November 8, 2012

Stand // Day 19

Speak Up!

“Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others He has saved you ….” Psalm 107:2 (NLT)

If we are to stand up for what we believe, then it seems logical that people should know what we are standing for. It’s unfortunate that many Christ followers are known more for what they are against than what they are for. While it is important to stand up against injustice and bring hope to the poor and powerless, we must also speak up and tell others how Christ has saved us from our faults and failures. People need to know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ offers forgiveness, hope, eternal life and a personal relationship with God through Christ.

The New Testament puts it like this:

For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, ‘How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!’” Romans 10:13-15 (NLT)

This brings us back to where we began our journey. The Bible says that those who bring good news have beautiful feet! They have beautiful feet because they walk with the Lord. As we walk with the Lord, we go where He goes. Just as Jesus walked this earth 2,000 years ago, He walks today in the feet of those who bring good news; those who have the uncommon courage to speak up. But, that’s the problem isn’t it? A lot of Christians have a hard time speaking up for Jesus in public. That’s not a new thing. In John 7:13 the Bible says, “No one had the courage to speak favorably about Him in public, for they were afraid ….” Do you have the courage to speak up for Jesus in public? Even the great Apostle Paul needed encouragement to speak up for Jesus in public. In Acts 18:9 we are told, “One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, ‘Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent!’” If ever there was a message Christ followers needed to hear today in our culture it is this: “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent!” Isn’t that what everybody else is doing today? Everyone else is speaking out about their world view. Yet, somehow Christ followers have been intimidated by political correctness to muzzle our message. Jesus said that His followers were to be a “city on a hill”, “the light of the world” and the “salt of the earth.” His final words are called “the Great Commission.” That means that like Christ, we have been given a mission to fulfill. In Acts 20:24 Paul put it like this, “My life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”

So how can we have the courage to speak up for Jesus in public? In both the Great Commission and in God’s encouragement to Paul when he was afraid we are given the answer. In Matthew 28:20 and in Acts 18:10, Jesus said, “I am with you!” “I will never leave you or forsake you!” “I am with you always, even to the end of the age!” When we speak up for Jesus, we are not alone! He is with us! He will empower us and give us the courage to speak. Courage isn’t the absence of fear; it’s speaking up in spite of your fears. As you do, you will experience the presence of Jesus in a real and personal way that will communicate His life to you and to those with whom you are speaking!

So, who is it that God wants you to speak with? Is it your own family at home, that person at work or school or maybe an acquaintance you just met? Experience the adventure of sharing the saving life of Jesus and see what God will do. Speak up!