, is true. I exchanged or traded cars before and added money to the exchange.  For the most part I feel like if I’ve done my research and know the true value of what I have, then I can made a decision of what it’s worth to me. I have also used eBay to sell some of my junk and exchange it for cash.

Jesus starts speaking to His disciple about how things are going to end with His ministry here on earth. They don’t quite get it, but He keeps explaining. At one point He talks about exchanging the soul for eternity. It really challenged me to think. Check this out….

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. (Matthew 16:24-27 NIV)

I have exchanged things that I wish I had back. I’ve made trades that can’t be undone. When I saw the question that Jesus put to His disciples it pushed me a bit. What are some stupid things that I’ve done that are clearly bad choices that I could be exchanging for my soul? I want my choices to honor Him at all times. I want to honor Him privately with my thoughts, attitudes and actions as well as publicly. There is nothing on this earth that is worth exchanging my eternal life with the Lord for. This is one exchange that I do not want to screw up!

Pressing On!
Dwayne