Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come—that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles." Acts 26:22-23
My husband has been working with a client who was born and raised Buddhist. She is vice president of a large publishing company. She is smart, tenacious, tough and lost. In working with her over the past few months, my husband has made his faith very clear to her. As the project comes to a close, it seems that their conversations on faith have increased even more. She is open to talking with him about the subject. So often, we find ourselves in situations where we either get that one shot to witness, or we get shot down before even starting. In this case, my husband and this high-powered executive keep debating the issues. These conversations have brought her to a point of admitting how little she truly knows about her own religion. He has been asking her to tell him exactly what she believes. How does it work? And most importantly, he asked her a simple question, "Do you really believe in it?"
Jesus asks this question to those around Him, "Do you believe in the Son of God?" Many people find a place in organized religion but have no idea of what or whom they really believe in. We are born and raised in religious traditions. We like the routines, the fellowship, and the comfort such activities bring to our lives. Since when did Jesus use the word "comfort" to describe our walk with Him? Yes, He gives us comfort and peace through His Holy Spirit. But Jesus was clear in saying that He came with a sword, dividing friends and families (Matthew -35). Placing anyone or anything, including church traditions, above Jesus Christ will bring division between people who choose Him against those who choose their religion.
Many people do not know what to do or what to say at these times. What do we say? How much do we say? When should we speak about our faith? And on and on we wonder and ponder. I like what Paul says in today's verses. First, he says that he gets "help from God." The Holy Spirit will impress, lead and direct us in what to do. Next, Paul knows he must "stand." Sometimes we need to stand, hold our position, be honest, but not start debates unless we are led to do so. Then, Paul says he witnessed "both to small and great." We must seize the opportunity when we know it is time, regardless of who it is, how many there are, or whatever the circumstances. Sometimes we need to not think too much and just let the Lord work through us.
~Daily Disciples Devotional~