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16 September 2012

As God Is My Witness

"As God is my witness [insert something you're terribly determined to do]." Some reserve this saying for those very special occasions when a simple declaration just won't cut it. Maybe the most well-known version was when Scarlet O'Hara announced (to herself, I think) that she'd never be hungry again. And she meant it, darn it. Paul the Apostle even used the phrase in the beginning of his letter to the church in Rome.

While it appeals to the all-seeing, all-knowing characteristics of God, we use that reference to call on the nature of the One who is supremely trustworthy, otherwise it makes little sense. It's like a first cousin of the phrase "May God strike me dead if..." It promises that no matter the odds or the difficulty, we are going to do this particular thing.

Has it occurred to you that God essentially says this of His followers every single day? The statement of Jesus in Acts 1:8 -- "you will be My witnesses" -- indicates that He is saying to the world, for instance, "As Dean is my witness, anyone who believes in Me has eternal life," or to the Church, "As Dean is my witness, the world will know you're My followers by the love you have for each other."

That's a very tall order. But it's not only possible for us to be that kind of witness, it is reasonable and it is even expected of every follower of Jesus Christ. This is how much God has entrusted to us. The Church is His body on earth. I am His witness. You are His witness. He gives enough of Himself to us to expect us to be supremely trustworthy; to be carriers of His name and guardians of His character.

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