Thursday, August 7, 2008

SPEAK UP....

SAMARITAN WOMEN
JOHN 4: 4-26
Speak Up.......

There was a time in my life that I would preach to you in a heartbeat. I would give the 5 steps to success and if you will do this and say that and be this or be that, then whatever it is troubling you will go away. I did that, and I did that with a smile on my face. As a newly born again person, I was outspoken and a bit brass. I was still in the refining fire you see, and those days were days of my upbringing so to speak. I was going to save the world and you had better not get in my way. I had arrived and Jesus and me was all that the world needed. I sure can laugh at that now, but I am sure that I offended many a person during those childhood days. It was not that I thought that I knew everything, it was that I had just found Jesus and wanted every one to know Him but had no knowledge of the word of God and left myself wide open for failure. And fail I did. So, to say to me “Denise, stop preaching” was applicable back then, but today, well I think not. There is an interesting statement in the New Testament made by the apostle Paul.

1 Corinthians 2:1-2 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2.
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Now Paul had spent many years being taught by the Holy Spirit, and when he revealed himself to the other disciples he was well learned from the Master. However, the apostle Paul was careful to only preach Jesus and Jesus crucified. In other words, it is not what I know; it is not what I think, or what I think I know. It is the knowledge of Jesus Christ that I share with you. It is in the knowing of the man called Christ. It is at the name of Jesus that demons tremble, it is at the name of Jesus that sickness and disease flee. It is in His name that we approach the throne room of God. It is in the shadow of that name that we proclaim freedom to the enslaved and speak joy to the brokenhearted.

There were times in my past that I was full of self and I sat upon the throne of my life. I took control and went out of control at a rapid rate. My conversation would be full of I’s. It was not hard to see who was sitting upon my throne. BUT, I was a student in the school. Christ had begun a good work in me and He would see to it that He finished what He started.

Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

He had started a work in my life, but my life was a mess and He had to tread through some stuff. I am here to tell you there were piles of stuff. But He is faithful to finish what He has started, and I think a lot of those years it was just He and I. I am sure that I ran some people off; I am sure of that, and just when I thought that the stuff was cleaned out, along came another dark place in the road and low and behold there was another pile of stuff. There is not a one of us that call Jesus Lord that did not have piles of stuff for Him to sort through, not a one of us.

However, if we give in to the leadership of the Holy Spirit and we surrender our lives to the one that made heaven and earth, then He will begin to mold and refine us, making us into the image of His Son. It is at this place that our hearts cry out to be; it is the image of Christ that ever so gently nudges us forward. It is in the forward motion in the early years that I became a bit, should I say, mouthy? There, I have said it, and there are those of you out there I am sure that were waiting for that very confession.

Now, today, I profess to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I am not saying that all my piles are gone, I don’t think so. What I am saying is that through the years I have found that it is Jesus, It is Jesus, and it is Jesus.
If you have a question, the answer is Jesus, if you have problems with money, the answer is Jesus, if you have shame and disgrace in your life, the answer is Jesus. You see, there is no question that you can ask me and the answer not be the same, Jesus.
In the past I would have offered you fancy words and quoted you my 12 steps to getting all your prayers answered. I would have relied on my knowledge (or the lack thereof) and in doing I would have left you with nothing but empty words void of the spirit of God. Jesus was not exalted, grace was not applied and that person was left with many an unanswered questions.
Today, I say to you that I do not have the answers, I only know the one that has, and His name is Jesus. I can tell you of the depths of darkness that He has delivered me from. I can tell you of the brokenness of my heart and my spirit that He somehow healed. I can tell you that I once cried all the time because I hurt inside and now I cry all the time because I do not hurt.

I cannot stand silent and listen to what is being said and not share with you Jesus. If you choose to pour out of your heart and all those things that burden you, then I will give you Jesus. Every time I tell of the Love of God in my life, every time that I share with you that He has taken me from a very dark pit, every time you desire from me sympathy I will point you to the giver of life, and His name is Jesus.
Jesus does not alter our personalities when He saves us; He removes from us the residue of the world and refines us to be the creation that He has made. I am very very extroverted; and in my new birth, that did not change, but over the years it is being refined. I am more aggressive with the gospel now than I ever have been, but I no longer have any answers for you, I only point you toward the one that does.

