You talk about your favorite sports team to anybody who will listen. You talk about your favorite new restaurant to just about everyone. You talk about your favorite vacation spot with your co-workers. You talk about your favorite television program with your neighbors. You talk about your favorite musician with your buddies at the gym. You talk about your favorite author with your classmates. You talk about just about anyone and everything with your Facebook friends. But you don’t dare talk about Jesus because – well – because?
Did you ever consider the limitations you have placed on talking about Jesus? I know. He’s not your favorite sports star. He doesn’t manage your favorite restaurant. He doesn’t share your favorite vacation spot. He doesn’t watch your favorite television program. He doesn’t go to your gym. He doesn’t read your favorite author. And He’s not one of your Facebook friends, or is He? Besides, He’s just not popular. He’s sure to never be the next American Idol. He won’t help you climb social ladders. He won’t help your resume. He won’t – well, He won’t. Okay, face it. You’ve got every reason in THE WORLD to justify the limitations you’ve placed on talking about Jesus. Even Jesus expected countless people to reject Him, right?
After all, Jesus is the loser of all losers. Isn’t He? The government is ever trying to boot Him out. He’s on detention in the public schools. He’s considered a trespasser on most public properties, in most households, and in most people’s hearts. Jesus rose from the cross, but the world hasn’t stopped beating up on Him. In fact, it seems, the world is beating up on Him more than ever. Then again, countless people won’t acknowledge His existence at all. Not exactly a hot topic to talk about while you’re getting a manicure, grabbing coffee with a new friend at Starbucks, heading to the gym with your brother-in-law, or picking your dog up from the groomer, eh?
Why bother talking about Jesus, right? There are much more important – and popular – conversation starters and conversation makers. Jesus is a conversation breaker, isn’t He? What a shame to bring up His name, right? People might turn their backs on you. You might be laughed at, teased, scoffed at, ridiculed, disliked, hated, and maybe even persecuted. Friends might think you’re weird, strangers might call you crazy, and your family might think you’ve gone over the edge. Why take risks like that, eh? After all, you want to make a name for yourself, don’t you? Or you want to hold onto the good reputation you’ve worked hard to establish and maintain. Why mess things up with a name like Jesus, huh?
Think I’m talking to you? I am. Because I have a question to ask you. Are you ashamed of Jesus? Maybe you know the answer to that question. Maybe you don’t. Think about it. How often do you talk about Him? Where? To whom? Why? Do you talk about Him at all? In safe places only? In your comfort zone? Not at all? Anywhere and everywhere? With some people, but not with others? Some of the time, when you’re in the mood. Not when you don’t feel like it. Certainly not at a dinner party. You’re okay with saying the “God” word, but certainly not Jesus. Come on. Get real. Get honest.
I am. Getting real. Getting honest. The Lord has been convicting me lately. He has been showing me the places, the times, the circumstances, and the people in my life when I am most comfortable and apt to talk about Him – and when I am not. Even as madly and passionately head over heels in love with Jesus as I am, I have at times put limitations on talking about Him. And the Lord has made it plain and clear to me lately that about these limitations I have had.
Maybe you’re wondering. Hmm. You know me. You know me well. Or just a little. Or maybe you just read this devotional once in a while. But you’ve probably got me figured out. I’m quick to figure out. I talk about Jesus lots. I write about Him lots. I love Him beyond description. I rarely hold back sharing about Him when I am led to. But the truth is, just like the rest of us, there are times I have held back on Him. Maybe less than others, but just the same I am guilty as charged.
But do you know something? It’s not about guilt. It’s about LOVE. It’s not about condemnation. It’s about MERCY. It’s not about where, when, how, and why I – and perhaps you – have fallen short. It’s about how we can do things differently next time. And, by the grace of God, in His strength, by His Holy Spirit, in His love, we can learn to talk about Jesus in such a way that we bring glory to His name rather than be ashamed of Him.
Shame? Did I say shame? I certainly did. Think about it. Why don’t you talk about Jesus more? Or, why don’t you talk about Him at all? Why don’t you talk about Him EVER? You’re not ashamed to talk about everything and everyone else, right? In fact, maybe you talk LOTS like I do. Or maybe you talk just a little. Maybe you’re not a big talker at all. But when you do talk, whether lots or a little, are you talking about Jesus? Or, do you find you’re talking about just about everything and everyone but Jesus? WHY?
Are you ashamed of Jesus? Isn’t it ironic, and isn’t it tragic, that we as humans have a much easier time talking about everything but Jesus? Think about it. He’s the Son of God, He died on the cross for our sins, He rose again, He is Savior of the world, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, healer, redeemer, restorer, oh, I could go on forever. And that’s exactly what He does! He goes on forever – and ever. His attributes are endless, His love never fails, His mercy never runs out, He offers us through faith in Him reconciliation to our Father in Heaven, and oh, I could go on and on – and on. Isn’t it IRONIC, and isn’t it TRAGIC, that we could be ashamed to talk about JESUS CHRIST?
Are you ashamed?
Maybe it’s time to do something about it.
Rom_1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
Luk_9:26 “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.”
Father God, I pray that you would use today’s devotional to bring people to repentance. I pray that you would show each and every one of us where in our lives, and with whom, we have been ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I ask that you show us where, and with whom, we have been refusing to talk about Jesus. I pray that you would forgive each and every one of us. But this is not all. I pray that you would strengthen us, that you would make us bold and courageous, to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray that you would by your Holy Spirit let us know when, and with whom, you would like us to talk about Jesus. Thank you, Lord! Amen!