Sharing Jesus and His Word everyday should be normal in the life of every Christian but beware! When you regularly engage in Jesus conversation you can expect to receive what Jesus suffered; persecution, rejection, hatred, angry words, false accusations, betrayal, and the like! If you never experience any of these, you might want to consider what a normal life in Christ should look like! Jesus suffered and was rejected. Luke 17:25 “But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.” We too will suffer and be rejected. Luke 21:16-17 “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.” 2 Timothy 3:12 “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
Engaging in conversations about Jesus can trigger lots of opinions but very little truth from the Bible. I welcome godly diversity and enjoy a lively discussion about God and His Word but opinion sharing only clouds the truth of God’s Word and creates complexity about God which leads people astray. Most often people, including Christians, get offended and make derogatory remarks about others when the Word of God challenges or differs from their own “interpretation” of truth. It is interesting to note that people willingly discuss religion and politics even if it gets volatile but rarely will people be hated in the process (only their opinions might be hated). But bring Jesus into the discussion, speak truth from the Word of God, share His standard and the victory we have in Him and you will quickly discover you are unwanted or even opposed.
Christians stop sharing Jesus and truth for many reasons: Maybe they are told they have no right to speak into the lives of others because of their own sin. Or perhaps are afraid of not knowing enough about the Word to speak boldly. Or the ridicule and rejection is too intense. Or maybe they just feel unworthy to share truth. But in reality none of these reasons should silence our testimony of Jesus! We all sin and fall short of the glory of God yet Jesus still died for each of us therefore we get to confess, repent, and receive forgiveness. We can gain knowledge by reading the Word and being in church with the body of Christ where God has appointed pastors and teachers to equip us to go out and make disciples. Jesus is most certainly worth any ridicule or persecution we could ever experience! And in Jesus we are worthy to speak His Word boldly and since faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God we must speak it!
I understand many people reading this do not believe we should be so bold in talking about Jesus all the time but rather lead by example and only speak about our faith if necessary. But the Word of God tells us our conversations should be grace-filled and seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6) and our lives above reproach (Colossians 1:22). We should be ready in and out of season to preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2) ,should not waste our breath on useless words (complaining and negative speech) (1 Timothy 6:5; Titus 3:9) and to always be ready to give a defense for our faith (1 Peter 3:15). We are to continually rejoice, pray constantly, and in everything give thanks (1 Thessalonians 16-18). The Word tells us if we live in the Spirit we should also walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25)! This close daily walk with Jesus would of course include some talk of our precious Savior. Ah…probably more than some! The majority of our conversation will focus on Jesus! 1 Peter 4:11 “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God…”
People have told me not to share the Word of God because hurting people need others to listen to them rather than preach at them. That hurting people need to know they are not alone and that others care about their plight! I have never considered sharing answers and solutions from the Word of God as preaching to others. The Word of God advises us to “listen” but then give people what they need not necessarily what they want. Surely we don’t keep throwing precious jewels of God’s Word to people who continuously refuse it, but that doesn’t mean we stop speaking truth! We demonstrate compassion by listening and then by speaking grace filled answers to help others overcome. We give them Jesus Christ , the One who overcame. The truth is, anything else we offer is nothing in comparison to Jesus! There are plenty of people in the world who will listen, comfort, and sympathize with people while helping them stay in their despair. As Christians we should listen, comfort, exhort, bring hope, and lead them to the Comforter Himself who can do more in five minutes than we can in a lifetime. People don’t need to be supported in their problems, they need to know they can put those problems under their feet and rise above them. That is real support – the kind that holds you up to the Savior rather than leaving you in your distress.
The Spirit of God is pleading with His people to speak up and give Jesus to the world! We are guaranteed to meet resistance but that should never stop us. We may prefer the “soft sell” approach to sharing but Jesus was and is anything but “soft”! He encourages us to remain humbly teachable as we keep sharing, keep submitting to Him, keep trusting Him, and keep studying His Word. As I was writing this blog the Spirit of God released this vision to motivate and releases us to be in Him as we speak out!
