Thursday, May 8, 2014
Who Is Jesus To You?
Many times I feel that, as Christians, we take life for granted. We go to church, we attend Christian schools, we talk and have fun with our special circle of Christian friends. Life's just simple, and everything is grand on the outside.
But we're shy. We don't want to talk about our personal prayer lives, lest people think we're less spiritual than we should be. We volunteer to pray for each other, as the Lord commanded us to, yet upon making that promise, we go home and immediately forget to pray. We hesitate to offer tidbits from our personal devotions because we fear that people may scorn at us and say, "You only read two chapters a day? I read a minimum of five!"
Worse still, when given the opportunity to speak to someone about Christ, we panic and wonder what we'll ever say. What if they refuse me? We think. What if I say something wrong? What if I'm just not the witnessing type? We allow our fears to overwhelm us and we let the opportunity to witness pass by.
Why are we doing that? Christ set us on this earth for a reason, and that reason is to spread the glorious news that He is alive. He saves. He loves. We spend our whole lives cooped up in our "comfort zones" because of some ridiculous fear of being laughed at or rejected or scorned. WHY?
I'll admit, I'm horrible at this. I'm not a social person, and I will sometimes regrettably go out of my way not to talk to someone I don't know. I'm shaky as a leaf in a hurricane when I do have to talk about people, and even then, it's hard enough to say mundane remarks about the weather. How in the world am I supposed to tell someone about the God that I love?
Perfect love casteth out all fear. ~ 1 John 4:18
The times of timidity need to be over. We are God's children, and if we're not letting people know that, we're not doing our job. How many times have you passed a friend at the library, a cashier at the check-out line, a neighbor on the sidewalk, and said nothing more than hello? Do you know if they're a Christian? Worse, do they know you're a Christian? In a sense, because of our silence, we're "friend-ing" people to hell; we're their friends, yet we don't care enough about them to give them the message of salvation. We're giving up any chance to witness because we're scared that they might reject us.
Guess what? They can never reject you. They can only reject Christ. When you present the truth, they can only walk away from the truth. But just remember this: God's Word will never return void. If you plant even just a little seed, it will not decay. That seed will blossom, but we may never see it.
We shouldn't witness because we have to or even because we want the world to know we're awesome Christians. Those shouldn't even be on our motivation lists. We should witness to people because God loves them. He loved us first, even when we were sinners. How can we do any less if we're to be "little Christs?"
"But I don't talk to people!" You may shout. "I get all tongue-tied, and I never know what to say!"
Hush. Moses doubted his ability to talk, and look where that got him. He lost the blessing of speaking the words of the Lord to Pharaoh to his brother Aaron, and later his disbelief and anger caused him to miss out on the Promised Land. If we're doing the work of God as He commands us to do, He will be with us each step of the way. We are speaking His words, not our own. He will not leave us alone, and in His power, we will disclose the truth. You don't have to be important, you don't have to be powerful, you don't even have to be rich. God uses those with a willing heart to be His servants.
But we're not promised it'll be easy. The work of Christ is a difficult work, and we need to be warriors to persevere to the end. The first time a person witnesses, more than likely it'll be rough. We're not used to it, you see. But you have to take it and learn how to do it - just as you learn to ride a bike. It won't happen all in one afternoon. But you'll find that the more you share Jesus, the more you talk about Him and His love, the easier and more natural it'll get.
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? - Romans 10:14
We meet thousands of people in our lifetimes, and we don't even notice them. Jesus noticed them, so why don't we? Whether you like it or not, you may very well be the only Bible that some people will ever read. Do we hide our faith beneath a casual facade? Or do we let the truth of the gospel and the love of God shine through for them to see clearly? When people "read" you, what do they see?
Denying Christ is not only standing as Peter did and verbally claiming you don't know Him. Denying Christ is also not standing up at all. Why are we so silent? If we have the wondrous truth of all time, the glorious light for all men, why do we keep it to ourselves? Who is Jesus to us that we fall back on our duties concerning Him? Who is He to us that we no longer think of speaking in His name at the grocery store, the library, the neighborhood park? Do we love him enough to fulfill His commandments? Is He important enough to us to show His love and the truth of His salvation to others?
Answer this: Who is Jesus to you?
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth... - Roman 1:16