Think of a time when you had something amazing happen to you. How hard was it to keep it in? It probably felt like you were going to burst if you didn’t tell someone. Depending on the news, you may have had an order in which you wanted to tell people or you could have just told everyone you ran into. Good news has that effect on us. We want to proclaim it from the rooftops. We should feel the same way about the Good News of the Bible as well. The Great Commission applies to each one of us as individuals. We’re to proclaim the goodness of God wherever we go, telling everyone we meet. If God has made a difference in your life, don’t be afraid to let someone know. After all, it’s the greatest news there is.
Here are some Bible verses on proclaiming what God has done.
1. I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words.
Psalms 71:15 NLT
2. Proclaim the Word of God and stand upon it no matter what! Rise to the occasion and preach when it is convenient and when it is not. Preach in the full expression of the Holy Spirit —with wisdom and patience as you instruct and teach the people.
2 Timothy 4:2 TPT
3. But how can people call on him for help if they’ve not yet believed? And how can they believe in one they’ve not yet heard of? And how can they hear the message of life if there is no one there to proclaim it?
Romans 10:14 TPT
4. Give thanks to the Lord, proclaim his greatness; tell the nations what he has done.
1 Chronicles 16:8 GNT
5. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.
In Genesis 21, Abraham had been living in the Promised Land as a foreigner for a while. After he made a treaty with Abimelech, verse 33 says, “Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he worshiped the LORD, the Eternal God” (NLT). I don’t know if Abimelech was there for the planting or if it was just a sign to God, but it was no coincidence that he planted a tamarisk tree given the promise God had made to him about that land.
According to nps.gov, the tamarisk tree is an invasive tree that spreads rapidly. It has the ability to survive in harsh conditions. It is very adaptable to whatever conditions it faces. I can’t think of a better tree that depicts the Israelites and God’s plan for them. God had given them that land, and Abraham had been given the promise that he would have as many descendants as there were stars. His family would flourish and spread throughout that region one day.
The tree is also representative of how we as Christians are to be. God did not plant us where we are in order to be quiet about our faith. He expects us to advance the Gospel rapidly, even in the harsh conditions we live in today. In Mark 16:15, Jesus told us, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” He wanted us to be invasive with His message. It has never been about waiting for someone to come to you with questions about your faith. It has always been about us being proactive.
The tamarisk tree is also a survivor. It adapts to be able to thrive in the harshest conditions. Throughout history, it’s been in the harshest conditions that the Gospel has spread the most. With the social pressures and unfriendly conditions towards Christianity that we face today, you can expect that the Gospel is about to spread rapidly once again. We must be adaptable in the face of such pressure instead of allowing it to shut us down. As history begins to repeat itself, we need to be prepared for another Great Awakening.
Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.
When I was a teenager in the late 80’s, our youth pastor showed us a movie called “Without Reservation”. It started with some high schoolers at a party, but then several of them left together. The ones who left had an accident and were killed. They woke up in the car with a large TV screen in front of them that revealed they had died, and then it began showing video of a line of people. Some were asked to go to the left if they didn’t have a reservation, and the ones who did were sent to the right. One kid in the car was a Christian and began explaining what was happening. One kid was in disbelief, another agreed with him because she had heard about it, but never accepted Jesus. A third looked at the Christian and asked, “If you knew about this, why didn’t you ever tell me?”
That movie made an impact on me as a teen, especially that question. Evangelism and sharing our faith is one of the hardest things to do for most Christians. We are afraid of rejection, afraid we don’t know what to say or afraid of what they’ll think of us. Sharing our faith isn’t easy, but in most cases, it isn’t going to cost you your life. We’ve grown comfortable with letting our fear dictate our actions as we prevent people from having the opportunity to accept Jesus. In essence, we’re keeping people out of Heaven by not asking them to make a decision. Can you imagine a friend or family member looking at you after you’ve passed away asking you why you never gave them the opportunity? “I was afraid of what you would think of me,” isn’t a great answer at that point.
Mark 10:13 says, “The parents kept bringing their little children to Jesus so that he would lay his hands on them and bless them. But the disciples kept rebuking and scolding the people for doing it” (TPT). The disciples were guilty of preventing people from coming to Jesus too. When Jesus saw that they were keeping these parents and children away from Him, He rebuked them. Each of us are keeping people from Jesus like the disciples did that day when we keep our faith private and don’t share it. We can’t afford to do that. I pray we all will receive boldness to push past our fear and be willing to share our faith to those around us. Paul’s prayer in Philemon 1:6 says, “I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective and powerful because of your accurate knowledge of every good thing which is ours in Christ” (AMP). Let’s be effective and powerful in the sharing of our faith rather than quietly keeping it to ourselves.
