Godly Silence

Mark 15:5 (NLT)  But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise.

There is wisdom in silence. Our Lord Jesus, in the middle of unjust arrest and very phony trial, in the middle of much insults, false accusations, and horrible persecutions, spoke very little. He didn’t find it a need to justify Himself in front of an already prejudiced Mark 15.5 - Godly Silencecrowd. He knew truth didn’t matter to them; truth wouldn’t have changed their minds. Besides, He knew His mission; He knew He had to die. Extreme persecutions and excruciating torture may not have been necessary, but He welcomed them anyway.

Even while on the cross, people turned on Him, tempting Him, even challenging Him to perform a miracle to save Himself. Our Lord Jesus could have just easily spoken a word and immediately escaped death. But that could have caused the hostile crowd to have a sudden change of conviction and forcibly crowned Him as Messiah and king. That would have derailed the very mission He came to accomplish. He came to serve. He came to give His life as a ransom payment for our sins.

We don’t always have to speak up. It is not always necessary to defend ourselves. It is wise to speak up only when it matters, only when it makes a difference. It isn’t necessary for us to convince everyone. The pleasure of all is never our aim; we are not called to be liked by everyone. We have a mission to fulfill, a destiny to pursue, and there are those who disagree with us. They stand on our way; they try to oppose us, stop us, silence us, and even destroy us. It doesn’t matter; as long as we are on God’s side, we are on the right track. When our dear God is pleased, we’re pleased.

We are not advocating complete silence, passivity, and inaction. There is a time to speak, but there is also time to keep quiet. Our very task of declaring the Gospel requires speech. We need to lovingly and passionately persuade people with the Good News, but we also recognize the Holy Spirit’s voice when He impresses in our hearts enough is enough–when the time has come for silence to be the best option.

We speak with wisdom. When it’s beneficial, we speak. When it edifies others, we speak. When it gives God glory, we speak; otherwise, we say nothing. And silence can be the godliest thing we do.

Tell it, Saints

 

Psalm 107.2 - Tell it, SaintsPsalm 107:2   (KJV)   2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy

For us who truly follow our Lord, if we don’t speak about Him, there’s a continuing stirring in us that keeps on growing; we feel like volcanoes ready to erupt; we need to let it out. It’s our loving passion to speak of Him, the marvelous things He’s done, the amazing benefits we’ve enjoyed because of everything He’s done and everything He’s still doing. God has lovingly redeemed us; we want to shout it from the housetops and tell the world about it. But then again, that can be received as a curse instead of a blessing; we wisely live out our zeal.

God has done so much; it almost feels like it’s a crime for us to selfishly or cowardly keep the Good News to ourselves. Good News, especially if it benefits everyone ought to be heard by everyone. God repeatedly rescues us from trouble and distress. He heals us and snatches us from jaws of death. We cry out for help; He hears and helps. We experience His very present love—everytime, everywhere. He identifies with us though He doesn’t need to. In the middle of suffering desperate hopelessness, He also suffered—horribly.

We speak of His goodness; we will continue to. We speak of His Good News; we speak of His loving-kindness. Everyone ought to experience life of abundance, lying in green pastures, led beside still waters, playing in a peaceful valley, restored and rested. We speak of life with God as our Father, our Redeemer, our Master. He’s incomparable; no One else exists like Him. In Him, there is no condemnation; we won’t be shamed. There’s no greater joy, no greater blessing, no greater cause, no greater topic… He is and will be the fruit of our lips.

Work and Rest

Mark‬ ‭6:31‬   (KJV‬‬)   And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

Work well; rest well.

God cares for us–His workers, as much as He cares for the people; His workers–we, are not just a part of the people; we are His people.

To work is godly; to rest is as godly. We don’t feel guilty when we rest as long as we are faithful in our work.

There’s a big difference between resting from labor and resting without labor; the latter is simply laziness.

There Will be Believers

Acts 17:32-34  (KJV)   32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. 33 So Paul departed from among them. 34 Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Paul preached. There were three distinct reactions. 1. Some mocked. 2. Others wanted to check it out further. 3. Some believed. Those who believed took the initiative of joining Paul and other believers. These believers included both men and women.

