11/23 Matthew 10:32-33

32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

In much of the world, Christianity is looked down on. A recent "study" in the country in which I live claimed that Christians were less intelligent than non-Christians. Jesus warned that this kind of animosity towards His followers would be common. I have been in conversations with people who were openly bashing the Christian belief. That is when this verse was quickened to my spirit. I could remain silent or I could declare that I am a follower of Jesus. If I deny Jesus before people, He will deny me before the Father. My heart sped up and I waited for a moment to speak up. "I am one of those people you are referring to as a 'born-againer'." The reaction to my statement wasn't so bad. The person quickly changed the subject. Perhaps the people in that group had never met a true believer and were just repeating things they had heard.

God will provide opportunities for us to share our faith. Every time you are with someone who is in a crisis, you have the chance to share the only One that really helps us through those times of difficulty. You may have the prompting of the Holy Spirit to ask leading questions that invite people to talk about their faith. Jesus often used questions to lead into teaching and even taught with questions. That method is easier for us to receive because it is less threatening and invites us to reach a conclusion rather than telling us what to believe. Many standard confrontational witnessing methods cause people to put up their defenses. There is a time for confrontation as well, but most often people are more readily convinced by allowing them to come to the right conclusions.

You don't have to be rude and obnoxious to acknowledge Jesus before others. A winsome, loving, and gentle approach is much more inviting. Let the Holy Spirit lead you. Remember, you aren't trying to win an argument, but rather simply pointing to the One that has shown the greatest love ever displayed for us (John 15:13).

Consider: Will you pray for opportunities to acknowledge Jesus before others and then watch for occasions to do so?