walk in the word
But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ. (Acts 9:22, esv)
How strong do you feel today? How strong in the Lord? How strong in your faith?
What if I told you of a way you could be spiritually strengthened before the week is out, maybe before this day is out—only by doing one thing?
Here, let me prove it.“If you’re not speaking up unashamedly for Christ, you’re passing up a power source that can do wonders for your confidence in Him.” Click To Tweet
When Saul was still a new convert to Christianity—more than three chapters before being known by a new name (Paul)—the Bible mentions something he did “immediately” after bouncing back from the trauma of his Damascus Road experience and the sudden blindness that followed. “For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. And immediately”—notice again, immediately—“he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogue, saying, ‘He is the Son of God.’” (Acts 9:19b–20). He hadn’t yet done anything after being baptized except to start eating again, which the Bible says “strengthened” him a little (verse 19a). But as soon as he started speaking up about Jesus to other people, he “increased all the more in strength.” There was no stopping him after that.
A lot of things become true of a person once he or she becomes a follower of Christ. We live with a new purpose. We answer to a new Boss. But Saul’s experience shows us something else: he’d been given a new message. And in the process of sharing it, strength came roaring through his body, even more than when he’d added solid food back into his diet.
Speaking to others about the Lord is a true strength-inducer.
I realize, of course, I’m a preacher. Speaking is what I do for a living. But when I say we’ve been given a new message as believers, I’m not talking primarily about preaching. The moments that strengthen my heart the most come from simply talking about Christ with a person at the store, or in our neighborhood, or even with a stranger on an airplane. Every step forward in my relationship with Him has always involved taking a step of speaking out about Him. When I look back on times of real growth in my life, this is the common thread: deliberately taking His message into the lives of others.
Listen, there’s a lot to be said for setting a good example, for following in His steps, for living out the integrity of your testimony. All fine, all good. But the gospel message is something He intends for us to verbalize. If you’re not in the habit of communicating your love for Jesus and speaking up unashamedly for Christ, you’re passing up a power source that can do wonders for your confidence in Him.
If you speak up for Jesus where you work this week, you will feel His strength infusing into you. If you talk about Him in conversation with a friend or neighbor or at home with your children and spouse and family, you will feel your faith growing stronger in the afterglow.
Saul/Paul didn’t go around making small talk. Nor did he try engaging with people in subtle, understated ways, staying as unobtrusive as possible. The first thing he did—“immediately”—was to open his mouth and talk about this message God had given him, the message He’s given all of us.
It may sound hard, but try it by faith and watch your strength increase.
Lord, You’ve done something incredible in me—redeeming me, changing me. Sometimes I let everyday life mute the enormity of it, but Your grace and love toward me is beyond amazing. How can I be content not speaking of it to others? You put me in situations all the time where Your Spirit is ready to touch people’s lives, if only I’ll speak up for what I know to be true. Open my heart anew to Your Word, and open my mouth to share Your message, in the mighty name of Jesus, amen.
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