I’ve often marveled at my cowardice when it comes to sharing the Gospel. I grew up on stories of martyrs from 3rd world countries that were murdered because they wouldn’t stop telling others about Christ. I’ve met missionaries from India that constantly deal with the threat of violence and persecution for their faith. But here I am, comfortably in America, keeping to myself and being polite about my faith. I don’t like to stir up controversy. I especially don’t want to look stupid.
I am a modern American Martyr who’s only suffering is a minor wound to my pride.
With that said, let me tell you about something that happened yesterday.
My wife and I strolled our 5-month-old, Judah, down to a coffee shop in downtown Panama City. We brought along our Bibles so that we could do a little bit of study time while we had some coffee. When I walked in, I immediately recognized someone sitting across the coffee shop that I knew from several years ago. I’m not sure if he saw me or not, but his presence made a huge impact on my demeanor. I remembered this guy making all sorts of negative remarks about Christians when I was younger. In my head, I could hear the spiteful things that he said years ago.
So I sat down with my coffee and waited. I made small talk with my wife. I played with the baby. I did whatever I could to not pick up my Bible and read it in front of him.
Then, when I realized that I couldn’t put it off any longer, I opened up my Bible. I held it down in my lap so that it wouldn’t be obvious what I was reading. I have been studying Luke for the last few weeks, so I opened to the place where I had left off. This is what it said:
LUKE 12:4-10 (NKJV)
4 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! 6 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 8 “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.