Summary: We are not microwave cooks! We do not bring about “instant” Christians! We merely mix ingredients, and share receipts. In other words…We share the Gospel!
Happy “Speak-Up” Weekend, Everyone!
Amos, an Old Testament book that we don’t spend much time in is where we will be studying this Sunday. Amos is called one of the “lesser” books of the Bible, not because it’s less important, but because it’s smaller. Amos, like Hosea, Joel, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, etc. are just as powerful and just as prophetic as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.
The focus this week is that there are times when we speak for God that we get accused of being insensitive, accusatory, and exclusive. That’s what happened to Amos, by Amaziah, the priest of Bethel. So when this happens to us how do we respond? Well, for one, Amos took no credit for the prophecy. He humbled himself to the accusers and didn’t fight back. Amos explained that God took him as he was and gave him a mission to fulfill.
The scary part is that at times the hearer doesn’t care where the “Word” comes from. If they don’t like what they hear, the messenger pays the price!
Do you remember the last few lessons? The mission was to proclaim God’s Word, no matter what. That often times got the messenger cast out, or beaten and/or thrown in prison. Sooooooooooooooooooooooo, what are you and I called to do? Well, chances are that in America, we won’t be killed for our faith, but it’s possible. In other countries around the world that is the “norm.”
What scripture can be our guide when we run into these types of situations? Well friends, the Apostle Peter is a good place to start. Peter was a tough ole’ bird but he also was wise with the wisdom of God by the Holy Spirit.
Peters says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” Peter taught that we “must do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)
Friends, it is important that when we are getting backlash because we are trying to witness to someone, because we care about their soul, we need to remember that even though it may feel like it, they are not rejecting our words, they are rejecting God’s Words and God’s gift of freedom from sin and eternal life. Here is what you and I need to remember when we are rejected when trying to witness to someone. We are not microwave cooks! We do not bring about “instant” Christians! We merely mix ingredients, and share receipts. In other words…We share the Gospel!
Beloved, you and I aren’t evaluated on “how many” we bring to Christ. We are evaluated, more so, on whether or not we try. Our faith is in our God, not ourselves. You and I were once lost but now are found. Let’s give others the same opportunity by doing the Lord’s work. Don’t be afraid to speak up for Jesus. Amen!