We’ve all seen the tragic images after Puerto Rico took a one-two punch from Irma and then Maria. We have heard the numbers…The massive material loss, property damage, businesses, homes, and lives lost as 3.4 million people are without electricity or water. What if, among all of those truly horrific statistics, we also received the report of how many don’t know God...The people living and dying without knowing Christ. Imagine if, along with the count of the men, women, and children without electricity, water and shelter, the TV screen displayed the stats of those who are going through this and every other storm in their lives without Jesus.
I have spent many a vacation on that island between the Atlantic and the Caribbean. I think now how many times I sat in the now devastated homes of my family talking, taking selfies and playing board games and never asked, “Do you know Jesus?” And I am an evangelist! My parents are evangelists to their core. We just came back from Costa Rica where we saw 100 prisoners come to Christ because the eternal condition of people is on the top of our priority list. Still, how many times have I missed the perfect moment to speak up and make sure that the person God has placed right in front of me has a relationship with Him?
I’ll be real with you: I feel very convicted when I think of how we, as Christians, sit in church and are often more worried about how the person sitting next to us has offended us than we are about whether or not they’ll make it to Heaven with us. We have got to do better. We have just got to do better. We need a sense of urgency when it comes to reaching people for the Kingdom.
Are you praying for a loved one’s salvation? God is already preparing someone to cross their path who will share Christ with them. Just as important: God is preparing you to cross the path of someone else’s loved one so that you can share Christ with them. Be bold! You want someone to do it for the person you’re praying for, so speak up!
The enemy will do whatever he can to keep you silent. He will shine a spotlight on every speck of dust in your house if it means you will feel too messy to invite people in. He will remind you of your mistakes; he will tell you that you’re not a good enough communicator, he will cause you to worry about how they will respond to keep you from stepping up. Shut him down and Speak up! You are not responsible for their response. Say what needs sayin’ and let God take it from there.
Study Paul’s letters to Timothy. Timothy was full of fear and hesitant to speak up. (“God has not given us a spirit of fear…” was written to Timid Tim)
Father, Everyone needs to know You. Give me an awareness of the people You put in front of me. Motivate me with a sense of urgency to tell them about Your love and sacrifice. Show me where and when I can be a witness for You. Give me courage and help me to reject the lies and taunts of the enemy that would keep me from speaking up. Prepare the hearts of the people I will come across this week. Let the most important thing to You be the most important thing to me. In Jesus Name, Amen.
1. PRAY – Pray for God to give you a heart for the lost and an awareness of every opportunity.
2. PREPARE – Very often we don’t speak up because we don’t know what to say. It will boost your confidence if you feel prepared, so, at the risk of sounding cheesy…practice. Start by recalling how your life was before you came to know Christ; pinpoint what led to that crossroads moment, and, most importantly, how has your relationship with Jesus affected your life. So, when the opportunity presents itself, you have some basics to break the ice. The Holy Spirit will lead you.
3. POWER UP – Rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you and anoint every word. It’s the anointing that breaks the yoke and you are now in the business of setting the captives free!
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