Why Witness?

This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS Lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.

 

For use: June 28 – July 4

Texts: James 5:19, 20; Luke 15:6; Zephaniah 3:17; John 7:37, 38; 1 Timothy 2:3, 4; 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15

 

“He saved my life,” Dr. Rick Pitera explains. Five years earlier, Danny Radice, who works in the same hospital as Pitera, was instrumental in helping the doctor recover from a heart attack. Radice is an exercise specialist in the cardiac rehab unit at St. Barnabas Hospital in Pennsylvania. He patiently coaxed Dr. Pitera back to health, day after day in another wing of the same hospital. [1]

Then Radice caught COVID-19. When Pitera heard “one of our own” was being intubated on his floor, he looked at the name on the patient list and said, “That’s my friend.” When he showed up at Radice’s bedside, the patient asked the doctor for a pen and paper. He wrote, “Am I going to die tonight?”

“No,” Pitera answered. “Not if I can help it.” He grabbed his patient’s hand and looked into his eyes. “You’re not going to die on my watch.” And through patience and care, and several close calls, Pitera kept his word. Radice slowly recovered. Pitera had returned the favor. He had saved his friend’s life.

The title of this week’s Sabbath School lesson is the question, “Why Witness?” Our lesson provides many ways to answer this question, but, in essence, we share the gift of salvation with others because Christ gave the gift to us.

Heaven has chosen humans like you and me to bring the good news of eternal life to our neighbors and friends. What motivates us to seek to save others? We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). And such love compels us to share that love with others. We call it witnessing, sharing, outreach, or friendship evangelism. But it boils down to, “Jesus saved my life. I can’t help but tell others and maybe they too will accept His gift.”

Remember, you were once lying in a spiritual ICU and could hardly breathe. Then Jesus said, “You’re going to die, not if I can help it.” Christ promised to never leave you or forsake you. Now you stand beside others who might be dying inside emotionally or spiritually. With confidence, you can tell them your story about Someone who assured you, “You’re going to make it.”


For Reflection

Connecting: Do you personally know anyone who has the coronavirus? How is that person doing? In what ways might you safely encourage that person during this difficult time?

Sharing: Why witness? What are some of the reasons from the Bible on why we as Christians are called to share our faith?

  1. Because God has asked people to spread the gospel (James 5:19, 20)
  2. It brings great joy to heaven when we help find lost people and bring them to the Lord (Luke 15:4–7)
  3. Witnessing strengthens our own walk with God (Luke 6:38)
  4. We are commanded to share Bible truth with the entire world (Mark 16:15)
  5. Jesus’ love for us compels us to share that same love with others (1 John 4:19)
  6. Other…

Applying: What is one way you could share your trust in Jesus with someone this week? If you meet with a group online or in person, invite each person to exchange ideas and discuss options.

Valuing: How might you share your faith with someone else this week? Pray with one other person in your group for God to open a door for you to witness. (Pray together over the phone, a video call, or even text messages if you cannot meet in person.) Follow the Holy Spirit’s promptings and be blessed!

~ Curtis Rittenour

[1] https://www.pennlive.com/coronavirus/2020/05/he-saved-my-life-im-saving-his-how-a-doctor-returned-his-coronavirus-patients-life-saving-gift.html