By Chaplain (Col) Stephen W. Leonard, USA, Ret.

“So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.’”  Acts 4:18-20

Jesus didn’t always preach a Sermon on the Mount or, give an expanded exhortation on the Holy Spirit, or pray a long, high priestly prayer. No, he often told short stories as He and His disciples walked along the way. 

He drew illustrations of the good news as He saw someone sowing seed, or catching fish, or mending nets, or shepherding sheep. He used the magnificent temple to talk about the building stones that built it. He equated Himself to a true bridegroom who was responsible for furnishing wine for His wedding. He talked about kernels of wheat as the disciples picked some to eat as they walked through a ripe wheat field. A tiny mustard seed suggested another truth from His heart and mind. 

This life is the great opportunity for the redeemed to speak of what they have seen and heard. How? When? Where? By passing on to friends, family, and strangers that same gospel that brought them into the Kingdom of God. The ones you share the gospel with, if they receive it, become jewels in your own crown in heaven (1 Thessalonians 2:19). You may prefer diamonds on earth, but diamonds and the precious gems of the earth will still burn up. The jewels set in your heavenly crown are eternal. They never pass away. 

Is the gospel so in the front of your mind that you talk about it with your children or your grandchildren? Do you think about it when you are walking your dog or mowing your lawn? Do you converse about it with your neighbor over the back fence? Do you share it with your co-workers or those with whom you spend so many days, months, or years? Do you dialogue about it over dinner out with friends? Or bring it up at a baseball game? Make it a topic of conversation with your seat-mate on an airplane?

Jesus said, if you are not ashamed of Me, I will not be ashamed of you, and will present you before my Father in heaven. Pretty direct words! We want Jesus to present us as His very own to God the Father, as VIPs in the courts of heaven, as VIPs whom He dearly loves. 

So think hard about what causes you to be ashamed. The devil prompts such feelings in you when you are about to bring up Jesus and the gospel. He clamps shut your mouth. He causes you to talk of more mundane things, rather than the most important truths in the world. 

But remember, the more you talk about the gospel, the more you do so with confidence. And confidence breeds boldness. The gospel will then become your natural and beloved topic, which excites you to no end. To talk of this one who loved you more than His life. 

Thinking and talking about the gospel should be the first priority of any of your conversations. That doesn’t mean you mimic the four spiritual laws over and over and over again. But you do as Jesus did. You think the gospel through in terms of your everyday life and those things that make up the substance of your life. You constantly need to be thinking about how to naturally introduce gospel truths from what you are seeing as you go through your life. 

How do various sports you and others watch link to the gospel? How important is the subject of life beyond death to people who are all going to die? Where are your deceased loved ones right now? Perhaps one just recently died. Will you see them again? Why do bad things happen to good people in this life? Why do cancer and, disease, and accidents proliferate all around us? Why does injustice exist? All such subjects relate to the gospel, to heaven or hell, and relate oh so much to the truth about God and His Son Jesus. 

The gospel ought to be on your mind. First and foremost, is there anything more important than what Jesus has done for you? Everything else pales in significance. My goodness, is there really anything more important? Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also!


“Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart; naught be all else to me, save that Thou art—Thou my best thought by day or by night, waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.”
(Ancient Irish poem, St. Patrick’s Breastplate, 1st verse, “Be Thou My Vision,” ca. 8th Century)

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