Show and Tell

cafe-meeting

Hannah came over to my apartment to tell me about a talk she had prepared for her college public speaking class. She wanted to give a speech about how she became a believer in Jesus Christ. As an English teacher at her university in China, I knew there was a high cost to speaking about Christianity. I knew the consequences. She knew the consequences -a failing grade and possibly even being expelled from the university, never to attend again. I was concerned since she already had a growing ministry among the students. But looking at me with a smile she said, “I can’t help but tell others about Jesus. He has done so much for me. Even if it costs me everything, what is that for what it cost Him to love and forgive me?”

Many of us enjoy “showing and telling” others about things that are important in our lives. We may not have to present it officially in front of others like in a classroom, but we are given opportunities every day, in the presence of co-workers, family, friends, neighbors and those we do business with.  We talk about our homes, our new cars, our clothes, our travels, and social events.  We post pictures of family, special friends, even food, on our social media.

 But what if we could choose only one thing to talk about?  That one important thing that defines us, that shows to others what has captured our heart, what we really love.

Before leaving this earth, Jesus told his disciples, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere…” (Acts1:8).  One of the fruits of being Jesus’ disciples was to be a witness for Him. They would show and tell others what Jesus had done, His power over death, and the salvation He offers to all who called on His name.  Soon after the Holy Spirit came to give power to the disciples, Peter and John began boldly teaching about Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, saying, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. ” (Acts 4:12) But the religious leaders were upset and wanted them to stop teaching about Jesus. Peter and John were ordered to never again speak to others in Jesus’ name. Their response?  “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20). Peter and John told the other believers what had happened and they all prayed together. What did they pray? For protection? For peace and deliverance from those persecuting them? No. They prayed for boldness to show and tell others about Jesus.

“And now, Lord, take notice of the threats they have made, and allow us, your servants, to speak your message with all boldness.” (Acts 4:29)

For those who are believers in Jesus and abide with Him, our choice is simple. We will be fruitful witnesses, showing and telling others about Jesus – even if we face being “expelled” from friends, family, social clubs, neighbors and perhaps schools. Many in our country already have paid the price in their businesses and work for sharing their faith in Jesus.

What do you show and tell to others about your life? Do you have something to show and tell about Jesus? If you know Him personally what has He done for you? Do you pray for boldness to speak about Jesus to those around you? Will you pray for that today?

If you know Jesus and His power to save in your own life there is someone around you who wants to know about Jesus. Pray for boldness. Boldness coupled with love for others can have an amazing impact on those around you who need to hear about Jesus’ love and forgiveness.

 

Peacefully Abiding in God’s Shelter

castle

Recently, we just purchased and moved into our home in the mountains. It is a log home which will protect and shelter us from the harsh winter winds and snow storms that will inevitably come. Before purchasing our “shelter”, we had it inspected to make sure it was built with a strong foundation and safe living spaces.  We are now unpacking (thus the lag in blog writing) and settling in.  I can sleep at peace knowing I have a safe place to abide.

However, right now in many places of our world and cities there are no safe places to abide.  Daily crises of different kinds, financial troubles, immorality, and power hungry leaders are creating panic and fear. Even those who are believers in Jesus are panicking. Like nonbelievers they have forgotten the strong foundation they have in God, who is seated on his throne, above all worldly rulers and authorities. Why do believers panic? Because they have left their safe shelter, God Almighty, and have wandered far away from His protection. Many have ventured so far from Him, trusting in themselves, others, and the world to protect them from these crises.

Jesus told his followers to “abide in me”.  Abide means to remain stable in a fixed place, to continue to make my home with.  Why should we abide?  Because we need Him. There is no peace without Him. No protection. God is our shelter:

“But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.” Psalm 73:28

 “Your goodness is so great! You have stored up great blessings for those who honor you. You have done so much for those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues.”  Psalm 31:19-20

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1

“The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10

In God’s shelter we find rest and peace from an evil, angry world. It is a good thing to be near God and on His side.

Right now, God is calling His people, those who have trusted in His Son Jesus, back to Himself. Back to His love and protection. Many want to return but have forgotten the way. They have forgotten that God is merciful and forgiving, longing to have us return to His side. And some who don’t know Jesus want to know Him and His love but don’t know how.

Seeing this need myself, I wrote a book to encourage God’s people to return to His side, to abide in His love. This book, Wake Up! Return to God, will be out on Amazon in a few weeks!

Have you left the fortress of God’s loving protection to venture out on your own? Are you so far away and in a crisis with no peace?   Do you feel far away from God and His grace? He wants you to return.  There is nothing or no one else who can provide His mighty protection and care.