Can I tell you something for a minute?
I love Jesus.
I believe that Jesus died for my sins because He loves me. I believe he died for your sins and loves you too.
I believe God created the world. I believe I’m going to heaven. I believe I’m a sinner, and that there is right and wrong. I believe that God knows better than I do, and will work all things for my good because he loves me.
I believe in the Holy, inerrant, inspired Word of God, all of it! I don’t always understand every word I read, and sometimes I need guidance. But I’m not going to pick and choose what I want to believe in the bible based on my preferences.
Let me explain why I needed to tell you that.
I don’t mind talking about feeding hungry children, providing medical supplies and help for the sick, and serving and protecting the weak and hurting. In my conversations with the world I have no hesitation in advocating to end human trafficking. I talk about the importance of love, forgiveness, selflessness, and service.
I want to be someone who imitates Christ in my actions. I want to show that love that Christ showed while he lived among us.
The reason I just told you all of these things that I believe, that I love Jesus and believe he loves me too, is because too often I allow my actions to represent my faith, but skimp on the words.
I talk about showing love in this world, but I don’t talk enough about Jesus.
When I talk about love, helping & healing, I’m not going to run into a whole lot of opposition. No one is going to question my intelligence or call me bigoted when I make a donation after a natural disaster or for a humanitarian cause. No one will feel especially uncomfortable or judged around me if I go out of my way to help someone who needs it.
But I don’t often talk about Jesus when I’m doing those things. I need to.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
It is with your mouth!! We are called to proclaim the gospel, and that is impossible to do without speaking the name “Jesus”!!
It is essential to our calling as Christians that we both imitate Christ in our actions and speak of his great love with our lips. We need to say the name of Jesus over and over and over again in our lives.
When we only imitate Christ in our actions and never speak about him with our words, we are are not doing what the bible tells us to do. If someone trips and falls on the wide and worldly path, it’s all well and good to help him up and treat his wounds, but if you never tell him about the narrow path of righteousness, he’ll continue on the wide path which leads directly to hell. If someone you knew was diagnosed with a disease that you knew promised absolute agony, pain and misery, wouldn't you make absolutely sure they knew the name of the one doctor who could cure it? If they knew you genuinely believed that misery was in their future that they might appreciate your intentions in passing that doctor's name along? Hell is a very real place! If we want to keep people out of it, we need to speak the name of Jesus!
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
While not discounting the power of the Holy Spirit, and not being held personally accountable for any one person’s faith, we need to find more opportunities to speak about Jesus Christ and what he has done for all people.
We need to say “Jesus” out loud every day. We need to have those awkward conversations. We need to accept that, in this world, we are not meant to win popularity contests. We are here to face the persecution that comes along with being a purchased and won redeemed child of God, fighting for souls, and destined for an eternity of perfection. So, go and say “Jesus” out loud and often.