By: Pastor Ed Young
Posted: March 7, 2018
From Series: Last Words
Luke 23:39-41, “One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at Him: ‘Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ But the other criminal rebuked him. ‘Don’t you fear God,’ he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.’”
“Faith in Jesus is a private decision, but it must go public.”
Two criminals were being punished for their crimes. On one side of Jesus, you have a criminal mocking Jesus. On the other side, you have a criminal standing up for Jesus. The criminal that stood up for Jesus could have kept his mouth shut. But because he believed in Jesus, he stood up for Jesus.
A belief in Jesus starts as a private decision, but it must go public! One of the ways it goes public is that we stand up for Jesus. That doesn’t mean we have to engage in social media debates, argue every time we hear a different opinion, or change the mind of everyone who doesn’t believe. Sometimes silence is the best response. But it can’t be our only response. There are times when we need to speak up.
When is the last time you stood up for Jesus by simply sharing what He has done in your life? What about instead of debating with someone, you become friends and invite them to attend church with you? What if you defended Jesus by living the life of love He demonstrated, then, when you are asked why, telling others it’s simply because of Jesus?
In much of our culture, Christians are becoming increasingly criticized. How could you be kind and loving to someone today in a way that would defend the reputation of Jesus?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the great price You paid for me. Please strengthen me to be public about my relationship with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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