February 14, 2023
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16, NIV).
He sat across from me and had time to chat while I was ordering some complex treatment for him, a part-time pastor with theology as good as a ThD professor. We were talking about how much the world needs Jesus.
He shared, “I was down having my blood drawn yesterday so I asked my phlebotomist if she was a Christian. She was, so I asked her, ‘Can you say Jesus?’ She whispered, ‘Jesus.’ I said, ‘I can’t hear you.’ She responded, ‘I can say it, but do I have to say it out loud?’ ‘Are you ashamed of your Lord and Savior?’ he followed. ‘I know you can say Jesus on the inside, but I need to hear it on the outside.’”
He was smiling at her discomfort when he told me the story.
Can you say the name “Jesus” out loud when there’s no church friend around?
Today I missed so many chances to speak the name of Jesus. The closest I got with the residents I teach was to describe to them how we are so intricately designed. I did get to chat about our Lord with a few patients who love Him, and that’s wonderful, but it’s short of the mark in bringing a stranger home to the Father. As Oswald Chambers wrote:
“The subject matter of missions is the Life and Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ for one purpose—‘that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations.’”
We are all “on mission.” I know some of us plant, some water and some harvest (1 Corinthians 3:6). I am not the Master who assigns the task or the Creator who makes the seed grow. Yet, I would and should desire the greater gift (1 Corinthians 12:31). I do desire to speak the name of Jesus to those for whom I am responsible.
I will pray each day as I leave for work that I will speak His name this day to someone who doesn’t know Him, and I will trust Him that He will work in me to will and to act according to His good purpose (Philippians 2:13);
I will delight myself in the Lord (Psalm 37:4) throughout my hectic day;
I will not be ashamed of the gospel; and, if God loosens my tongue,
I will achieve the desire of my heart (Psalm 37:4) and speak the name of Jesus to someone who needs to meet Him—speak it on the outside, loud enough to be heard.
More of you from my lips, please.
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