People are different. Their hearts are are different, their mindset are different, their decisions are different. It will be so cool if everyone believes every time we preach – way cool. But In as much as we desire everyone to believe the Gospel and be saved, we can expect that this will not be so. We can categorize people’s reactions the same way Paul’s audiences reacted to him. Some will be hostile; some will be half convinced; some will believe. It’s interesting to note that the results at times surprise us. Those who we thought will be angry, in some “mysterious” ways, very willingly surrender their lives to Christ. Those we thought are perfectly ripe for harvest suddenly display surprising outbursts of extreme disapproval to the Gospel message. What’s beautiful about spreading the Good News though is that we can have the right result every time. I’m not referring to the responses – that will always be the same until preaching is no longer needed; I’m referring to the preaching itself. Whether we preach or not is not dependent upon others. We can preach whether they accept or abhor the Message. Whether we succeed to preach or not is totally dependent upon us. It’s our choice. So, preach away, knowing that there will be believers. By the way, for those of us who’ve been looking for the “magic bullet” of growing a church, this is a very effective start: preach. Again, there will be believers.

Dear Lord of the Harvest, Our Message, thank You that our faithfulness in sharing or preaching the Good News is not determined by other people. We pray for love, truthfulness, wisdom, gentleness, and boldness as we go out and preach Your Gospel. Thank you Lord because we can join you in the joy of the harvest.

 

Dangerous Disbelief

Acts 13:41  (KJV)   41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.

These were Apostle Paul’s words. He preached the Good News of salvation to his audience. It was a very clear message showing that Jesus was the Messiah who was spoken of in the Scriptures. He would come, He would die, and He would rise again. Paul repeatedly showed them that Jesus was the fulfillment of very specific prophecies about the Messiah and that Jesus’ experiences fit those prophecies perfectly. And then he encouraged and cautioned them to be careful and to avoid missing out on this eternity-changing truth.

There are people in the world who just won’t believe the truth. It’s not that they haven’t heard; it’s not that they don’t know; it’s just that they won’t believe. They have positioned themselves against God. They have sufficient proofs, but no convincing evidence is enough for those who have convinced themselves that no evidence is convincing enough. They are more concerned about how to discredit anything that has to do with God, to arrogantly mock God and those who believe in God, and to rally others to share in their obstinacy. But let’s beware. The greatest shock of their lives will come. By then it will be too late. Their disbelief in the truth doesn’t make truth untrue. Just because they didn’t believe in God here on earth doesn’t mean they won’t believe in God after “earth.” Just because they don’t think God exists doesn’t mean God stops existing. Just because they don’t believe in the final judgment doesn’t mean God stops judging. There are more than sufficient proofs. That’s why there are thoroughly convinced believers. Yes, there are blind followers, and that’s not right either. But there are those who have found that critically important intersection of faith and reason. Instead of being consumed with trying to defend our position and attacking those who believe differently, let’s us openly and humbly believe, live out, teach, and keep pursuing truth.

Dear God, You are Truth. We pray that there’s where our growth will be. Help us to not be arrogantly immovable in our beliefs when there’s a possibility that we may be wrong. Help us to be always willing to surrender our erroneous doctrines. But that will require us to be willing to accept that we may be wrong. Help us to humbly admit the reality of our imperfections – even in interpretations. As we keep desiring, adjusting to, and aligning ourselves to the truth, we’ll find ourselves in the right place and in the right track. Thank You for leaving us Your Word and Your Spirit to guide us into all truth, in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Children of Peace

Luke 10:6  (KJV)   And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

In sending His disciples out to minister, Jesus gave them very important instructions. The instructions were very specific; some were challenging; some were comforting. One of them was to lift the often daunting and unproductive burden of convincing those unwilling to accept the Good News they were bringing. There will be sons of peace. There were people who will accept them and support them; they were to stay with them, work with them and share the blessings with them. There were those who weren’t. There were people who will reject them and/or the Gospel; they were not to force them.

Man and women of peace – they are people who have peace with God and who have the peace of God, or are about to have them; they will have peace with us. We gloriously share the same God, the same experience, the same purpose. They’re saved, or are being saved and will be saved. They will naturally and joyfully receive us and the precious message we bear. They’re the ones we need to diligently work with, to willingly invest time and energy with. Our task with them will be surprisingly easy. Although we’re called to present the Gospel to everyone, we’re not cruelly tasked with the unnecessary burden of trying to convince the close-minded and hardhearted. Time is short; Jesus will come back – maybe very soon; the harvest is plentiful; there are multitudes waiting and ripe to be harvested unto salvation. Let’s figure out who they are and work on them – these sons and daughters of peace.

Dear Lord of the harvest, please help us to go into the harvest field with enthusiasm and wisdom. Lead our paths to the sons and daughters of peace.