“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17 NIV)
How purposefully do we live when we don’t know or understand the love, grace, and hope of Jesus Christ?
When I hear others explain that they think people need to mind their own business, respectively, and not talk about faith or Jesus, I hear the calmness in their voice—their composure in choosing to walk through life in question and agnosticism. I lived as an agnostic and as an unbeliever for most of my life, so I understand this philosophy all too well.
Even while an atheist, I claimed myself to be a “good man” because I did “good things.” But, good things according to who? How did I know whether or not anything I did was actually “good”? How would I connect what I thought of as good to the concept of living a purposeful life, if I was the one defining ‘good’ and ‘purposeful’? When we define these terms for ourselves, we live half-heartedly. Why? How else can we live when we don’t know who we serve?
We all serve someone or something, whether we admit to it or not. We serve idols when we become addicted to drugs, sex/pornography, alcohol, or even technology (spending hours on end looking through social media or texting, even when we’re in the presence of close friends), among others. How do we serve idols? By prioritizing them ahead of ourselves and others. We put our health in jeopardy. We jeopardize our minds when we watch lifeless TV shows that exploit promiscuous sex, gratuitous violence, and profane language. Ultimately, what does all of this have to do with Jesus? —When we don’t have Jesus, we fill ourselves up to the brim with the world.
The world is as close to Heaven as Heaven gets for an unbeliever because for the unbeliever, there is no Heaven. It doesn’t exist. When that is the case, not only is there no need for Jesus, there’s a deeper need to fulfill all the areas of our lives left unfulfilled and unattended to without faith in a Lord who provides for all of our needs. People under the illusion that a life of worldly pleasures is a fulfilled life have never met pure joy face-to-face. Joy in Christ feels radiant; permanent as it extends beyond mood or situation. Joy is a mentality and it is as ubiquitous as oxygen. Faithlessness gives us something to choke on like second-hand smoke: Not knowing the answers to anything we want to understand but refuse to question will only lead us to suffocate on the lies and manipulations of a world huffing and puffing the pollution of idols and addictions until these lies are met with the unconditional love found in faith in Jesus Christ. When we find unconditional love, there is no need to turn back. Faith in Jesus Christ paves the road to relationship, community, fulfillment, joy, hope, and teamwork; all the opposite characteristics of a life of idolatry, addiction, and the trap of indulgence: Isolation, shame, loneliness, solidarity, a lack of joy, and the assumption that the hope of today is found in the transience of self-pleasure.
Truly, how would others know about Jesus if His name was never mentioned? How viable is the argument for keeping silent the name of Jesus around those who don’t believe out of “respect for their choices”? I genuinely believe the people who attempt to stay away from Jesus’s name have had traumatic experiences with people who claim to be Christian but who never declared Jesus as Lord in their heart. For these people, Christianity carries a connotative, nearly indelible sting—regardless of whether or not they are okay with others believing in Christ as Lord. For those in this category who grew up with adults claiming the faith without any visible, noticeable life changes, Christianity has become the bruised image of something meant to be miraculous, but ultimately appearing to be damaged, ambiguous, and questionably detrimental. Christianity without joy and hope is not Christianity.
Claiming Christ as Lord and then having a temper tantrum over menial things proves a lack of control, and a lack of surrender to God. When we authentically surrender ourselves to Jesus, we are able to release the weight of our worries and stresses from our shoulders because we believe it is not us who has control over the solutions to our problems, but Jesus. Do you question whether or not your mom or dad—who fed you every day during childhood—had your best in mind? Like this, we don’t question God’s capabilities when we acknowledge His power in creating the universe and our planets, especially Earth, since it is the one planet capable of sustaining intelligent life. Because of this, our faith trains us to understand that if we can trust in God, we won’t need to be afraid of not having control over everything. This fearless response enables us to release our worries to Him, and in turn, this trust matures us spiritually as we stop depending on ourselves and start living in the hope of a caring, loving, trustworthy God named Jesus.
For those who did not experience any peer/parent/role model with an authentic life-altering change through faith, this may damage the picture of what faith looks like, but it does not change what Jesus is actually capable of doing. Remember, Jesus works in a softened, contrite heart, desiring His invitation to be loved and remade. Jesus cannot work in a hardened heart because we are given free will. A hardened heart says “No, I don’t need you, Jesus—You’re not my Lord,” and Jesus will not force us. He sends disciples (Matthew 28:19) to spread the word of His testimony, but He never forces us to believe.
From this, what we can take is that when no one speaks about Jesus, there is so little chance to find hope and joy in His perfect love for us. Additionally, there is hardly a means of changing our perspective that worldly, transient pleasures are life’s only purpose. And what a sad, disappointing culmination to life that would be with the atrocities that occur every day; like terrorism, sex trafficking, and homelessness. How do we look at life with these realities and think that self-indulgence is the purpose?
