"May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." (Ephesians 3:19 NLT) In our service this week, Will stopped the sermon and gave people a few minutes to stand and proclaim "Jesus is the Christ, The Son of the Living God!". Same words Peter gave to Jesus when Jesus asked Peter who Peter thought He was. It was a powerful moment to watch, as many folks stood, one by one and proclaimed Jesus to be The Christ...The Messiah. If you weren't able to see the message, you can watch online by clicking here.
Several folks, it seemed, had to stand. I could see they wanted to tell Jesus, anyone who would listen..."Jesus - You are the Christ! I get it; they seemed to be saying "You have revealed Yourself to me and I know...it makes sense, You are The Messiah!" Passion, conviction, the sense of I cannot sit here any longer - I have to say something! I love it! Then I wondered, beyond Will's offer, what causes people to stand and proclaim. As I considered this and have spoken to others about it this week, I've landed on experience.
The verse above talks about experiencing the love of Christ. Not necessarily understanding, but seeing the Lord move in your life. It's like Peter jumping out of the boat when he sees Jesus on the shore. There's something that begs an immediate response in us.
Our proclamation was safe. I have also thought of Pastor Saeed Abedini, who is currently sentenced to 8 years in Evin Prison in Iran for sharing his faith in Jesus Christ. He's being beaten and tortured, told he will be held beyond his sentence if he doesn't renounce his faith. So, why withstand all the torture? He's seen Christ. Pastor Saeed has experienced the Presence of the One and Only. The Presence of Jesus is real and He still changes lives in an instant...forever.
Are you praying for someone who doesn't know Christ? Pray for them to experience His love.