COURAGE August 14
For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
It saddens me to think about this verse, this whole scenario that positioned John to write this sentence was shortly before Jesus was crucified. Many people believed in Jesus, but because of what others thought or their impact on their positions with the church, they would not openly admit it.
It's still this way today. I have been a coward at proclaiming the gospel to others when I had the opportunity to pray for someone or even witness about Jesus, and I didn't; was I just concerned about what people would think or what they would say? Truth is both.
When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you're not always going to be greeted with open arms. You'll be talked about and laughed at. But for some people, they lose everything, total rejection by their families and shunned from society, and even death.
From an American perspective, our cost is minimal. We have much more religious freedom in this country than in many others. Indeed, it is a privilege to be able to share the Good News.
God will help you share the gospel if you ask Him to give you an opportunity. When the situation arises, trust Him to help you say the right thing. I remember the first time I stepped out in faith to tell someone about Jesus. I was with a good friend at a department store, and I saw this lady shopping. I told my friend I would tell her about Jesus. I had never really done that before. I was so scared I worked up the nerve to approach her, and I said: "Would you like to hear the good news?" She looked at me, smiled, and said, "Jesus is my Lord and Savior!"
It was almost like God planted her! I thought, "Wow, that was easy." Years later, I've had so many experiences with God that I talk about Jesus as a friend, the greatest person I have ever met; I don't need the courage because I have the experiences that have provided faith, and faith equals Truth, and the Truth will set you free.
Ask the Lord to allow you to minister for Him; it's as simple as asking this little question, "Would you like me to pray with you?" That's all the Holy Spirit needs. What happens after you say Amen?
He is: Jehovah Jireh
The Lord Will Provide