Dr. Wilber Smith was a renowned professor, researcher, and author whose lectures and books trained a generation of Christian workers. Near the end of his life, Dr. Smith published his memoirs, entitled Before I Forget, and he began in the preface of his book by sharing a regret.
“I should, through the years, have been more faithful in witnessing for Christ to many of those whose friendship I have enjoyed,” he wrote. “I am afraid there are booksellers and librarians, for example, with whom I have often conversed who are unbelievers, and to whom I have not borne witness of the Gospel. I was told that a few years ago, when a dinner was given in Tokyo in honor of Billy Graham, he found himself seated next to the crown prince of Japan. The first thing Mr. Graham said to him was, ‘What do you think of Jesus Christ?’ I am afraid that for myself I have let many conversations continue without my asking that greatest of all questions.”
A lot of us harbor the same regret, and it begs the question: What’s wrong with us? People are in danger of the fires of hell. Why are we tongue-tied when it comes to speaking up for Jesus Second Kings 7:9 says: “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent.” I would like to suggest some ways for us to find our voices so we can always be ready to speak a word for the Savior.
Ask God Specifically to Fill You with His Holy Spirit
Do you remember how tongue-tied Peter was on the night Jesus was betrayed? His voice failed him except for curses and denials. But on the Day of Pentecost, Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word with boldness. Even when threatened with punishment, he said that he could not help but share the things he had seen and heard.
If you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you already have the Holy Spirit living within you. Ask God to fill you to overflowing, to empower and control you with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18-19 commands, “Be constantly controlled by the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord” (The New Testament: An Expanded Translation by Wuest).
Develop a Burden
It’s also important to develop a burden for the lost. Dr. Michael Guido says, “Every time I see a person, I see written across their forehead the Bible verse, ‘For Whom Christ Died.’ I find it easy when I think of that to give them a tract, to ask them a question, to lead them to the Lord.”
Jesus hung on Calvary for everyone, and should we not care? How is it we can go for days without sharing Christ with hell-bound, dying souls who compass our pathway every day? Ask God for a burden, and begin seeing on the foreheads of those around you: “For Whom Christ Died.”
Memorize Some Bible Verses
The third way to unloose your tongue is to memorize some Bible verses. Lorne Sanny, past president of the Navigators, told about some missionaries in India who were unable to get the national Christians to share the Gospel. These believers seemed tongue-tied. Then someone suggested, “Have you ever tried getting them to memorize Scripture?”
This they agreed to do; and after a few weeks, the Christians gathered for a testimony service. The young believers rose, quoting verses of Scripture recently committed to memory. It seemed that just as they memorized a particular verse, occasions arose for sharing it with unsaved friends.
Psalm 119:42 says, “So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in Your word.”
Start by memorizing John 3:16, then the “Romans Road” (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, and 10:9-10, 13). Then Ephesians 2:8-9 and Acts 16:31. These are verses that all great soul-winners have inscribed into their memories. Scripture meditation is a way of washing your mind with the Word of God; and as you do, you’ll have greater impetus to share Christ with others.
Ask God to loosen your tongue and give you the boldness to share Christ. Speak up whenever the Spirit nudges, and share the Word in every season. The Lord will surely bless your witness with life-changing results.
Dr. Jeremiah is the founder of Turning Point for God, and serves as Senior Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.
For more information about Turning Point, go to www.davidjeremiah.org