Have you ever noticed the more you say a word in rapid succession, the less sense the word begins to mean to you? Try it. Say something random like “debacle” really quickly out loud for about 30 seconds.
See what I mean? You become numb to its meaning – it almost sounds like nonsense after a while, doesn’t it?
I’m sort of embarrassed to tell you that the same thing has happened to me, week after week in church, as I repeat the words of the Nicene Creed (you can click here to read it, if you aren’t familiar with it). And as a result, I have become (un)comfortably numb to the power and meaning behind it.
A creed is a statement of belief. And in this case, The Nicene Creed speaks of what Christians believe to be true about our Holy Trinity – you know, The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. And, in case you didn’t know, that’s essentially the backbone of what we believe. So for me to turn it into rote and repetitive nonsense isn’t exactly a good thing.
It occurred to me this week as I was reading Romans 9 – 11 that Paul uses this section of his amazing letter to remind us to keep speaking the truth about Jesus to all we meet. And, I’ve come to learn that evangelizing doesn’t always mean “speaking” as in “vocalizing”, although that is a very effective way for many people to share the Gospel!
Maybe, on the other hand, you’re called to “lead by example” without ever having to say a word. Perhaps you’re called to acts of beautiful service, doing things that emulate the hands and feet of Jesus while he walked the Earth. Maybe you’re called to write about it, sing about it, dance about it, or even paint about it.
That’s the beauty of humans. We’re vastly different and wired with countless gifts and abilities in which the glory of God is meant to be communicated. But one thing remains constant, regardless the form of your call – you have to know what you believe in order to share it profoundly and effectively.
Thus my problem with becoming numb to what I believe. I cannot be profoundly effective in Christian ministry without first reminding myself of what I believe about Jesus and what I KNOW to be true about my God.
Has this happened to you, too, on some level? Has the repetitive nature of daily life and the busyness of modern living lulled you into forgetting why you’re even here? Then stick with me here today and let’s get back to the basics – What Do You Believe To Be True and WHY???
Let’s face it – it can push us outside of our typical comfort zone to “evangelize”, can’t it? But it will change you forever when you do!
If you wanted to share your love of Christ with someone, what would you say? When people sense the light and life of God in you, they want to know more than just, “I believe these things because the Bible tells me it’s true.” They want to know your experience. How has He made your life “better” ?
And ultimately, they want to know, “What’s in it for me?”
The most natural and impacting answer in return is for you to tell them what’s been “in it” for you!
When I realized I had zoned out for a bit, I took the very piece of writing that I had tuned out and re-wrote it so I could tune back in. In other words, I made it my own, using the bones of the Nicene Creed to give me an outline, but filled in the blanks with personal, meaningful and engaging examples to support the “spine”.
You can click here to read what I’m calling “Wendie’s Creed”! I’ll hang here while you do…
I gotta tell you, I felt so much better after doing that. I don’t have to wrack my brain anymore to figure what it is that I actually believe because now I know THAT I HONESTLY KNOW what I believe.
Wanna try it? It’s not hard and I’ve even created a little guide to get you started. Click here to access it, and then find yourself a quiet space and a little time to spend reflecting on it. I promise it will be worth every moment of your time.
To those who don’t know the freedom that comes from knowing Christ, you might just be the spark of light that brings them up and out of their own numbness. Don’t you want to be ready for it when that moment of the Gospel message needing to be delivered comes?
Paul tells us in Romans 10:9-10, 13-15 (NLT):
“And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. … For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, ‘How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!’”
You’ve got some preciously beautiful feet, sweet friends, don’t let them fall asleep. Let’s get them moving, shall we?
Following along with us on The Big Picture of Romans?! Click here for this week’s homework for The Majesty of God (Romans 9-11) AND a link to our awesome song of the week, “Glorious Unfolding”, by Steven Curtis Chapman.
See you next week!
Peace, love, and so very much JOY!
Up Next Week: A Letter to My Daughter (Advice from Romans 12)