For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7 NASB)
I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 GW)
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NKJV)
Comments welcomed. Let’s share what God says to His saints.
Join us for Prayer and Questions at the end of the devotion.
HOW WOULD YOU ANSWER THIS QUESTION?
As a born-again Christian, what gives you the greatest pleasure this side of Glory?
Is it praying to the Creator of the universe, knowing He hears your prayers through the shed blood of His Son?
Is it reading the Holy Bible, the inspired word from God’s own lips to encourage you through the valley of life until you reach Paradise? Is it gathering with other believers in fellowship or in worship, sometimes joining forces in service to the wider community, sometimes raising voices in praise, sometimes holding hands as prayers are offered?
Here’s my thought: It’s knowing that 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as we are given life, we are called by our Lord to witness to His saving grace.
That means we are “walking with Christ” not just during worship but also when pumping gasoline into our cars; it’s not just when we’re engaged in a community service project or mission trip to a foreign country but also when we’re standing in line at the grocery store.
It’s not just when we’re engaged in knees-on-the-floor heartfelt prayer to our Savior but also when we’re playing golf or tennis with our friends and neighbors.
WHAT’S SO AMAZING is that Jesus calls us to a life of service. He wants us to proclaim the Good News to those He places in our lives. Some of them are close family members, but others are co-workers, neighbors, friends … and even total strangers we meet as we go about the daily grind.
Are we smiling? Are we helpful when someone needs a hand? Do we offer encouragement when someone is hurting? Do we step in without expecting help in return? Are we willing to give without expecting acknowledgement or thanks?
What about our speech? Is it course and offensive? Does it ridicule or insult someone? Does it make someone uncomfortable to hear us? What about those “jokes” that require someone (person or group) other than ourselves to be the punchline?
Then, our Lord told us that it is not only what we say and what we do that counts in His book. No, for Him, it includes our thoughts. What evil has been rattling around in our heads, just waiting for an opportunity to mature into a nasty comment or unfortunate act?
JESUS HAS PREPARED US for those trials and tribulations that mark our walk with Him. He has stiffened our spine, given us resolve, strengthened our nerve so that we will not shrink from extending a hand or word of grace.
Of course it can be daunting when facing a situation where we feel called upon to witness with our words. It’s often tough enough to give of our time for an act of service or share our treasure to help finance a worthy venture.
But what about those moments when we need to share with someone an account “for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV), and we wonder as we begin to speak just how they will receive our answer … and what they will think of us?
Some of us handle those moments with greater skill and grace than do others, and prayer and practice certainly lead to a better experience, but isn’t it comforting to know that Jesus, who has commanded us to share His Word with the world, has equipped us already not with a timid spirit but with a spirit “of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7 NASB)?
He’s given us the basic tools we need. He has made our job easier.
EASIER BUT NOT EASY.
Nothing is easy in our walk with Jesus Christ. We will be assailed by a hostile world. We will be tripped up by someone eager to see us fall.
Okay, so we know that, but the Bible tells us that those who persevere to the end will receive eternal glory (Matt. 24:13) and that our present suffering (or even those awkward moments) cannot compare with the glory that awaits us in God’s Paradise (Rom. 8:18).
It’s not at all close to an even exchange.
So, what’s holding us back? Let’s “pray up” and go boldly, letting our light shine in a darkened world, that others may see our good works and give the glory to our Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16).
PRAYER: Our merciful and mighty Father, give us boldness to proclaim Your love and mercy to a world lost in darkness and sin. Give us hearts, O LORD, that live for You and honor You in our speech, actions, and thoughts. Through Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen
- Do you feel a sense of dread and helplessness when you sense a moment coming when you might be called upon to offer a word of encouragement from the Lord, to share part of your testimony, to tell someone the life changing impact the Holy Spirit has had on your life?
- Do you feel in those moments you could just take a breath, pray to the Lord quickly and silently to give you the words, and then trust that He will?
- In those moments, are you — be truthful now — more apprehensive of what your companion (friend, family member, neighbor, co-worker) might say about you than you are what Jesus Christ might think? Are you aware that in Luke 9:26, He said He will be ashamed before His Father of those who were ashamed of Him on earth? Does that change your response?