When the woman at the well left her water pot and headed to the city, what do you suppose that she said to those men? I am pretty sure that she was not filled with fancy words and long speeches. She did not have a 5-part plan for salvation to give to those men of the city. Fancy words were not even in her vocabulary, yet she evangelized an entire city, how? John 4: 29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
Come and see this man, He has told me all that was wrong in my life. I can almost promise you that there were no fancy words, and most of all there were no I’s in her testimony. She pointed them to Jesus and in few short verses in John chapter 4; an entire city was won to Christ.

I say to any man or woman that stands of abuse to look up and see Jesus headed their way, to any man or woman that has spent night after night alone crying tears over lost love only need to look up and see the lover of their soul standing with arms outstretched. I say to men and women who have stood at the well of depression and despair that there is a Savior that is touched by their heartache. He is the Master as He speaks death to the depression and gives hope for the despair. We live in and amongst a lost and dying world, and they need Jesus. They do not need fancy words or long sermons that leave them thirsty and dry. We do not need to come with excellency of speech or of wisdom, but only the knowledge of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

1Co 1:18
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1Co 1:21
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
If you have met the Savior and your life has been changed then you are commissioned by Him to spread the gospel......... We have been given all power to take the good news to the lost and the dying............. so I say to you........... where you live in your world ...........Speak up.......... There are those within the sound of your voice that need the Savior..................

34 comments:

Denise said...

Amen!!

Tracy said...

Powerful post Denise. I have made the mistake of preaching the word with out knowing or being in the word. I am trying hard to allow the spirit to guide me now, but... be in the word and know the word! LOL Your speech made me feel better knowing that i am not alone in doing this. I am growing , i need to allow myself time to grow with in the spirit as you have, and then i need to do the same as you and spread the word with knowledge.

Hugs and blessings, thank you for being such an inspiration!

Sharon said...

Oh, I made those same mistakes when I was a child in Christ. I noticed people staying away from me. The Lord has shown me and still showing me His Way, not my way. :)

Anonymous said...

Christ is SHINING THRU ! You truly are being Blessed. Thank you , shine on... ROWANN

Joyce said...

Another thing I just have to mention here is.....just
"Living the LIFE"...be real and yes..."speak the truth...in love" or whatever the situation calls for but please.."Live the life" first....we just have got to be better examples to people.
Especially in these times we are in right now. Everything is so nutty.

I've learned through the years....20+ for me now and I am so not perfect but I am REAL....:~)
I like it when people are genuine in their lives and don't just speak it.

Anyway...just me!
Hey I love your machine....that thing is something else....looks like you will be doing all kinds of cool things on it....very exciting.
I've been SO out of the loop with these kids here but it was worth it. Big time.....
Talk to you more soon!
Be blessed,
Joyce M.

Sharon Brumfield said...

Boy could I identify with this post.
I think that just like children speak what is on their minds and have to be taught to sometimes hold their tongues until they are a tad more mature....Christians are the same way.
Because I was not allowed to speak up as a child and as a woman....I went over board with the speaking when I grew up. God had to teach me to deal with others in mercy. It is hard when you know a lot...but it has to be seasoned with love. That was a hard one for me to learn.
I had little patience with those who felt sorry for themselves....God has changed that too.
Now I just want them to know that He sees them where they are....and He loves them and wants to have a relationship with them. And the good thing...when you hang out with Him....He rubs off on you!
You are right....Jesus is the only answer!
As Ann Graham Lotz says, Just give me Jesus!

Edge of Design said...

Welcome back! Your post today seems like the good old days. Thanks for writing!

JC said...

Wow! This is one of the most beautiful posts I have read. Wonderfu, powerful, honest. We speak more with our lives than we ever can with our words. Surrender, letting Jesus live his life through us, will take us on the grandest adventure of all.

Have a great weekend. Grace and blessings to you.

Deb said...

Amen Sister!! Keep going, spread HIS love:)

SharonB said...

And Amen! I am learning to speak up!! Gaining confidence - it's only from God!!

Hey love the new look!

Mary Isabella said...

This is so to the point and correct. All that needs to be said is Praise to our Savior and Amen!!!
Hugs.....Mary

Hootin' Anni said...

...and have a glorious Sunday dear Denise...you've lifted many today.

valerie said...

