SILENT NO MORE!!!
A few months ago I had a conversation with a friend about a recent dream. Her dream consisted of three different scenes. In the first scene she found herself at a political rally. In the second scene she was at a work function. The details of the third scene were fuzzy, as she said she wasn’t sure exactly where she was. However, while in each one of these three scenes, the same exact question was clearly asked by someone: “Is Jesus on the invitation list?”
While spending time with Yahweh a few days later, he brought me back to my friend’s dream in order to give me more insight. The first thing God reminded me of was something my father used to always tell me when I was young. He told me that in order to avoid unnecessary arguments you should never talk about politics or religion in a social situation, with friends, and especially not coworkers or strangers. My father stressed to me that you can have our own beliefs, but you should keep them to yourself, in order to avoid heated discussions. As a result of taking my fathers comments to heart, I found myself rarely talking to others about my own religious beliefs in social situations in order to avoid controversy.
The next thing God brought to my attention was that the question posed in my friend’s dream was not, “Is God on the invitation list?” The question was, “Is Jesus on the invitation list?” God pointed out to me that sometimes his children will talk about “God” with coworkers, friends, or complete strangers, but it is rare for them to talk about “Jesus.” The word, “god” is not offensive because the majority of people across the world believe in a god, whether they believe in the god of Jewish and Christian faith, the god of the Islamic faith, the hundreds of gods that make up the Hindu faith, or the multitude of other gods that are worshipped throughout the world. Most people on planet earth believe in a higher being, but not everyone believes in Jesus. Therefore, in social situations throughout the world, “god” conversations may take place, but rarely do “Jesus” conversations.
Finally, Yahweh reminded me of a story in Scripture that took place early on in church history. As Peter and John were walking through one of the gates at the temple one day they came upon a lame man that was looking for a hand out of alms. Peter and John had no alms to give the lame man, but they did have something better to offer.
Peter said to the man, “I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and walked and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.” (Acts 3:6-8)
Once the religious leaders recognized that a miracle had just taken place that could not be denied, they first pondered what to do and then approached Peter and John.
“What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is manifest to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it SPREAD NO FURTHER among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to any one in this name.” So they called them and charged them not to SPEAK or teach at all in the NAME OF JESUS. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:16–20)
Our duty as followers of Jesus Christ is to boldly witness for him, by introducing him to people who don’t know him. The way to introduce Jesus is to use his name in daily conversations about your life. If followers of Jesus don’t speak up, who will? Satan’s ploy, since Jesus rose from the dead, has been to keep Jesus followers from speaking his name, as seen in this scripture. I once heard it said “Americans have a new way of denying Jesus … BY BEING SILENT.” I would have to agree, as I have intentionally taken notice over the years how rarely the name of Jesus is spoken outside of church related functions.
Yahweh continued our conversation by posing these questions for us all to honestly consider:
1. If Jesus physically walked into a work function, a political rally, or to any other social event where you find yourself, would you enthusiastically introduce him to others?
2. If you introduced Jesus to someone, how would you introduce him?
3. Would you introduce him as the most intriguing historical figure to walk this earth, or as your personal Lord and Savior?
4. As a believer in Jesus, do you invite Jesus to go with you into the world, or do you leave him at home? It’s easy to say “yes I bring Jesus with me,” but do you really?
5. Have you ever introduced Jesus to a friend, a co-worker, or a complete stranger in a social situation?
6. If you haven’t, why haven’t you?
7. Do you fear man more than you fear God?
8. Do you fear you will offend someone?
9. Do you fear the consequences of talking about Jesus in these places or situations?
10. If Jesus is truly your Lord and Savior, who is capable of saving, healing, restoring, comforting, and giving abundant life to everyone who believes in him, why don’t you enthusiastically talk about Jesus to everyone you meet?
Satan tries to convince believers to stop speaking about Jesus, so that the Good News of Jesus Christ will stop spreading throughout the world. Satan absolutely can’t stand when we say the name Jesus! His ears cringe when Jesus’s name comes out of our mouths. He wants us to be mute when it comes to Jesus. Doesn’t that just make you want to say “Jesus” more often? As we begin this New Year, let us all allow the name of Jesus to roll off of our tongues and out of our mouths with ease, and confidence and boldness, regularly and frequently. Let us all, as believers in Jesus Christ, speak his name so frequently, and in all situations, that people we meet leave our conversations with the name of Jesus ringing in their ears and thoughts!!!
As I was finishing writing this blog, while traveling home after Christmas, I passed a billboard that read, “USE YOUR OUTSIDE VOICE!” The billboard message made me laugh, because in that moment I knew without a doubt that God was agreeing with me. When it comes to Jesus, we need to start using our OUTSIDE voices to SHOUT the Good News of Jesus Christ everywhere we go.
Remember, someone in your life had the boldness to share the name of Jesus with you, so won’t you do the same! Don’t miss kingdom opportunities by being silent any longer! As a believer in Jesus Christ you have a priceless gift to share: JESUS’S NAME! It is a name that is capable of raising the dead to life, making the lame walk, changing work atmospheres, and restoring nations! It’s time to stop being selfish and start sharing the Name Above All Names with everyone you meet, and/or are in daily contact with! It’s time to make Satan cringe!