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I would like to take a look at Proverbs 15:23 today.

"A man finds joy in giving an apt reply-and how good is a timely word."

How many times have we been witnessing to someone, & had just the right thing to say to that person? Pretty good feeling, isn't it?

I know in my own personal witnessing, as I'm sure that many of you as well-that when I was walking right with the Lord, He, (by the power of the Holy Spirit), gave me exactly the words, that really left a good impression on them.

I'm reminded of a few verses in Scripture that also support Proverbs 15:23:

Look at I Peter 3:15-

"But in your hearts, set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness & respect."

We see here, Peter admonishing the churches in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, & Bithynia. (VS 1:1) He tells them that in their witness of Christ, that they should never be at a loss for what to say. And how do we do this? Psalm 119:11-

"I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."

If we truely want to be effective witnesses for our Savior, we MUST have a good working knowledge of what the Bible has to say on a wide variety of topics.

Now God doesn't expect us to know EVERY VERSE, in the Bible! But this doesn't preclude us from studying His Word, (or at the barest minimum), at least reading His Word!

I also love how this verse ends-with gentleness & respect. This is the absolutly key to be an effective witness! When you read the Gospels, NEVER ONCE did Jesus try to "ram" His message down anyones throat! No, my Brothers & Sisters-He ALWAYS did it with LOVE above all!

At the same time, there are times that God will give us Scripture references that we have never known, or were buried so deep, that we never realized that we even knew them! There have been several times in my own witnessing that people have commented to me how good my knowledge of Scripture was. (I have to smile everytime this has & still does come up in my life, because I have an absolutly TERRIBLE memory! All throughout my life, my mother used to say to me that I would forget my head if it weren't attatched! She is no longer with us, but I can still "hear" her saying that to me, everytime I forget or lose something! ) Yet the Lord HAS always provided the right Scriptures when I DID need them! Thank-you, Lord!

Also look at Matthew 10:19-20:

""But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you."

We don't have to be great public speakers! Peter & the rest of the Apostles certainly weren't! Look at Acts 4:13:

"When they saw the courage of Peter & John, & realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished & they took note that these men had been with Jesus."

The "learned" men of that time were too blind to truely see what the apostles were saying, just like the Jewish leaders in Nazareth were when Jesus was teaching! Look at Matthew 15:55 & Mark 6:1-3.

So many of God's spokesmen, (& women-don't want to get our female members mad at me! ), were ordinary people! People like Deborah, Haggai, Jonah, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Exekeil, & on & on!!!!

We-all of us who have been saved by the Blood of Jesus can be equally effective witnesses as anyone mentioned here-IF, we truely let God use us, compleatly & without ANY conditions!

I don't know about the rest of you, but that's the way I want to be!

Let us pray.

"Lord Jesus, we love You so much! We sing the praises of Your Wonderful Name forever! Lord Jesus: so many times we make things so much more diffucult than things have to be, in regard to our witnessing! We confess & repent of all those times that we trusted in our own abilities, instead of totally trusting You & You alone, for the right things to say. Lord Jesus, we commit ourselves to You & You alone today-we commit ourselves to a life of trusting You & ONLY You for the right words to say, whenever we have the oppurtunity to share with others what You truely mean to us! We bow before Your throne, confessing the insatiable need that we have of You! Provide all of us who have been washed clean in Your precious Blood, the oppurtunities a hundredfold to be a witness for You & You alone-while there is still time, Lord Jesus! We want to be Your witness at ALL times! We trust You & You alone for the right things to say, that those You have lead us to, would see not us, BUT You & You alone, Lord Jesus! We love you, Lord! We Love You! In Jesus Name we pray!

In Jesus Name!

(All Scripture references are from the New International Version of the Bible)
"If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves & pray, & seek my face, & turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, & will forgive their sin, & will heal their land." (II Chronicles 7:14) (NIV)