For You have exalted above all things Your Name and Your Word
Our Pastor recently talked about the importance of praying for boldness in witnessing. The verse above was one that he quoted during the sermon. I was very encouraged that day because at times I get the same, even from believers that we need to "tone it down a bit". That the world doesn't come to church because we are always talking about the Bible, etc.
A few months ago, Brad and I were visiting a Sunday school class at church and there was a conversation about sharing our faith with other's with courage. The passage being studied was Acts chapter 4, where Peter and John are before the council for preaching at the temple.
One lady commented on how many times when she is sharing her faith, she gets the common response of "how do you know all of that is true"; to which she replies "well the Bible says that....". Then she gets the response: "well I don't believe the Bible, so that takes care of that". She went on to say how this discouraged her from sharing or quoting God's Word because if they don't believe in the Bible then what's the point. She would rather just live her life in a way that it was a witness to them.
After she spoke, I could see many people nodding their heads in agreement with what she was saying.
I understand where she is coming from. Both Brad and I have experienced this same direct rejection to God's Word. The Bible speaks of that in many passages.
We know that there will be many people who will harden their hearts towards God's Word. But that is not reason enough to doubt the power that quoting scripture can have or to stop sharing it with others. I can't find any verse that tells us not to speak the Word. God's Word is living and active! Exposes the condition of the heart!
This lady, I believe, was sincerely grieved in her heart because of the people around them rejecting the Lord. What she failed to see in the same passage of Acts 4 that we were studying was that there were those who were annoyed by their teachings but also many who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand!
Ultimately, it is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict a person. Yes, many reject it but many believe too!
Just recently Brad had an example of how God can be at work through His Word around us. As most here know, both Brad and I are on Facebook and love connecting with friends and family both far an near. Brad has been using his Facebook status space to post Bible verses that he loves or convict him.
Now, some people might think this is weird, or arrogant, or too much, or that he is a fanatic, etc. but recently a women who used to work with him in Chicago (and is not a believer) sent him a message saying (paraphrasing here) " I noticed how you've been posting all these verses in your Facebook page and I found myself reading them and it made want to come back and keep reading them. And just started thinking about my life and how it's been a mess the last few years and I how much I should be seeking God right now".
Praise God for that! This wasn't even a direct quoting to someone but yet God was still at work in that woman's life through those verse Brad was typing. This story really encouraged me to be bold about my faith and when a verse comes to mind to quote it and not hold back. Some will not care but I would still be obedient to the Lord at that moment.