When I was younger, I thought I was Holy and pure. Looking back, I can see it was a lot of self righteousness. I was full of myself which meant there was not much room for Jesus in my life. You see the more there is of me in my life, the less there is of Him. The less there is of me, the more there is of Him, and that corresponds to how much grace I give as well. We live in a world that desperately needs grace, but many of us can’t give it because there’s not much grace in us to give. It’s time for us to rise up, be vocal about the Jesus who lives inside of us, but because of where society is, we back down.
I believe we stay quiet because we are afraid of how we will be attacked by others for our beliefs. 1 Peter 5:8 says that devil roams around like a roaring lion. He isolates us, pretending to be a lion, making us think we will be devoured, but what we forget is that we have the Lion of Judah on our side. He is our protector, our defender and the one whom we should get courage from in today’s world. If He is for us, who can be against us? Yet, even though He is standing with us, we fear what the world will do, so we stay silent.
Psalm 59:16 says, “But I will sing about your strength; every morning I will sing aloud of your constant love. You have been a refuge for me, a shelter in my time of trouble” (GNT). It’s time for us to not be afraid to show the love and grace of Jesus to others. It’s time for us to be free to speak about our faith. The more we love Jesus, the more we should love others. That love should be overflowing from our lives and spilling on to those we come in contact with. If we want the world to change, we need to be showing and sharing His love because it covers a multitude of sins. We can’t be stingy anymore with His love and we can’t stay silent because of our fear of today’s society. We must break out of the silence that society has forced us into, speak out for what’s right, give grace freely and live out loud.
In Mark 4, Jesus and the disciples got in a boat and headed for shore on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. On the way, Jesus took a nap to recover from ministering all day. While they were somewhere in the middle, a storm arose and threatened to sink the ship. The disciples woke Jesus up because they were afraid they’d capsize. Jesus then rebuked the winds and waves and the storm calmed down. That’s pretty cool, but it’s the rest of the story I want to look at today.
They later arrived in the town they were headed to. A madman came running to Jesus, bowed down, but then the legion of demons in him took over. Jesus cast them out into a heard of pigs, who then ran off a cliff and drowned. The man, in his right mind, then asked to follow Jesus, but was turned down. In Mark 5:19, Jesus said, “Go home to your own people. Tell them your story—what the Master did, how he had mercy on you” (MSG).
I love the fact that Jesus crossed over the Sea just God this one man. He knew where He was going and what He needed to do. The storm arose to try to stop Him, but His love compelled Him to calm the storm and keep going. Then, once the man was free, Jesus sent him out to tell his story. There’s no telling how many became believers because of this man’s obedience to tell others how he’d been set free.
If you’re a believer, you’ve been set free and have a story to tell. Only you can tell that story with the greatest impact. You have friends and family that need to hear it so they can find their salvation. Our mission is not to quietly follow Jesus. It’s to go to those we know and have a relationship with (your own people), and to tell our story. You may encounter storms that try to stop you, but keep going. Eternity hangs in the balance for them, and your story could be what they need to hear to find salvation.
Whenever we take teams to Haiti, on the first day, we ask them to keep their eyes open for Jesus. Each night after that, we ask the question, “Where did you see Jesus today?” I look forward each day to hearing where team members saw Him. He’s often found in small gestures from people that normally go unnoticed. I’ve found when you’re looking for Him, you find Him every day. For many of us, we are so caught up in life, that we forget to look for Jesus. We are so blinded by the mundane that we can’t see the supernatural right in front of us.
When we don’t look for Jesus, we don’t find Him. We begin wonder where God is in the middle of our troubles. We then rationalize that He must not care, and then allow our minds to tell us that we are insignificant to God. When we feel insignificant and uncared for, we wonder if God even cares that we serve Him. Praise takes a backseat in our lives. Our daily walk becomes a crawl. Reading the Bible becomes a chore. Prayer becomes nonexistent. We weren’t made to live like that.
If we are going to change the end result of that cycle, we have to change the beginning. We have to start looking for God working in our lives each day. In Psalm 105:4, the psalmist wrote, “Keep your eyes open for God, watch for His works; be alert for signs of His presence” (MSG). He knew that when we look for God, we will be excited about the things He is doing in our lives and share it with others. When we share what God is doing, it helps them to know what to look for.
If we haven’t looked for Jesus, His works, or His presence, how will we know what to look for. Those who see Him need to share with others to help calibrate their eyesight into the supernatural. They may have been seeing Jesus all along, but haven’t known it was Him. Lives are changed, miracles are born, and hope is restored when we see the supernatural on a daily basis. If you haven’t been looking, open your eyes. If you have been looking, but haven’t seen Him, ask someone who has. God promises to be found by those who seek Him. When’s the last time you sought Him? It’s time to make it a daily habit.
If you’ve seen Him recently, please comment with where. Let’s hear your testimony.