19But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. -Matthew 10:19, 20 (KJV)
Words are powerful. They can heal, tear apart, sooth, inflame, calm someone down, and stir others up. I recall when I was a little boy and I heard the old saying about "sticks and stone can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” I thought to myself even then; “I don’t think I really believe that.” Words are too powerful to have no effect on us whatsoever. The right combination of words can make us laugh or make us cry depending on how they are used.
All the gospel needs is to be told, and while we are to demonstrate the love of Christ in the way we live we will also communicate the gospel with words. Once the gospel goes out it accomplishes the purposes for which it was sent. Let us never underestimate the power the gospel when we testify in the name of the Lord. In fact, Jesus promised the disciples that when the time came the Holy Spirit would give them the words to say. This applies to us also in the present time. When we are called upon to testify the Lord will give us the right words to say. Does this mean a preacher doesn’t have to prepare his sermons? My friends, the pastor had better be prepared when it comes to preaching the Word. We as pastors do well to have prayed about and planned what God would have us to say when we step into the pulpit. We also desire to be open to the leadership of the Spirit as well. Many times I had planed to say something in a sermon and yet the Lord led me not to. Other times I had not planned on saying a certain word and the Lord lead me to do so.
Jesus was referring to those moments when we may find ourselves under duress. Suddenly, without warning, we are called to testify in the name of the Lord. If someone was to take you aside and say, “Please tell me what it means to be a Christian. Tell me everything.” what would you say? Or if they said, “How do I become a follower of Jesus?” what would we tell them? We do well to be able to answer such questions. The person might even say it in a condescending, hateful, and challenging way. Most of the persecution we endure here in America involves being ignored or not being taken seriously. We might be laughed at, but that’s nothing. We might be made fun of; yet again this hardly equals persecution.
Never underestimate the power of testifying in the name of the Lord Jesus. Keep on testifying and don’t stop doing so. And don’t be afraid to talk about matters of faith. We have nothing to fear, for the Lord is with us. He will give us the words at the proper time as He promised. You don’t have to be eloquent or a trained speaker. You just have to be faithful and willing to testify. What has Jesus done for you? The answer is always a powerful testimony.