It Takes Guts To Say “JESUS”

ONE MAN of you shall put to flight a thousand,

for it is the Lord your God Who fights for you, as He promised you.

Be very watchful of yourselves, therefore,

to LOVE the Lord your God.

Joshua 23:10-11

Millions of unsung heroes are not found in the bright lights of fame or in books.  There are people in small and large churches across the land that carry three or four times their workloads while others will not join in and help.  A one time mentor and visitation pastor once told me after I volunteered to lead a class in evangelism in the early 70’s after no one showed,  “Mel, don’t be discouraged for there is a lesson and a Scripture passage for everything.”  Being young in the Lord I asked him, “So, what Bible verse pertains to THIS situation?”  He always carried a pocket version of the Bible in his back pocket.  It was worn, torn and wrinkled from him sitting on it; as I journeyed along with him on family visitations, the wear and tear mostly came from opening the little bible; sharing God’s Word from the wrinkled pages.

Here is the verse he gave me to read in my discouragement.  The feeling that I was but ONE MAN:

“And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right,

for in DUE TIME and at the appointed season we shall reap,

if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.”

~Galatians 6:9 Amplified version~

CAN ONE MAN OR ONE WOMAN POSSESS SUCH POWER?

–With God ONE can!

–With God ONE can be STRONG.

–Be WISER than others.

–ENDURE.

–CONQUER.

Often we become overwhelmed with a sense of insignificance.  We feel a sense of complete uselessness in believing, “I am just one person in the scheme of things–and what can ONE PERSON do?”

Getting the Understanding:

God can use you to make a DIFFERENCE in this world in the lives of others and in your church.  If…and that is a big IF, you let Him.  Helen Keller said, “I am only ONE, but still I am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”

How do you let Him?  You make yourself AVAILABLE, being BOLD, being COURAGEOUS and having FAITH.  Scriptures are filled with examples of the POWER OF ONE:

ONE Little Boy–instrumental in feeding 5000 (AVAILABILITY).

“There is a little boy here, who has [with him] five barley loaves, and two small fish; but what are they among so many people?  Jesus said, Make all the people recline (sit down).  Now the ground (a pasture) was covered with thick grass at the spot, so the men threw themselves down, about 5,000 in number [10].  Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks, He distributed to the disciples and the disciples to the reclining people, so also [He did] with the fish, as much as they wanted [11].  When they all had enough, He said to His disciples,  Gather up now the fragments (the broken pieces that are left over), so that nothing may be lost and wasted [12].  So accordingly they gathered them up, and they filled twelve [small hand] baskets with fragments left over by those who had eaten from the five barely loaves [13]”  (John 6:9-13 AMP).

1.  God uses what you have to fill a need which you never could have filled!

2.  God uses where you are to take you where you never could have gone!

3.  God uses what you can do to accomplish what you never could have done!

4.  God uses who you are to let you become who you never could have been!

About six years ago, my wife and I were attending a church in Bellingham, Washington.  One Christmas, we were both given a part in a play to perform before the congregation in costume.  I’ve had acting experience in various venues, from High School to church productions over the years but nothing to rave and rant over; nothing to boast about.  A month later, the pastor called me at home and asked if I could come up with an idea for Easter in March of that year.  Maybe write a play or something different than the usual church pageant.  My answer, “Let me pray about it. And I’ll get back to you.”  My immediate thought was–are you kidding?  I don’t have the ability to do something like this!

After praying every day for almost a week…NOTHING!  Then one night, at 3:30 A.M. (I look at the clock on the bed stand), I felt a touch on the shoulder.  I turned to the other side, thinking that I was dreaming.  And then I heard a voice speaking to my spirit, “Get up and go to the kitchen, grab a pen and notebook.”  So, in trying not to wake my wife, I crept out of bed and followed the given instructions.  “Now what?” I whispered.  Holy Spirit said,  “I’ll give you the words.  You keep writing until I say it’s done.”  At 7 A.M. it was finished.  The play, the set design, everything but a format…I had know idea how to write a play!  What I had done was make myself AVAILABLE and God did the rest.  God uses those who make themselves available to Him.  That’s the KEY.  Are you making yourself available?  By the way, my daughter-in-law took the thoughts that God had given me, put it on paper in a script format and faxed it to the church a week later.

The BOLDNESS OF ONE LITTLE GIRL:

“NAAMAN,  COMMANDER of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, accepted [and acceptable], because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria.  He was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a LEPER.  The Syrians had gone out in bands and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel A LITTLE MAID [ONE LITTLE GIRL], and she waited on Naaman’s wife [2].  She said to her mistress, Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria!  For he would heal him of his leprosy [3]”  (2 Kings 5:1-3 AMP).

This ONE LITTLE GIRL was instrumental in healing a world military leader. 

