‘For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people’.
1 Peter 2:15
God surely wants us to preach. Jesus Christ himself commanded; ‘Go ye…and preach the gospel’. The power, urgency and efficacy of preaching should and would never be underplayed. However, there are situations and there are many where God wants us to speak only with our actions. Actions they say speak louder than voice and this is even truer as it concerns the gospel. In Acts 1:1, Dr. Luke stated that he was chronicling for Theophilus the things Jesus Christ began to do and to teach. Obviously Jesus Christ paid equal attention to both, knowing that therein lies the power to make the gospel viral and effective.
This is even more pertinent in certain environment. It is true that in real essence, there should be nowhere that is off limit to the gospel spoken verbally, but there are places that are more suited to ‘action gospels’. Jesus said that many will believe by signs and wonders, but many of us think that is only when a limb receives life, when a stage four cancer is dismissed or when a cadaver receives life that we can only declare that a miracle has occurred. We often forget that there is no greater miracle than a life changed! The spiritual birth is the act that breathes life into a dead spirit. That miracle is greater than restoring breath to a dead flesh. It is a wonder. It is a sign. So when somebody like me who was dead in sin is suddenly recreated in the image of God, and begins to loose appetite for the fleshly lusts that use to characterize my life, that is a heavy miracle. When I present that life as a testimony before people, it is a wonder.
Therefore we are signs and wonders the Lord is presenting to the world as a challenge for them to see the miracles and believe. What we really need to do many times is to present our lives in its newness and the testimony of it will challenge others. Those areas of high and tight protocols, like government houses and places of businesses for example, do not need us planning an outreach or a harassment-type evangelism to penetrate them. Most of the governments of the when the epistles were first written were not really based on Christian standards. Some were purely occultic and do not practice any form of Christian principles. They certainly would not allow any form of open preaching nor organized fellowship. The Spirit of God advised that the way to penetrate such environment would be by our good deeds. Let your light so shine…. There are many of such environments today. Yet the Lord desires to penetrate them and gain the people that operate them. The strategy may not really be by open preaching. Nehemiah won over the king to the purpose of God in a very godless palace, without any evidence of open preaching. But he maintained such a godly cheerful attitude that the king could predict him. It is a miracle to rejoice when you would have been bitter. To restrain from anger and bitterness when you have really been offended is a miracle. It is not the natural response of men. Esther did not preach. Daniel is not recorded to have ‘preached’ to any of the several heathen kings he served, but Nebuchadnezzar’s wife testified that he was a godly man. This is our challenge today.
Can we consistently reject bribes until someone asks us ‘what is the secret’? Can we in our offices consistently render prompt and quality services until somebody notices we are different and wants to know why? Can we maintain cheerfulness, good nature, blithe spirit and positive language until our colleagues asks us to share our secret with them? Can we refuse underhand dealings and stand for what is right without being bullish about it? Can we show contentment so obvious that sinners will hold us and ask us to take them to our God?
It is not only by our wealth and bling that will make people attracted to God. it is not only because we were healed and blessed that they will be attracted, it is not only because we gave the tract to them, invited them to our programmes or preached to them that they will come to Jesus. It may be because we really radiated a changed life, so much so that even if they don’t come to Jesus, they will be silenced when they try to blaspheme our God and our faith.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: 1 Peter 2:15; Acts 1:1; Mathew 5:16