Saturday, January 31, 2009

Always Appropriate

“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently to thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

 To the Christian who is familiar with God and His Son, Jesus Christ, both will be incorporated into his or her day-to-day conversation, by default. It will always be appropriate. This cannot be said of preaching, teaching, or evangelizing, per se. These activities require prearrangement and/or preparation; and in the case of witnessing, prior leadership from the Spirit of God (Acts 8:26-29). But if you and I would not hesitate to acknowledge the friendship of a worthy individual, how much more should we be ready at all times to make known the bond we share with God Almighty, the Savior of our soul.

 These verses, in their setting, provide parents with the most effective means of instructing their children in the ways of God. The most striking thing to me is the informality of the method: while sitting around the house, taking a walk, at bedtime, and around the breakfast table. Obviously, this is not structured teaching, which definitely has its place; but, rather, the day-to- day exchange that adds comforting familiarity to the things of the Lord, and says to our children, “This is not a lesson; it’s a life. 

But as I see it, the same principle should carry over into daily contact with others. Not with the designated responsibility of a parent but with the inevitable sharing of close to the surface feelings. That’s why I make the distinction between this and so-called “official” ministering. What I’m talking about is being able to speak the name of Jesus Christ in such a way that to those around us, saved or lost, we don’t come across as just being “religious”….but related. 

The key to all this is found in the first part of the verse: “…these words…shall be in thine heart.” You will not be around me very long before you hear something about my husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; because whatever is close to the heart is quick to the tongue! And, frankly, I will not be long in the company of anyone who refuses to hear the name of Jesus Christ. I won’t preach, but I can’t help but brag. God says, to do otherwise would be inappropriate behavior.

“For whosoever shall be ashamed of me…of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed.  (Luke 9:26)

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