with Bob Condly

Does It Pay to Witness?

(https://www.mindful.org/wp-content/uploads/Gratitude01.jpg)

Needing a receipt for my records, I logged onto Amazon to look up the order of a computer part. But I goofed, clicking on the link for the item rather than the invoice. Yet that mistake showed me that the price had dropped by $10.

I called Amazon about this discovery but Liza, the customer service representative, told me that they don’t do price matching. Whatever you pay for an item, that’s it!

However, she said she’d see what she could do.

I had two options. I could let it go; not worth quibbling over $10. Or I could return the part and buy a new one at the cheaper price.

But I never got to decide.

Because Liza informed me that she’d give me a $10 refund “just this once.” Wow, that was nice of her!

While I was thanking the rep for her generosity, she was asking me about the American tradition of Thanksgiving. You see, she lives in the Philippines so her knowledge of the holiday is limited.

I explained the story of the seventeenth-century English settlers sailing to Virginia but ending up in New England. They weren’t prepared for the cold weather and didn’t know how to hunt, fish, and farm in that environment. Had it not been for the grace of God and the kindness of a nearby tribe, the Puritans would have perished to a person.

Not all survived, but many did, and to express their gratitude, they hosted what we now refer to as a Thanksgiving feast.

The Amazon rep enjoyed hearing this account; I could hear her smile on the phone. The conversation blessed both of us; Liza heard how the American holiday celebrates God’s care and I received cash back!

Does it pay to witness?

Consider another incident.

“On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. ‘If you consider me a believer in the Lord,’ she said, ‘come and stay at my house.’ And she persuaded us.” – Acts 16:13-15

The apostle Paul and his team shared the gospel of Jesus Christ whenever and wherever they could. Recognizing that effective ministry depends on maintaining contact with God, they sought to pray before engaging in their mission.

They found a good spot where they could talk to God, but it was already taken. Rather than complain, the apostles capitalized on the opportunity. If they couldn’t talk to Jesus, they could talk about Him!

We don’t know how many of those ladies responded to the gospel, but at least one woman, Lydia, believed the message.

She demonstrated her new-found faith by offering the team her hospitality. And I’m sure they were thankful.

“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” – 2 Corinthians 9:11

Does it pay to witness?

Jesus doesn’t guarantee a life of ease for His followers. In the words of German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, discipleship is costly.

But when you stay open to circumstances and relax your rigid agenda, you find that God blesses you.

So during this Thanksgiving weekend, share the good news of Jesus, be thankful for His love, and see how He provides for you.

“Rejoice always, 17pray continually, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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By Bob Condly
with Bob Condly

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