I was skimming through a well-known magazine yesterday, full of thoughtful articles and beautiful pictures, tasteful ads and an exceptional layout.
The owners/editors are purported to be Christians, although I’ve never heard them say the name of Jesus, mention the Bible, or talk about God.
But they are super nice folks, their tv show is squeaky clean and family-friendly, and their magazine is incredibly sensitive, encouraging and a beautiful work of art.
The editor in chief shares poignant stories, writes encouraging posts and exudes kindness, loyalty and a strong character.
She seems to come so, so close, so often, to quoting Scriptural principles, but stops just shy of citing her Source.
I don’t know if she knows Christ, but if she does, she’s very, very careful to never say so. I think she is probably trying to live out her Christian principles so as to never offend those who would not appreciate her mentioning the “why” behind the way she lives.
However, I also know this: One day, if she really and truly cares for hurting, frustrated, discouraged people, she will find herself saying the name of Jesus.
You see, no matter how pithy your platitudes, how sweet your temperament, how catchy your slogan or how encouraging your wall hangings, there are times when nothing else will help except that the only Truth is Jesus.
No one can heal, no one can encourage the wounded heart, no one can dry the tears of the broken like He can. No one can wash away the sin, no one can promise Heaven, no one can change a man from the inside out, save Jesus.
God alone has the answers to all the questioning, tortured minds.
To know Him is to find Peace…to meet the Answer…to know the true Way.
If she fails to name His Name, she is hiding the only One Who can truly help those around her who are hurting.
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:II Corinthians 4:3-4
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
So then, what about us? Do I speak up? Do I say His name? Do I acknowledge that He is the only Way to peace and Heaven?
Do I just “play nice” and make sure that my “walk talks” to the extreme that I never mention the name of Jesus?
Do I try to be that “silent witness” that lives our Scriptural principles so that my life is blessed, but I never tell my friends how to get that Blessing?
Am I hiding my Light under a bushel???
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.Luke 11:33
God forgive us for not saying Your name! Forgive us for not sharing Your Son’s name!
Convict our hearts when we give in to cowardice and fear, and share a Scriptural principle without saying that it is from the Bible, God’s holy Word!
One day, we will have to choose.
Because quietly living our life to please God often makes others angry. No matter how peaceably we try to live, people are quite often incensed with our way of life. They hate that we are peaceful. They are jealous that we are blessed. They feel judged that we don’t accept their sin…even if we don’t verbally condemn it.
This world’s system wants us to choose. They want us to be like them. And when we aren’t, they do not accept that as sweetly as we accept “the sinner” while not accepting “the sin.”
We will have to pick a side. And soon, I fear.
We might as well start speaking up now. Maybe the Lord will woo a few more hearts into the Kingdom before He turns to Jesus to say, “Son, go get Your children!”
When they ask where YOU stand, what will your answer be?
…and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.I Peter 3:15b-17
It’s better that they condemn us as “Christ-followers”, “Jesus freaks” and “Right wingers” than that we be condemned by Christ for not sharing His name with the lost who are around us.
I’d rather have God’s crown than man’s approval.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;II Timothy 4:3-8
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
So, what’ll it be for you?
Man’s approval…or God’s?
A hidden flame…or a blazing testimony?
Silence…or Speaking up?
May God give us the boldness to speak for Him before the world decides to silence us completely!