“I like your shirt.” “Thank you, we should witness to all we can, as often as we can, however we can.” “I try my best.”
That was the very short conversation I had yesterday in the marketplace with a woman who read the words on a shirt I was wearing, one of the shirts I own that profess Christ as Lord by the words written on it. Perhaps that women was busy, perhaps she had something more pressing on her mind, but here words perplexed me, one would think that when the rare occasion arrives when we meet someone in public who serves the Lord, which is indeed a very rare thing shown publicly these days, that they would want to engage at least for a short time in a conversation about Him whom we say we serve.
Perhaps she had just spent several minutes in the last aisle doing just that, I cannot say, perhaps she is anxious and unsettled about speaking of the Lord in public to a stranger, I cannot judge in this situation, for I do not have enough information.
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) I make it a point to wear one of those shirts each time my lovely wife and I go someplace, it not only exemplifies the fact of who I serve, but offers an opportunity for those who happen to read what is on them to speak their mind about what is written on them, either in a positive or negative light, though I must admit I can recall no one yet attempting to do the latter. I fear that is why many who serve the Lord do not speak of Him openly in public places to strangers, not only will they find it necessary to defend their faith they claim to have, but will draw undesired attention to themselves, when in fact it is Christ they should be attempting to draw others to.
“Go ye to church once a week, listen to the sermon, and you will be my servant” is not a verse I can find in my Bible.
“Never speak of me to others and the sacrifice I paid for all mankind, and then tell me in your heart how much you love me” is not in the Word of God anywhere either.
“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God,” (Romans 14:12) is, and so is “Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.” (Psalm 62:12)
Far too many who profess Christ seem to think that they will be judged by what is in their heart, but I ask you this, if the heart is not openly shown to others, what judgment do you expect to receive. “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matt. 7:22) “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” (Matt. 15:19)
Feeling good about Jesus with no actions, words or deeds to validate those feelings to others does not a Christian make, nor do works done in an attempt to prove those feelings to others. A love for Jesus Christ done solely for the glory of God does, and those words, deeds and actions done by the Holy Spirit through us with only a love for Him who gave all for us will.
It is not our “second nature” to witness to others, it is our first, it is life to us, it is how we show those we meet not who we serve, but who all serve, whether they will accept and acknowledge that fact or not. “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Eze. 18:4)
Maybe she was just in a hurry, maybe she had a prior obligation to attend and was in a rush to get to it, but I ask you this, one minute compared to a lifetime, how long is that, what percentage can you give to it? On your day of accounting, you may be shown how many minutes you lived, and how many minutes of that life was spent in reaching out to others for the glory of God. I hope you have better words in mind to say to the Almighty than “I tried my best.”