I live and breath the Savior who is near and dear to my life. I’m not perfect. I just know how much I need Jesus or I get messed up easily.
I like to bring him into a conversation if I feel someone might benefit from his message of hope, healing and restoration.
Being a grandparent for the first time was wonderful. I am still excited to be around these family members and like to talk about them if ever asked. It is easy for all of us to speak of people we love and admire.
Now with our 12th grandchild just six months old, my camera is always near as I want to savor those special moments that take you by surprise. I enjoy it when I am with her and her brothers.
Just as talking about grandchildren is easy for me when asked about them, I like to bring hope and the love of Jesus to a listening ear or to someone I think may need it. Jesus is Living water we all need.
If someone is hurting, I like to bring an encouraging word or let them know of a time someone or something helped me. Usually, it was Jesus who was the someone. Yet, someone had to bring him to me before I knew him personally as Lord and Savior.
I try to listen more than talk as I have learned, and sometimes the hard way, over the years. Listening is the highest compliment you can give someone. Taking precious time to stop whatever you are doing and hear what only they can tell you.
I know it is best to just listen, but it is hard when it is a text message, email, or (does anyone do this anymore) letter or card in the mail. These types of messages, I think, are awaiting a response.
Maybe it is a memorial service you will be attending and you want to give a card. Do you just sign your cards or add a personal word of heartfelt sympathy? I find it strange to not share a word that hopefully, God has helped me formulate. I wait and listen, then write what comes to mind at these difficult times.
There are also other times, you want to share a snippet of comfort or thoughts that come from the heart, but you can’t do it without mentioning the name of Jesus. It is not a name we should apologize for mentioning, or bring on the feeling of shame or embarrassment, yet, the reaction we get from others, even their silence, makes us feel somehow rejected.
I have gotten this response from not only my own family members, even my own children and siblings, but also, neighbors, and strangers.
The response leaves me thinking; this person does not know Jesus or rejects him on purpose, or sees me as some sort of extreme holy person. However, I do, even though it is rare, get a believer welcoming my thoughts and thanking me for my encouragement.
Today a friend, I thought needed some encouragement texted me about some worry she was having. I reminded her that God can keep us safe. “Do you trust God?” I asked. I really wanted to know where she was at with God in her personal life. (Ooops, I should not have asked the question, I guess.)
After much lingering minutes went by, which I thought unusual but that she might have had to leave to do something. Then, I finally got a ping on my phone notifying me of her incoming message.
“I do pray and do believe. I believe you can pray anywhere,” she replied. “Religion is personal.” replies my friend.
Jesus did come up in our prior conversations before. But again, she never added to it, agreed with it or continued any discussion. That is always a clue where people are at in their faith. At least, whether or not they want to share with you or keep it to themselves.
Each of our lives with our God is unique and there is nothing wrong with being quiet about it, because there are more ways to shine our lights than just words. But without “hearing God’s word”, how can anyone come to Christ? Some are called to be pastors and teachers and evangelists.
I guess some things you can discuss with some people that are closer to you. I just find I can talk about Jesus with any Christian on the planet whether stranger or not. We are ONE in Spirit. It is what sets us apart. We are brothers and sisters in Christ.
How can I keep silent about the Lord who has done so much for me? Did I say something wrong? Was it just the mention of Jesus being too forceful?
I text to her, “Jesus has nothing to do with religion. He has everything to do with a person, a human being, God and Spirit.” (I should have just said “relationship”.) I mentioned, “if not for my own sister, I would not have come to know Jesus that way. I too was raised Catholic, like you.”
I continued in my text, “Yes, some things are personal. For that, I agree. And we can pray anywhere because God is everywhere. But when Jesus ascended into heaven, after the resurrection, and after appearing to his disciples and 500 witnesses, he told them to ‘Go into the whole world and make disciples.’ (my short version of Matthew 16:15, Matthew 28:19,20)
But, I will now digress. I am not here to convert anyone to my way of thinking. I don’t want to be a bore.”
I guess if we don’t tell people about Jesus and what he has done for us, they may not come to know him in a personal way. They may just think he is this perfect being we must cower to and do our best to please or we will receive his wrath upon us. That is my opinion. People may see Jesus differently, of course.
If we tell others about the “personal” Jesus who we know, they would be able to see that they too can “relate” to him in a personal way. It brings more meaning to their prayers. We must see Jesus first as our Savior before we can worship him in Spirit and Truth as our LORD above all else. Do you agree?
Humility will break down walls of fear, shame, deceit and any pretenses we have about Jesus. Why are so many people afraid, embarrassed or uncomfortable talking about Jesus? Are you?
If I bring up Jesus too much for any reason it seems I turn others away. I find more and more people avoiding me. Friendships never have a chance to develop.
Text messages end. Letters I write go unresponded to. Phone conversations have dead air on the other side, “Are you there? Did I lose you?”
It is not that Jesus is all I talk about, it is just that when I see a good opportunity to bring him into a conversation, I am not shy about it.
Dear LORD, please change hearts and minds towards you. Help us to not be ashamed of the gospel. Send people of courage to tell those lost about Jesus and to encourage their brothers and sisters in the Lord. Don’t let me turn my back on you. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
“ He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.” (Isaiah 53:3)