18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20
Yay! It’s Saturday! The days are fresh and beautiful! Lots of gatherings, fun, and food!
Sssssoooo I’m praying for me and I’m praying for you! Opportunities to speak words that make known the mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ…and that we would do it fearlessly.
“13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.“
So we look for God assigned opportunities, we speak Truth, and we do so with gentleness and respect. SSSSssssoooooo this is the part that sometimes gets away from us so let’s remember this verse as well: “23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness (2 Timothy 2:23-25).”
So, I’m praying as I mention this because many love the following quote that is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. My problem is that I am having a hard time putting my finger on it in the Word for it seems to say that our deeds are more important than the Word.
Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.
This is what the Word declares:
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:9-15
There are those who have researched whether St. Francis of Assisi actually uttered those words and there is no evidence of his ever having said them. His life and practice does not reflect that they would have even been true for his own life. It is said that he was a passionate preacher and would proclaim the Gospel every opportunity he was given.
Yep, faith without works is dead…so let’s do the good works the Lord prepared in advance for us to do so it will open the doors for proclamation. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).”
Some may have a pedicure scheduled for today for it is sandal season. But oh my, look at the opportunity we have to truly have beautiful feet this season…let’s pray and proclaim the Word to the glory of our most beautiful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!