This week a friend from a bible study group I attend, sent me an email about a message I delivered before the holidays, when I spoke at an annual luncheon in Kansas City. She told me that my openness and boldness was inspiring her to be bolder for Christ as well. My reply to her, and to all of you, is this.....
If 2012 is beginning and you look the same as 2011 then I'd deeply analyze my relationship with Jesus. If you're concerned about what 'others' think then you're not concerned enough about what 'Jesus' thinks. If the pursuits of the flesh are still as important as they have always been then it's time to slam on the brakes of your life and beg God to CHANGE you. Trust me. Time IS running out.
I am truly happy that the Lord is pushing you into boldness, if in fact He is. Many Christians today often fall so easily into 'holy complacency' and we don't look to God to be as BIG as He is, so we are rather small about Him in return. I believe that the bolder we are the bigger He will be. I need Him to be HUGE! I need Him to radically shake up my family and change the course of directions on roads traveled on for years. I need Him to truly be the author and finisher of my faith and to bring to pass all the dreams and visions and prophecies He has allowed to be spoken into my life, and my families life, for years! I think we all want that, so I hope to inspire by my own boldness, a holier, louder, bigger, bolder love of Jesus Christ in others. If not we believers kind of look like the rest of the world.
And, that is a big problem with Christianity today. We look way too much like THEM! We want to act like them, dress like them, talk like them, and live like them, and in return we talk about God like them; not at all. We are silent watchers of life, and silent voices in the kingdom who never impact anything, or anyone. And, worse, we sit idly, and sheepishly, by while others go to hell, never allowing them to experience the big, beautiful, beauty of a bold, believing, loving heart for Christ. I don't. I refuse to shut my mouth about Jesus and how He has changed, and blessed, and loosed, and delivered me into total freedom! Tim Tebow sure doesn't. But, sadly most Christians do! They never step out and SHARE boldly the gospel that they say they believe in.
When the first believers in Acts were set on fire on the day of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit fell on them and they all began speaking in strange tongues, which were oddly the native languages of dozens of foreigners in the land, they didn't look like the rest of the community they were in. People thought they were nuts in that Holy Spirit, anointed, time of renewal and promise. They were so in awe of the experience of God's power that they didn't care who thought what, or who said what, they clung to the rock of salvation and jumped in head first, excited, to share what Jesus had done.
Surely, they LOOKED radically different. Surely, they ACTED radically different. They sought to live like Christ; a man-God who healed the sick, cast out demons, and spoke words of love and life in the face of persecution.
WOW, Jesus didn't look like ANYBODY else in the world. He was BOLDNESS personified.
That should be us today! And, I really believe that if God is nudging you in that direction it is because He sees you that way. He sees those you will touch and offend and ultimately serve and save. He sees Himself in YOU. That thought moves me, because it reminds me how truly powerful and wonderful and unique and beautiful He created each of us to be. Your beauty is in your boldness. Your worth is in your boldness. Your freedom is in your boldness. And, surely, your success is in your boldness too.
If you don't believe me just ask the TEBOW BRONCOS. Tim Tebow, is one kid who KNOWS that his boldness has set a nation on fire talking about Jesus. No matter what happens next he has already won the Super Bowl. We all know who Tebow is. He is now a noun, a verb, and an adverb. Are you Tebowing? He has a name attached to good and great things and he has a platform from which to change nations. He is the most talked about player in the NFL hands down, and some of those folks talking, are also recognizing that Jesus is KING! Some are just plain mad, and jealous. And, some, even Christians, are just plain uncomfortable and wish he'd be a little less bold and look a little more like other football players. To that I ask why? Why should he look more like them? What's wrong with them looking more like him? Tim Tebow challenges most people, especially Christians, to look at their own pitiful, mediocre, sheepishness about the subject of Christ, and question themselves and their real belief in Jesus.
For what is faith if not an action, I ask you?! What is faith if not the happy, willingness, to boldly proclaim His goodness and mercy!
So be bold! You're looking more and more like Christ every day!!!
And, as this Hip Girls journey into 2012 begins I hope that by the end of it I look nothing like even the bold witness I am today! I wanna be radically, over the top, completely, in love and loud about my Savior by 2013.