Luke 12:12, 17, 34, 37
12 Now they wanted to arrest him (but they feared the crowd), because they realized that he told this parable against them. So they left him and went away. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him. 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered thoughtfully, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Then no one dared any longer to question him. 37 If David himself calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.
2 Timothy 4:2
Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction.
For wisdom will enter your heart, and moral knowledge will be attractive to you.
Our response when we hear truth, even when it hurts, shows the condition of our hearts. We can choose to ignore it and run away, we can stand in amazement or listen with delight, or be humbled and silent. I love the feeling I get when truth in God’s word pierces my soul – it is a cleansing, a revealing that sets me free. It is not condemnation, but a sweet conviction or affirmation that heals my soul.
But what if no one had ever been willing to share truths with me that might hurt initially, but ultimately would liberate my soul? I thank God for people who loved me enough to share a fitting word, whether it was for my edification or instructional, which bore fruit and brought glory to God. We are called to follow Christ’s example and to speak the truth in love. Of course Jesus is perfect and His answer will always be perfect, holy and fitting. We can get off track and forget why we have to be prepared at all times to share God’s word. Paying it forward, some call it – Scripture says that just as we have received, so we should give. Not just material belongings, but the deep spiritual truths that we have been entrusted with. It is not just a defense of the Gospel for knowledge sake, no, it is a fervent desire to share God’s love with another and set them free from the bondage of sin.
If I have this deposit from God contained in this clay vessel and forget the mission I am on, I can get puffed up with this knowledge which was given to change me to be more like Him and to serve and help heal others. We desperately need truth – we need our eyes to be opened to the constant deceit satan is dispensing. We do not need enablers who will flatter, nor do we need condescending judgmentalism. We need to be prepared at all times and sensitive to God’s leading to share God’s message to one another.
The greatest commandment – to love the LORD our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength – propels us to fulfill the second greatest commandment – to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Sometimes that love takes action by providing for a need, and other times by speaking an apt word to another soul loved by God. May we be ready to do both.
Lord, help us too be led by You in our busy lives, to study Your word and share it with a dying world.