Readers, I want to urge you to consider what these words mean for you and for others you know. Most of you who read this may not be unbelievers, but I’m sure you know several people who are. Let this be a reminder of the power of Jesus’s name, and that keeping quiet about Him is not “respecting others’ privacy”; being quiet is taking away others’ chance to know that there is a God who lives, and He came in the flesh to bless us with eternal life through Jesus, and Jesus wants us to experience life to the full (John 10:10). If we keep quiet, how can we make disciples of nations? How can we change others’ lives if we only point to ourselves, or to idols? How can we be a role model when our best impression is rooted in narcissism? How can we live purposefully when we only serve the world, and the world is only looking in the mirror and not to the hope of tomorrow?
If you like what you’ve read here, please follow my blog and pass word along. You may also find me my Facebook page at Lance Price Blog 2017, Twitter at LPBlog2017, Instagram at LPBlog2017, Pinterest at Lance Price Blog 2017, or on Tumblr at lancepriceblog2017. Please share this with anyone you think would benefit, and feel free to write in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!! May God bless you all!!
14 thoughts on “Sharing Jesus With the World”
Lance!!! I stumbled across your blog on the wordpress reader. I’m so glad I found it. I just followed you so I’m looking forward to reading your posts. I enjoyed hearing your thoughts in this article. I resonate with what you are saying about joy. I’m learning how different it is than self-pleasure or happiness. I still haven’t fully figured it out but I think you are right on. Keep it up! http://www.sacredbadgeofcourage.com/
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Hey Lucas!! I’m so glad you found my blog! Thanks for reading and commenting, and thank you for sharing where you are in discovering the difference between joy and happiness. Such an eye-opener, right? 😀 I appreciate your words, and thank you for the follow! Is there a way to follow the blog you shared?
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Thanks for asking! I have no idea. haha. I’m so new at this. I can’t figure out how to add a follow button to my site but you can follow me by pasting my URL into the wordpress reader at least. I have a lot to learn 🙂
Gotcha–I’m not sure if you have a paid plan or anything, but if you select a certain theme from the Themes menu, there is an option to add a Follow tab. Without that, yep, manually is the way to go. Hopefully when you’re ready, you’ll find the theme that is best for you, should you decide you need one, and you can add the Follow tab at that time. Looking forward to reading your articles!
aha! That makes sense. Thanks for the help Lance!
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Such good insight here! All the more reason to SHINE with CONVICTION! Great article!
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Thank you so much for your comment, Lauren! Your words are very appreciated. Amen to shining with conviction! God bless 🙂
Hi Lance – great post about speaking the truth of who Jesus is… I myself, find that I have to share the amazing things He has done for me with others, especially when they are discouraged or disillusioned. Thanks for linking up with me at #TuneInThursday last week, I sure hope to see you again this week
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Hi Debbie! I feel the same way—I feel we have a calling as believers not to leave unbelievers in the dark of their disbelief. While we are not called to try to force our beliefs on others’ lack of belief, we ARE called to share the truth of Christ with others, and pray that God softens their hearts to His invitation. It’s a blessing to me when I read comments like yours sharing the passion for speaking the truth of Christ to others! Yes, I’m looking forward to seeing what you have this week. 🙂 I pray you experience the flood of God’s blessings poured into your life and your work. Thank you again for reading and stopping by!
Wow, Lance! I so appreciate your perspective and gentle, loving, convicting way of speaking the truth. This is spot on. I shared it and I’m saving it. This line has me thinking today: “The world is as close to Heaven as Heaven gets for an unbeliever because for the unbeliever, there is no Heaven.”
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Bethany, I’m truly humbled that God would use me to speak words that would have such an impact, and I hope others who read this will be impacted similarly. I really appreciate your words on this, and I hope the message sinks in for others as well—just how important it is that the Word of Christ does not stay behind closed lips. God bless you!
[…] SHARING JESUS WITH THE WORLD […]
The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won’t disappoint me just as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, however I actually thought you’d have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something that you can fix if you weren’t too busy seeking attention.
Hello Broderick, thanks for your message. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t take something positive or helpful away from this article. The energy behind writing this was to impassion people towards finding reason to pursue Christ with faith. I’m not sure I understand your last statement. The article points towards Jesus as the answer, and explains how sharing His name and talking about Him is key to encouraging others to know Him. I don’t understand what you thought I was complaining about? I mean to reveal the goodness of having a relationship with God in Christ. In terms of the issue being something I can fix, I can fix nothing; only Jesus can move the hearts of people. I can only point the way towards Him. I pray He will move you towards a clearer understanding of His heart and character, and His love for you, Broderick.