Imagine yourself diving headfirst into a large body of water, suddenly wrapped in the arms of Jesus deep below! The world as you know it has suddenly changed, the problems and reality of life are muted and you feel completely at peace in a quiet, underwater world. Jesus is holding you tightly as you bask in His presence and all is well until you realize you have been holding your breath and are running out of oxygen. You make eye contact with Him, conveying the message through your gaze that you need Him to let go so you can rise to the surface and get air. Your gaze also carries the assurance you will return. As Jesus returns your gaze His eyes plead with you to stay, giving you the assurance He has a plan! You want to trust Him but the reality of not being able to breathe instigates panic leading to squirming from His embrace, kicking and flailing to escape so you can breathe again. Jesus continues to hold you tightly enough making it necessary to exert effort to get away but not tight enough to hold you back should you choose to resist Him and rise to the surface. Your inability to breathe overtakes your desire to trust His plan so you break away from His clutch, emerging to the surface where you gasp for air and quickly decide you need more than a quick breath so tread water for awhile. You get weary in the process but at least you can breathe. Everything you experienced in Him is now muted as you look around at what “is”. You have forgotten His eyes, His touch, His assurance, His peace, and His plan! You are faced with the decision to dive back under as you assured Jesus you would do or swim to shore. What will you do?
Immersing ourselves in Jesus is like being underwater, held in His embrace. Getting into Jesus, being submerged in His loving grasp, plunging into the depths of God is not “like” being in a different world; it “is” a different world! It is “in Him” where we experience true life because everything we know and are comfortable with in this world is muted and disappears in the depths of His love. Just as underwater sights and sounds are completely different than above water, the sights and sounds we experience in Jesus deafen and blind us to fear of all that is outside of Him. When captivated by Jesus we have a choice – wrestle out of His arms to get to the surface so we can breathe – or let Him take our breath away, remaining in Him, allowing Him to breathe through us. Job 27:3-4 “As long as my breath is in me, and the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.” Isaiah 42:5 “Thus says God the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it:” That should answer the question “What will we do?” Dive back under! Gaze into His eyes! Stay in His embrace! Trust His plan! Let His breath sustain us – and now live and share that life with others!
Once we live and breathe in Jesus we ought to be so “in” Him we no longer need to breathe on our own, gasp for breath, tread water, or swim to solid ground. Decisions as to whether or not we should share Him or His truths with others disappear. In fact, we know every place we set our feet is our mission field. Every person we meet is our harvest. Every Christian who needs to be reminded of truth is crucial to our healthy body. We are not discouraged by hatred and rejection because in Jesus we expect it so we just stay and speak in Him!
I once heard a preacher who took the Word of God literally and seriously in regards to healing so prayed over every sick person he met. He would pray simple prayers of faith in Jesus’ Name with no evident results. But he just kept on praying because the Word of God is true and if he had to pray over five hundred people with no “natural” results before he saw a healing he would do so. The seeming “defeat” in healing eventually succumbed to the truth of God’s Word. This man’s tenacity to keep going and believing God only increased day by day as he stayed under in Christ in spite of criticism, persecution, and rejection. Today, he sees God’s healing touch in the lives of people regularly. By believing God and letting His breath fill us, we will experience what we never would without trust and obedience!
We can use this same principle in sharing the truth of God’s Word. We might speak truth five hundred or five thousand times with no evidence of it taking root, only being hated, persecuted, and rejected but eventually if we do not succumb to defeat, the seeming defeat will succumb to His truth and we will see His will done here on earth as it is in heaven. His Word will not fail! Isaiah 55:9-11 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
His Word goes out from His mouth through His chosen vessels – us! We have a sure promise! When we speak His Word it goes out, does not return empty, accomplishes whatever He pleases, and prospers. We have the call from God, the command to go and speak His Word with the means and opportunity to do so. What are we waiting for? Be unafraid to speak of Jesus on the mountaintops, at home, in church, at your jobs and on Facebook! Immerse yourself in Him, His Word, and His Church! You will find yourself completely absorbed in the things of God and unafraid of the hatred that is sure to come! But know this! His Word accomplishes more than you or I ever could! Word of God speak! People of God speak His Word!