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Shout From Every Rooftop

September 26, 2016

The Reach Beyond manifesto makes this bold commitment: “We will shout from every peak, pinnacle and rooftop that the only hope for this dying world is a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

This is a real power statement—the kind of thing that only a radical Christian would say—right?  I hope not.  In fact, to me this kind of resolve ought to be the bedrock for anyone who knows Jesus.

A few times a week I go to the gym to make a feeble attempt at staying in shape and shedding some pounds.  Truthfully, that hasn’t been working out so well, but I have noticed that God has opened up some doors at the gym to share Christ.Not long ago, I had finished swimming my laps and was sitting in the sauna.  For some reason, the sauna was really packed that day with old fogies like me, sweating like pigs, and well, smelling the part (that’s more information than you wanted—I know, but it’s my reality)

Now you need to understand that at my gym there are really two kinds of people. There are folks like me trying to stave off death at the hands of high blood pressure and cholesterol.  And then there’s the other people, the toned, muscular, tanned bodies who train for marathons, and MMA fights.

So here we were in the sauna like sea lions beached on the pier, sweating our pores out, when this guy opens the door, sees how crowded it is, and blurts out, “Jesus Christ!”  I went out a limb and guessed that he really wasn’t looking for Jesus.  So without a lot of thought, I looked back at him and said, “No, it’s just us.”

This dude was not happy.  But what made it worse was that this guy was built like an M-1 tank.   His arms were bigger than my thighs and his legs looked like tree stumps.  His body was covered with tattoos that said things like “Death from above” and “Fear this.”  I didn’t take the time to look at all of them because I just realized that I was about to die in a pool of my own sweat.

By God’s grace and some “sauna angels” he just gave me a dirty look, closed the door and walked off.  Phew! 

But then I started to think about it.  What if the shoe had been on the other foot?  What if I had walked into the sauna and blurted out his girlfriend’s name as a curse word.  He would have pounded me into the tile floor!

I really wasn’t trying to be a smart aleck.  I genuinely wanted him to understand in that moment, that Jesus is the name of the God I love.  His Name is precious and powerful to me.  I doubt that he went home, fell on his knees and repented that day.  But I wanted him to get the point.

On several other occasions, I’ve had the opportunity to declare the Name of Jesus in less confrontational (and less risky), more fruitful ways.

Lauri is a precious lady who struggles with extreme obesity, anxiety and physical problems.  For more than a year I got to pray with her and share Scripture in the hope of bringing her peace.

Roger is the father of my all-time favorite local basketball player.  I’ve had the opportunity share with him about prayer and ministry.

Two young guys were in the sauna one day having this deep discussion about how the world is spinning out of control and I got to ask them if maybe Jesus was the answer they were looking for.

You see, boldly declaring the name of Jesus doesn’t mean we have to stand on milk crates on street corners, telling people to repent for their end is in sight.  That might be what God is calling you to do.  If so, quit reading and go hit the street.

But for most of us, declaring His name is just about sharing His love and message with people we encounter in our daily path. But it’s also about making this a lifestyle, not a periodic event.

There are more than 2 billion people around the world who haven’t heard about Jesus.  Some of them are people at the gym.  Some of them are in the most remote parts of the world.  Either way, our mission, as believers is to make sure His Name is declared among the nations—all people, everywhere.

I’m afraid of heights, but when it comes to proclaiming the name of Jesus, I want to be on every rooftop I can find.  Will you join me?

 

 




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Steve J.