Speak Up for Jesus!
Based on the writings of David Brandt Berg
As Christians who are seeking to please and serve the Lord, when we succeed in a task or accomplishment, what should our reaction be? Should we exalt ourselves like most people in the World do, and have the attitude of, “Oh, look what a great thing I did!–I’m just WONDERFUL, aren’t I?”–Or should our motivation and attitude be something other than mere pride and the desire to receive praise and esteem from others?
The answer really depends on whether we are doing GOD’S Will and serving HIM, or if we are doing your OWN will and serving our OWN interests. If we’ve given our heart and life to JESUS, and our desire is to please and serve HIM, then we will no doubt be looking to Him for help and guidance, and will therefore want to give HIM the thanks and credit when He helps us to succeed!
Like Peter did when the awestruck crowd gathered around him after the lame man was healed at the Temple one day. The Bible tells us, “All the people ran together unto Peter and John, greatly wondering. And when Peter saw it, he answered the people, `Oh, men of Israel, why do you marvel and stare upon US as though we by our own power or holiness have made this man walk? GOD has glorified His Son, JESUS, of Whom we are His witnesses! By faith in HIS name this man is now healed!” (Acts 3:11-16).
God’s Word tells us, “Let the redeemed of the Lord SAY so!” And, “You that make mention of the Lord, DON’T be SILENT!” (Psalm 102:7; Isaiah 62:6). The Lord wants and expects His children who know and love Him to SPEAK UP and let others know that HE is their God, their Strength, their Helper and their Saviour! So we shouldn’t be ashamed or afraid to let people know that we are the LORD’S, on HIS side, and that HE is the One we’re living for, and that HE is the One Who helps us to accomplish His Will! “For it is GOD which works IN us, to do His Own good pleasure!” (Philippians 2:13).
And if you constantly remind yourself and others that you are just a TOOL in the LORD’S hands, that HE is the only One Who can really accomplish anything, then HE will get all the glory for anything good that He does through you. And you will find that He will BLESS and USE you MORE than you ever have been before if you faithfully give HIM all the glory!
To truly accomplish God’s will and purpose, you must rely on the LORD’S help. To meet the challenges you face, you must know that REAL strength comes “not by your OWN might, nor by your OWN power, but by MY SPIRIT, says the Lord!” (Zechariah 4:6). But if WE try to take the credit and glory to ourSELVES, God will not be able to bless us nearly as much as He would like to.
The Bible tells us the story of King Herod, a pompous ruler who, “on the appointed day, wearing his royal robes, sat on the throne and delivered a public address to the people. After his oration, the people shouted, ‘This is the voice of a GOD, not of a man!’ Immediately”–the Bible says–“because Herod did NOT give PRAISE to GOD, an angel of the Lord struck him down and he was eaten by worms and died!” (Acts 12:21-23).
God did not kill Herod just because he made a great speech. In fact, God probably HELPED him to make that speech in the first place! But when he refused to give GOD the glory, and didn’t silence the people for giving HIM so much credit, but rather took it all to HIMSELF, God was very displeased and therefore smote him!–“Because he did not give the praise to GOD!”
How different is the story of the good kings, prophets and men of God throughout the Bible whom the Lord was able to mightily bless because they gave HIM all the credit and glory! A good example of this is David, who when he was just a young lad, boldly came before the enemies of his people and accepted Goliath’s challenge to confront him in battle.
Before engaging the giant, David loudly cried out to Goliath so that ALL would hear, “YOU come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a shield: But I come to you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied! This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand! And all these people who are gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the LORD’S, and HE will deliver you into our hands!” (1Sam.17:45-47). And the Lord did the miracle and enabled little David to triumph over the giant, and everyone KNEW that it was GOD’S doing, because David gave the LORD ALL the credit.–Even BEFORE Goliath was defeated!
If you really want God’s BLESSING and His help, be like David, and boldly declare not only what you’re against, but also what you are FOR!–That you are for JESUS and for GOD and HIS WILL! “The LORD is on my side! I will not fear what MAN can do unto me!” (Psalm 118:6).
In the Book of Acts, we find another good example of speaking up for the Lord and giving God the glory. The Apostles Peter and John prayed for a lame man who was then miraculously and instantly healed, & it says, “All the people ran together unto them greatly marvelling. But when Peter saw it, he rebuked the crowd and said, ‘Why do you look upon US as though WE by our OWN power or godliness have done this good deed? GOD has glorified His Son, JESUS, and by faith in HIS Name this deed has been done!'” (Acts 3:11,12).
God’s Word says, “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches. But let him that glories glory in THIS, that he understands and knows ME, that I am the LORD!” (Jeremiah 9:23,24).
If you really BELIEVE in something, or you really LIKE something or are excited about something, you’ll TALK about it, you’ll BOAST about it, you’ll GLORY in it! If you believe in your favourite athletic team, you’ll TALK about them! If you believe in your political party, you TALK about it! If you enjoy and believe in your work, you TALK about it! If you enjoy your leisure and your play, you TALK about that!–And if you really believe in JESUS, you’re going to talk about HIM! As Jesus said, “Out of the FULLNESS of the HEART, the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34).
This doesn’t mean that you have to become a learned theologian, priest, preacher or minister of some organised religious organisation. In fact, you can glorify the Lord WHEREVER you go just by acknowledging and mentioning the Lord and His Love and not being ashamed or afraid to speak His Word and His Truth to others.
By simply saying, “Thank God!” when things are going well, you are giving God the glory and it is a witness to those who hear you! Every time you say, “Thank the Lord!”, you are giving GOD the credit and being a faithful witness. Even if you only say, “God bless you!” to others, you are reminding them of the Lord.
But if you feel somewhat uncertain and unsure of yourself, if you feel incapable of boldly speaking His Name before others, take heart from the disciples of the Early Church. After the powerful religious authorities threatened and commanded them to stop telling others about Jesus, they desperately prayed, “Lord, consider their threats and empower Your servants to continue to speak Your Word with BOLDNESS!” They confessed their weakness and fears and cried out to the Lord for help, and He answered!–“And they were all FILLED with the HOLY SPIRIT and spoke the Word of God with GREAT BOLDNESS!” (Acts 4:29,31).
Jesus promised us, “You shall receive POWER after the HOLY GHOST is come upon you, and you shall be WITNESSES to Me in all the World!” (Acts 1:8). So if you feel the need for more power to stand up for Jesus and to speak His Name boldly before others, simply PRAY and ask Him to FILL you with the power of His precious HOLY SPIRIT, and He WILL!
Jesus said, “Whoever shall be ASHAMED of Me and of My Words, of HIM also shall the Son of Man be ashamed!” (Mark 8:38). But He also says, “Whoever shall CONFESS ME before MEN, HIM will I also confess before My FATHER which is in Heaven!” (Matthew 10:32). So stand up for Jesus NOW, then, when you stand before the Lord one day soon, HE will stand up for YOU before our Heavenly Father! And all Heaven will know that you were NOT ASHAMED of Him and His Words, but CONFESSED Him before others!
Stand up for JESUS today, and He will stand up for YOU, and you will hear Him say, “WELL DONE, My good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of your Lord!” (Matthew 25:21; Acts 7:55,56). God BLESS you!
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