Monday, March 30, 2020

Now more than ever, speak up!

Lately, I've been wondering what reason God has for allowing our world to be plunged into social distancing. I strongly believe we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus, but that is more challenging to do when you can't actually touch someone.

I didn't realize it, but I'm a hugger. The last church service we had just before the Stay-At-Home Mandate was hard for me because we had been advised to not shake hands or hug people. I complained later because I found I could just not be around my church family without touching them!

I think there are at least two reasons I have thought of so far in relation to why we must go through this time - and I'm sure there are more I've not considered. 

One is simply to be grateful for what we enjoyed and not take it for granted any longer.

One day soon, we shall say, I get to go to church, instead of I have to go to church.



Perhaps the second reason we are in this season is to learn to speak up.

I'm not a bold person.

For many years, I let the fear of what others think keep me a prisoner.  I was too shy to break those bonds and freely speak up.

The bible tells us the Apostle Paul didn't have the luxury of free speech. People took exception to what he had to say.  In fact, they hated his message so much, they tried to beat the messenger to death. Sometimes, he got put into prison for his speeches.

But that didn't happen at Corinth.



Acts 18:9-10
Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.”

Paul kept on preaching and won Gentiles and even the Jewish leader of the synagogue to Christ.  The other Jews tried to imprison him but the authorities didn't want to mess with religious cases and threw it out of court.

Paul had favor and had no reason to fear.  The Lord said no one would attack him to hurt him. When God tells you that you can depend on it.

Am I saying that if you preach Jesus you will never suffer harm?  No.  We all know that we live in a sinful world that mistreats Christ-followers. But if God says you won't be harmed, you won't. 

I was thinking about this and remembered my childhood pastor's wife, Ellen Hart, who sang the song, I'll Tell the World that I'm a Christian, back in the day when I was a teenager:  I looked for the song on YouTube and found this sweet little kids group version:




(Subscribers will have to click through to my blog to view video)


What about you?  Are you afraid to speak up and tell the world you are a Christian? Do you think we have reason to fear identifying with Christ?


How about speaking up when you believe God is directing you to do something unpopular?  Something you believe is biblical but the Christian community doesn't see it the same way you do? Knowing that sometimes the family of God wounds its own?


What then?


In the end, what matters most is fulfilling what Christ has called you to do. If He asks you to share a controversial message, be it among pagans or fellow pilgrims, you must speak up.  It will be like a "fire shut up in your bones" until you do! 

*based on an earlier post


~~~



In this age of pandemic fears, stock piling and shortages, I've resurrected some of my earlier posts about the fears we all experience. I'm calling it F.E.A.R. - False Evidence Appearing Real because most of what we are afraid of is in our minds. Today we've dealt with the fear of saying what needs to be said.

You can look at my last post which deals with fear of changing circumstances, A Storm is Blowing In.

I'm sharing this over at Inspire Me Monday and at #TellHisStory. Join us!


5 comments:

Yvonne Chase said...

Not afraid to speak up at all and tell the world I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. You're right, this is the time to speak up. The world is looking for answers. We have them. Let's live Joshua 1:9, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

ellen b. said...

Not afraid and tomorrow I'll be posting something that will really put myself out there tomorrow.

Linda Stoll said...

You've asked some powerful questions at the end Jerralea ...

This is a season of fear, yet of hope. May our trust in God increase!

Mary Geisen said...

You posted some very challenging questions. We live in an age of fear of so many things. May my bottom line always be Jesus and my trust in Him.

BettieG said...

Such a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing from your heart, here, and not being afraid to speak of our Jesus. I cried with the sweet children singing that song. I've not heard that for years! What a blessing, especially as I am praying for some dear little loved ones tonight. Blessings to you