Why is it that we are afraid to speak the word of God? Let's face it; a good many of us are. There have been numerous times in my own life when I was afraid to speak the word of God in a situation. I believe that there are many things bringing on this fear: Speaking in error is one. What if we have it wrong? What if we say something that's going to get us shot down? Then we could be afraid of ridicule. What if after we have spoken the word of God that we get made fun of or laughed at? Perhaps we're afraid that after we have spoken the word and revealed our hearts that others will think us to be crazy or fanatical.
Certainly all of these are valid points that could happen. I've been there. Conversations would arise at work or in some other atmosphere during which someone would ask a question that I knew the spiritual answer to. During those times I would shrink back and suppress what I knew to be truth.
In high school I was considered a freak. I never cursed, I didn't go out with the guys on the weekend on an illegal drinking binge (I really never figured out how all those under-aged guys seemed to have all they wanted to drink), and I didn't smoke pot or try drugs. And, after coming to the Lord, I refused to fight. Because of this, together with my small skinny frame, I got picked on a lot. You'd think that since I was the freak anyway that to speak the word of God would be no big deal. But I was always hopeful that somehow I'd fit in; some way I would be accepted as part of the gang. Instead, one particular boy took it upon himself to pick on me the most. In a certain class he sat directly behind me. He'd catch the teacher not looking and reach up and thump me on the back of the head by flipping his thumb. It hurt slightly but mostly it was annoying. He was trying to get me to lose my temper and sometimes it worked. When it did he'd howl as quietly as he could with laughter.
One day he was unusually quiet. At first I thought that perhaps he hadn't come to school that day, but when I looked back he was sitting in his seat with his head down. I learned that the boy lived with his grandmother and she had become sick. He looked up at me and asked me to pray for her. I told him that I would and an immediate opportunity sprang forth for me to share just a little from the word of God. I was afraid. But this time I swallowed hard and shared with him. He appreciated it and I don't recall him picking on me again from that day forth.
It's funny how a little persecution can go a long way in helping us to speak the word of God. Paul wrote to the Philippians, "and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear" (Philippians 1:14
). At the time Paul was in a Roman prison. You'd think the exact opposite would happen. The world believed that if the Christians were persecuted and put to death that it would cause the others to shrink back in fear. Instead it somehow made them bolder. They spoke the word with more confidence.
It happened that way with the early Church. They had concentrated themselves in Jerusalem and the surrounding area. After heavy persecution arose the Bible tells us in the Book of Acts that they fled to many other countries around the region in order to escape the persecution. It led to great revivals and an even greater increase in the Church.
To be a successful Christian we must be committed. We've talked about participating in the purpose and knowing that to live is Christ and to die is gain. Another aspect of our commitment is speaking the word of God. Even if it comes as a result of persecution, we must speak the word of God. Why? Because in it is the word of life and it will bring truth, healing, and light to those who hear it. Perhaps not all; there will always be some who mock and ridicule the word of God. It's funny how the word of God will always be the solution. I watched the movie "2012." In it they spoke of several ancient civilizations that had prophecies of the end of the world. Then they mentioned that the Bible talked of this too but they said it was a more awkward account of the end-time events. However, when it came right down to it, the only way they could escape the floods of the great tsunamis that swept the world was to build three arks modern versions of that of Noah. They even took animals aboard. Funny isn't it that the world can think so little of the word of God yet wind up using it as their savior? But then, the word of God contains the words of life. When we speak it we are granting an opportunity to others to experience true life. Speak the word; you'll be glad you did. Jerry D. Ousley is the Author of five books, "Soul Challenge", "Soul Journey" "Ordeal" "The Spirit Bread Daily Devotional" and his first novel "The Shoe Tree." Find out more by visitingwww.spiritbread.com
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