But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. Acts 9:15
Hello readers. Welcome to my heart. Let's begin.
First of all, this story cracks me up. God has always been interesting in who He chooses to use. Like in this story in Acts, God chose a murderer of people proclaiming His name to proclaim His name. Hahaha. That would be a person known to be killing Americans is now the president of the United States. But, that's not the focal of this blog. Here's my thought for this blog.
How would our lives change if we walked around wearing a T-Shirt that said, "I am a follower of Jesus Christ"?
What kind of convictions would we carry around with us if we wore a shirt like that? Where would we go? How would we talk? How would we react? What would we say?
During 21 Days of Prayer at my church, I've had a lot of different issues to sort through and pray about. The most recent and a continual prayer has been me asking the Lord to help me with sharing my faith more. So one morning, I was praying about this specific topic and the church was playing Christy Nockles "Carry Your Name", and I felt the Holy Spirit speak to me and say, "Son, just carry My name". And this rushing illustration exploded in my mind.
Son, carry My name. Since your sins are hidden in Me, (Colossians 3:3) let your identity be Me. Wear Me on your chest, in public and in private. Around your friends and strangers. Believers and non-believers. BE ME. REFLECT ME. You have died to yourself, (Galatians 2:20) so don't carry your identity, carry Mine.
I had this thought. I've consistently heard from a lot of Christians that they're idea of evangelism is better when a relationship is formed first. Now, there is truth to this, but it's not the only way to evangelize. It cannot be the only way we evangelize. And I'm slowly beginning to notice that this relationship thing can be a justified sellout response. Here's why I feel that way.
I think we take pride in our own ability to love someone. We can love a stranger and share the love of myself, but refrain from sharing the love of Christ?
Who are you?
Are you not just a wicked sinner with an inherited rebellious sinful nature that always and consistently pulls you back towards your own selfish motives and agenda? With your corrupted heart and sinful ways and desires, you can love someone? Is your love not conditional? This stranger hasn't offended you yet, so yeah, it's easy to love a stranger. It's easy to love a homeless person, because a part of you knows that they will be grateful for your kind gesture. But what if they're not? Where is your love then? Will it still be there?
I don't doubt that you can love someone on your own ability, I'm just saying that your love is no where compared to God's love. Because most of the time your love is very conditionally. Let that one person pull out in front of you on the highway, where is that "love for people?"
All I'm asking mainly is do we actually carry Jesus's name everywhere with us? Would it be a little bit more convicting if you had a shirt that confessed for you who you were? There was no way to hide your faith, could you carry Jesus's name? And I'm not saying run around and throw Jesus in people's faces, because scriptures point to the us loving our neighbors as ourselves.
So, my thoughts, and I haven't fully figured this thing out yet, is that we must figure out this balance of loving people with the love God gave us. And recognizing that it's God given gift to us, so us hiding it could possibly be us holding back something God wants to do in the persons life---because again our love is very conditionally.
This is the only way a husband is able to love his wife like Christ loves the church, (Ephesians 5:25). He is unable to do it on his own strength, so he will have to rely on Christ to love his wife through him. So I believe if we tapped into this recognition or dependency on God to love for us, we could do it how He is calling for us to.
So, let's carry Jesus's name, not ours. Let's love how Christ loves, by letting Him love through us. Let's reflect Him, present Him to others, not ourselves.