A TRUE STORY OF BOLDNESS:

It takes guts to say “Jesus”, but because a few were BOLD ENOUGH to do so, millions have come to know Christ.

The story I am about to tell you, is a true story of something that happened several years ago at University of Southern California.   There was a professor of Philosophy that was a deeply committed atheist.  His primary goal was to spend the entire semester attempting to prove God could not exist.  His students were always afraid to argue because of his impenetrable logic.  For 20 yrs he had taught his class and no one ever had the courage to go against him because of his reputation.  At the end of every semester, on the last day, he would say to the class of 300 students,  “If there is anyone here who still believes in God, stand up!”  No one ever did.  They knew what he was going to do next.  He would say, “Because anyone who believes in God is a FOOL.  If God existed, he could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking.  Such a simple task to prove he is God, and yet he can’t do it.”  And every year he would drop the chalk onto a tile floor of the classroom, shattering the chalk into a hundred pieces.  Most of the students were convinced that God could not exist.  Certainly a few Christians had slipped through but for 20 yrs, they too were afraid to stand up.

  A few years later, there was a freshman who had enrolled in the class.  He was a Christian and had heard stories about his professor.  His college major required this one class and he was afraid.  But for three months that semester, the freshman prayed every morning to have the courage to stand up.  No matter what the professor said or the class thought.  Nothing they said or did would ever shatter his faith, he hoped.

Finally the day came:  “If there is anyone here who still believes in God stand up!”  The professor and the class of 300 looked at the freshman in shock as he stood up in the back of the room.  The professor shouted, “YOU FOOL!  If nothing I’ve said all semester has convinced you that God does not exist, then you are a fool!  If God existed, he would keep this piece of chalk from breaking when it hits the ground!”  As he proceeded to drop the chalk, it slipped out of his fingers, off his shirt cuff, onto the pleats of his pants, down his leg, off his shoe.  As hit hit the ground, it simply rolled away, unbroken.

The professor’s jaw dropped looking at the young man, then ran out of the lecture hall.  The young man who had stood up, moved to the front of the room, shared his faith in Jesus for the next half hour, while 300 students stayed and listened as he told of God’s LOVE for them and his power through Jesus.

“And I tell you, Whoever declares openly [speaking out freely]

and confesses that he is My worshiper, and acknowledges Me before

men, the son of Man also will declare and confess and acknowledge him

before the angels of God.”

~Luke 12:8 AMP~

WITNESS and be an EXAMPLE because Jesus is going to brag on you before His angels.

NO EXCUSES LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

ONE WOMAN was instrumental in SAVING a nation and it took COURAGE:

Mordecai told Esther “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise for the Jews from elsewhere, but you and your father’s house will perish.  And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion?”  (Esther 4:14).

IT TAKES GOD GIVEN COURAGE FOR ALL OF US:

“COURAGE is almost a contradiction in terms: it means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.”  ~Gilbert Chesterton.

“I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency”  (Philippians 4:13 AMP).

“ONE MAN with COURAGE makes a majority”  by Andrew Jackson.

“Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God Who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you”  (Deuteronomy 31:6).

IT TOOK ONE MAN TO SAVE MANKIND FROM EXTINCTION:

ONE MAN’S FAITH–

“[Prompted] by FAITH Noah, being forewarned by God concerning events of which as yet there was no visible sign, took heed and diligently and reverently constructed and prepared an ark for the deliverance of his own family.  By this [his FAITH which relied on God] he passed judgement and sentence on the world’s unbelief and became an heir and possessor of righteousness”  (Hebrews 11:7 AMP).

“Because of the littleness of your FAITH [that is, your lack of firmly For truly I say to you, if you have FAITH [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain,  Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and NOT relying trust]HING will be impossible to you”  (Matthew 17:20 AMP).

“In God’s economy, ONE MAN redeemed the world by stretching out His arms and giving Himself a perfect sacrifice for us all.  This was ONE MAN.”  ~ Abagail Nelson.

Jesus was left alone in the garden, tortured with no one to defend or comfort, all alone knowing that if He didn’t finish the task, all would be lost.

IT’S NOT EASY BEING “ONE”:

“Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds”  (Hebrews 12:3 AMP).

After doing so, continue to make yourself AVAILABLE to God.  BECAUSE…

“[As to what remains] henceforth there is laid up for me the

[victor’s] crown of righteousness [for being right with god and doing right],

which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that [great] day–

and not to me only, but also to all those who have LOVED and yearned for and welcomed

His appearing (His return).”

~2 Timothy 4:8~

Does it TAKE GUTS to say “JESUS”?  No, you and I just NEED to be:

–AVAILABLE.

–BOLD.

–COURAGEOUS.

–KEEP THE FAITH.