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Share/Bear Witness

February 10, 2023

Daily Scripture

Mark 1:16-20, Acts 1:6-8

Mark 1
16 As Jesus passed alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” 18 Right away, they left their nets and followed him. 19 After going a little farther, he saw James and John, Zebedee’s sons, in their boat repairing the fishing nets. 20 At that very moment he called them. They followed him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers.

Acts 1
6 As a result, those who had gathered together asked Jesus, “Lord, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now?”
7 Jesus replied, “It isn’t for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 Rather, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Jesus began calling people to follow him right away. He made it plain that he was calling them to join in inviting others to follow him. (The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah said God would send fishermen to bring back his exiled people—cf. Jeremiah 16:14-16.) The risen Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would give his followers power to bear witness to God’s work in the world. We need the mighty wind that is the Holy Spirit (cf. John 3:7-8) to empower us to be storytellers of God’s great love.

  • What do you think made Jesus and his invitation so compelling that, when he called, these four men would promptly leave the security and familiarity of their family fishing business to follow him? Have you thought and prayed at all about how you could use today’s tech tools to offer a compelling invitation to those you can influence to follow Jesus? In what ways, in person or electronically, can you share Jesus’ story with others as a God-powered messenger?
  • The “end of the earth” Jesus touched on in Acts 1 could be anywhere—your office, health club, favorite restaurant—or your computer. Where are the one or two places or situations, online or offline, where you can most effectively share your faith story with others? In calling fishermen (not locked-in religious experts), Jesus found people more open to his radical ideas about what it meant to be the Messiah. How could tech reach people who may be more open to Jesus’ story?

God, give me chances to share your story with others. Show me where you are already at work around me so I can join in your work. Help me remember that my power comes from the Holy Spirit. Amen.

GPS Insights

Leah Swank-Miller

Leah Swank-Miller

Leah Swank-Miller is Director of Student Ministries at Resurrection Overland Park. A Kansas native, she has been a professional actress for the past 15 years, and she loves to see the vastness of God’s creation through theatre and the arts. Leah is pursuing an M.Div. from Saint Paul School of Theology. Leah, Brian, and their two children love to play tennis, golf, soccer, and board games.

Have you heard of the word “clickbait”? Perhaps you’ve heard the term but are unsure if you’ve encountered it. Well, if you’re on social media of any kind, I assure you have come across it. By its definition alone, clickbait is not inherently wrong. However, it’s used for bad purposes. “Good” clickbait is a pair of engaging headlines and provocative thumbnails that lead users to the expected content. “Bad” clickbait tempts users to click without delivering the promise of the headline and image. Clickbait will often use sensationalized language and all capital letters. In addition, they often promise to provide life-changing information in the article to get you to click, i.e., “This diet tip will change your life forever.” As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

I’ve come across so much clickbait promising the perfect diet, love interest, self-help guru, or even how to win a million dollars just by clicking the link. Sometimes the headline is innocent fun that turns into nine minutes of my life I’ll never get back. Like in the case of one clickbait that promised the “PERFECT, EASY, OVEN-BAKED BREAKFAST IN MINUTES.” Nine minutes later, I learned that if you want raw uncooked eggs on top of still-cold sausage patties with cheesy burnt muffins on top, follow the insanely silly cooking directions on this clickbait. I left feeling duped. They got me! They successfully fooled me into reading along when they did not deliver on what was promised.

On the other hand, videos or articles that promote something authentic and honest get me every time. If I see a video of a kid getting hearing aids and then hearing their mother’s voice for the first time, that’s real and beautiful. I’m sharing that. Or perhaps a hope-filled headline about students making a difference in their classrooms or school districts with acts of kindness. I’m clicking on that and spending a few minutes becoming more inspired than I was before. Animals being funny, parents dancing with their kids, people slipping on water slides or snow, all of that I love! Because it’s genuine and authentically honest about what it says it will be.

I want my life testimony to be a reality, not fake clickbait. When I share on social media or in person about what God has done in my life or how/why I choose to still have faith in Jesus as my savior, I want people to walk away feeling inspired, not like they wasted nine minutes of their life they’ll never get back. I think the key to that is being honest. Instead of boasting that God will keep me from hardships and my life will be picture perfect if I vote for the right candidate, give enough money, or hang out with only people who think like me, I want to share the real moments of doubt and pain that God guides me through in gentle, unconditional love. Faith and life are complex and messy, but God’s love is the light that shines a way through all our ups and downs. That truth may not be a successful clickbait. But when you authentically share your faith life with others, it’s a compelling invitation for others to a life that won’t make them regret the last nine minutes.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.