Friday, April 01, 2011
Today’s Topic: Boldness
Today’s Text: Isaiah 40:9 You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”
It was a thought-provoking question. It came from a sincere desire to be a better witness for Jesus Christ at her place of work. “How can I be more bold to talk about my relationship with Jesus? Why do I fear doing that at the workplace?”
I discerned in her question an attitude of fear based on a misconception that witnessing means convincing and convicting. I believe that is true for many of us. We have the idea that being a witness means winning others to Christ. While that is our ultimate objective, the actual process of introducing someone to Jesus Christ should be much less threatening. A witness is not someone who convinces others of what they need – that’s the Holy Spirit’s ministry in their heart. A witness is someone who testifies to what they have experienced personally in their own life.
As I explained this to her, she was delighted. It released her from the fear that had gripped her and kept her silent. “Just put your everyday conversations into the context of praise and thanksgiving to God and let that be your witness. You don’t have to convince people that they need God – you just have to show them the reality of God in your own life.”
That leads me to ask this question to myself and all of you – “How do the people of the world see the reality of God in our lives?” They certainly don’t see that I trust God when we complain about the financial crisis of higher gas prices and lower income. How can they see the peace of God when we worry about the political crisis in our city, state, nation, or world? They are unable to see the reality of the love of God when all they can see is the love we have for self and the world. People need to see those who claim to love God making sacrifices for the Kingdom of God and for people in need.
We claim to have been transformed by the love of God. We claim to trust Him. We claim to walk by faith and not by sight. Yet the unsaved people of the world claim that they cannot see the reality of God because we look so much like they do. We have the good news of the Gospel and yet it seems what dominates our conversations is the bad news of the world.
It is time for us to stand up boldly and tell the world about our God. Not condescendingly, but compassionately. Not arrogantly but passionately. Not with fingers pointed at people but with hands lifted in praise to Jesus our Savior.
Lift up your voice with a shout and with no fear. Proclaim to everyone that Jesus is Lord of your life. And let the way you live prove it.