I was just listening to Jonathan Falwell sp?? preaching on John 4 this morning. It was a great sermon. I love the story of the woman at the well. One of my favorites.
Thanks for sharing this great post.
Love,
Val

Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith said...

This was a powerful post! God bless you for posting this and reminding us it's Jesus and only Jesus!

Mary said...

Denise,

This is an awesome post. We are never alone and many young Christians have made the same mistakes over and over. When we are born again, we are as infants in Christ and must grow into adulthood. We never stop growing unless we choose to. Father God is always there, willing to teach us more and more until the day He takes us Home.

Thanks for a wonderful reminder of God's love and teachings. You are a powerful teacher through Him.

Blessings,
Mary

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Denise:
Simply and profoundly, Jesus.

Well said. I would be well served to remember that my penchant for words and introspection could be boiled down to one.

Jesus.

Thanks for your thoughts. By the way, I love the look of your blog.

peace~elaine

Sharon said...

Excellent post!~Sharon

Angie said...

Oh Denise---this says it all..."But He is faithful to finish what He has started"....thank you. I needed to be reminded yet again...that the prayers I have prayed for that daughter....God is not through...He started a good work in her years ago...and He will finish it!
YOU have blessed me tonight!

Love Bears All Things said...

Bless you! When I accepted Christ, I was a young girl. No one gave me any guidance so I did not grow. It was many years before I began to spend quality time in the Word with my Lord. I prayed for a hunger for His Word and He answered that prayer.
I have attended Women's Bible Studies at church for many years. We always start on Tuesdays in the fall. Well, I will not be here when they begin this year. I am looking for one where I am moving. But in the meantime, I have been led to do one on my own: Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer. I will purchase her study when I am out running errands this week. Sine He has given me this hunger, I am not satisfied with mere devotions in my daily quiet time but need to delve deeper into scripture. These studies help me do this.
Mama Bear

Edge of Design said...

Are you doing alright? You don't stop by as often nor blog as much and I just hope it's nothing getting you down or anything like that. What say you?

Talk..to..Grams said...

So Good! Thanks for sharing your heart!! Blessings, Grams

Linda said...

This post was awesome Denise. Thank you for sharing and caring. Hugs, Linda

Flip Flop Floozie said...

Thanks for stopping by tonight!! We are in South Carolina and will get home tomorrow!! We have had a great time!! I have met so many people!! love being with my family too!! Great post!! You write very well. sandy

Hootin' Anni said...

Hi Denise...
I'm here from Bloggers Over 50 Blog Roll comments.

You asked to be added to the blog roll...

I need to ask you to put a graphic link - or the blog roll on your sidebar so the ones that use the blog roll while perusing the bloggers our age group has the access.

Then, I can add you. I will also need to know which blog you want linked!

Let me know when you have it on your sidebar ---

[directions are found on the home page of Bloggers Over 50]


Have a glorious day.

Counting Your Blessings said...

I've found over the years that usually God speaks more when I speak less. My words are hollow and His are a hallowed =) Great post. Blessings... Polly

Mary Isabella said...

I wanted to wish you a fun and blessings filled weekend....Mary

Janera said...

These are anointed words, and they have found fertile ground in my heart. Thank you.

JC said...

Hey Denise, Thanks for the visit. Glad I could bring back some memories for you. Your description of pie making made my mouth water. Grace and blessings to you.

valerie said...

Great post Denise!
How's the swimming pool?
Can you believe the rain and cool weather we've had the past couple of days?
Thank you for all the sweet comments you always make on my blog.

Mary Isabella said...

Hey Girl,

I just wanted to say Hi and give you a long distance hug......Have a great weekend....Mary

Angie said...

Don't let the size of the comments worry you...I am CHECKING on you because I have had you on my mind for a couple of days....praying for you....let me know how you are sweet friend!

Deb said...

JUST CHECKING IN, YOU MUST BE IN THE POOL YES?? HOPE ALL IS WELL WITH YOU, MISS YOU.

Linda said...

Denise...are you in the pool? Hope all is well, have a good weekend...Hugs, Linda

ktwalden said...

Wow...I am overwhelmed by the precious words you have written in this post about our wonderful Saviour! Just what I needed to read today....thank you for sharing from your heart.