A New Tee Shirt Luke 12:11,12
This summer a friend of ours came up with a good tee shirt idea, kind of like WWJD "What Would Jesus Do?" This shirt says, "Ask me about Jesus." The point to the message on the front of the shirt is to allow someone to tell other of their faith in Jesus.
Not all of us ready to be that bold. There are very few of us that are as emphatic as the African American Preacher Dr. S.M. Lockridge. In his message, " That's my King" he describes very thoroughly his Savior, Lord. His all in all. One can appreciate good enthusiasm. This type of Charisma is displayed by many when they follow their sports team.
The truth is we are all called to take the witness stand, and it should be a sober, humbling approach that we take when we are testifying for, or against, the man Jesus, Son of Joseph, from Nazareth.
This is the one who is declared by his Disciples today to be the promised Hebrew Messiah, God in the flesh. The one whom time and Calendars still acknowledge, even when science and schools are denying who he really us. Even when popular scholars are distorting him for who is really is and even what he said he was. The references that we make to B.C. and A.D. declare him as factual and historical. Have you ever read the Jewish historian Josephus?
The scriptures declare that we will all bow our knees one day, and confess that He ( Jesus of Nazareth) is Lord.
Right now, while it is called "today" we can call upon him to be our savior, but also choose to confess and obey him as our Lord.
In doing that we have a position to maintain, daily, and that is to take up our cross and follow him. It sounds like a lot of work and sacrifice, but HE is worthy of such an effort. It's kind of like me being able to pay $100 for the average NFL ticket. Would it be foolish to just let it sit on the dresser, or maybe even post it on the wall and not attend the game? Paying for a plane ticket, or spending the time and $ for gas and the drive to see our local team, "The Seahawks", or my current fav. "The Broncos" would be part of the commitment that I should follow through on, true?
Its my choice, even if the ticket was given to me free. Free, just like Christ's' redemption on the cross, given to "whosoever" will believe, so they will not perish. I can just leave that ticket laying there and look at it, toss it, or idolize it on the wall, like a WWJD icon. Should I try to placate my broken relationship with the Almighty by plagiarizing redemption, salvation, and restoration of relationship as a son with a Father, with mere religious jargon? It would be better hitch hike to Seattle a few days ahead of date on it, doing "what ever it takes" to get there and use my "free ticket" for what it was intended for.
Another part of the response that we can make to Jesus is to confess him before others. Jesus said it plain and clear:
"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. - Matthew 10:32-33 KJV
I heard of a woman who was able to make use of an opportunity to be a witness in her community. During the time period that she lived, it would have been unthinkable for a woman to accomplish what she did with a public impact like this:
Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. - John 11:45 KJV
Apparently, according to this reference, Jesus did not stick around after raising Lazarus from the dead, therefore the Jews came to Mary for the report of what Jesus had done. She conveyed what had happened or more importantly she confessed who Jesus was, and they went their way and told the Pharisees what she had testified of.
The new tee shirt that Marianne bought me has made me think of the strategy Jesus gives us as disciples when we are called to the witness stand, whether it be in our home, out on the street, or in a real court.
"When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say." Luke 12: 11,12 NIV
Martha, like Mary had taken to heart what Jesus had told her about that one needful thing. She got the point of "religion" It is not only about service, and accomplishments. It is about relationship, and that starts with acknowledging who the other person really is.
John 11:27b records what Mary and Lazarus' sister, Martha, declared in public:
"Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."
She faced excommunication1 from her religion in making a public statement like that. We think, well it's a no brainier, that any one seeing Jesus face to face like that would be able to know him rightly and boldly declare him to others. But how many of us have denied him at work to keep our position? How many times have avoided the questionable subject of my personal faith with relatives? There is help to be able to say the right words at the right time, if we will approach the throne of grace2 and ask for it in our hearts.
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always ready to a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;" 1 Peter 3:15 NKJV
May we be ready for those divine appointments like Phillip had. May we be able to hear that still small voice, even if it just says to take a certain road or approach a stranger like he did. Jesus will give is the words to say! Especially if we are bold enough to wear a shirt, "just asking for it" G.W.
1 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. - John 9:22 KJV
2 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrew 4:16