Do you give voice to your faith? Do you actually speak up to attest to the fact that you trust in God? Or do you stay silent when the opportunity presents itself, fearful of giving yourself away as religious? In our ever-increasingly hostile-to-Christianity environment it may seem odd to mention God in a typical secular situation in anything but a blasphemous context. But it is exactly this kind of vocalization of our faith that honors Him and reminds those we’re with that God is, and that there are still people who believe in Him.
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” (Hebrews 13:15 NIV)
Our culture is increasingly secular–so much so that it seems strange to mention the words “God,” “Jesus,” or “Christ” aloud in many social situations; it just isn’t typically done. About the only times our culture utters these words is as an expletive. Sadly enough though, you can talk about almost anything else–you can even get away with discussing generalities about religion in very non-specific terms–but say something of substance that identifies you as one of “those” kinds of people and you’re pegged.
Yet Jesus Christ–our Savior and heavenly Boss–wants us to get pegged. He wants us to speak up–about Him, about what is true and right and good, about the fact that He exists, and is in charge and very much worthy of the utmost honor, obedience and reverence from us. And, He wants it to come from me. When I might be embarrassed.
And while I’m on the subject of possibly being embarrassed because someone may find out I trust in Him, here’s what Jesus Himself said about that:
“If anyone is ashamed of Me and My message [words, NKJV] in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38 NLT)
Yeah. I’m NOT ashamed to be associated with Jesus in front of sinful human beings.
“Context is everything” is one of the basic rules of correctly assessing any situation, and we need to recognize that our current world seems to be set to default to an ungodly perspective. When we listen to the news on tv or our car radio, when we scour the internet, when we read a book or watch a movie or attend a play–unless otherwise indicated, we must assume it comes from a place of rejecting God. Some years ago the opposite was true–most people went to church, so you could at least know they knew what God says–whether or not they personally obeyed. Now the reverse is true. And these are the people I’m embarrassed to confess Jesus to?!
I worked Saturday. I’m not a perfect person and my attitude isn’t always either, sadly. I was late, and missed out on a couple of customers, so when I finally got to work with a customer but couldn’t take the actual sale because another associate had gotten them first, in declining I muttered (honestly, I almost didn’t, but something seemed to prompt me to say it) “It’s okay; God will provide!”
I thought nothing more of it, but that day I ended up earning more than I had in a while. I came home to find a message from a customer that remembered me from months earlier who two days later bought twice my Saturday sales! God did indeed provide!!
I’m not saying I’ll have lots of sales every time I say, “God will provide,” but He is honored when those of us who claim to follow Him identify with Him publicly–when we “offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess His name.”
Help me continually “offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess…[Your] name.” Amen.