Continuing our Transformed by Faith series, this week Pastor Miles examined how true transformation empowers you to biblically speak the truth to people, even in the toughest circumstances. Using the story of John the Baptist's confronation with King Herod as a backdrop, Miles covered three qualities one should possess when sharing the truth with others.
Miles touched on the process of differentiation, whereby stem cells turn into the various cell types in your body and become your various organs and tissues. Your voice goes through this process around adolescence.
"As you grow and develop spiritually your words change," he said.
In the same way, the more you grow to be like Christ, the more you words will become what God wants you to speak, and in the way He wants you say them.
Three Qualities to Posseses when Sharing the Truth with Others
1. Speak the truth without fear of man.
Mark 6:17 says For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, whom he had married.
John the Baptist was concerned chiefly with what God told him to do. He wasn't intimidated, despite what man did to him. In the same way, when sharing the gospel, we shouldn't worry about whether the listener will be offended, or whether they'll think you're weird, or whether they'll like you, or make fun of you.
Matthew 10:28 says Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
This means that we should be more concerned with revering and obeying God than the opinions or actions of men. Oftentimes we fear mere scenarios we have made up in our minds of how we think the person will react to us sharing the gospel. It is that fear that holds us back from ever sharing the life-saving message of Jesus. But we need to lay those fears aside and simply obey God.
2. Speak the truth based on God's word, not man's opinion.
Mark 6:18 says For John had been saying to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
From an eternal perspective, your opinion really is irrelevant. It may not be wrong, but your opinion is just your opinion. God's word is infallible and unchanging, unlike your opinion, So, when sharing with others, speak truth from the Bible. It's been around for 1000 years and it tends to defend itself.
Would you put water in your gas tank? No, of course not. Why? Because that's not what the maker intended. It's not in the owner's manual. God is our maker and He has given us an owner's manual, the Bible. If we follow the owner's manual we will run the way we were intended.
Miles told the story of visiting a prison and telling a white supremacist, "Jesus wants you and is looking for you." Miles had to immediately obey what God told him to do and say.
Nobody respects someone who is wishy-washy. John the Baptist and Jesus certainly weren't.
3. Speak the truth with a spirit of love, for the benefit of the hearer.
Mark 6:20 says ...because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him.
Don't speak with the intention to harm. Speak out of love. The gospel message is inherently confrontational and struggles for the repentance of the listener anyhow. By speaking out of love, you assure the listener that you have their best intention at heart.
True love requires that you share the truth. In fact, it's selfish not to, and in the end you are only hurting the person from which you might be withholding the truth. John the Baptist not only spoke the Word of God, but lived it-as we are all called to do.