I recently had a piano student prepare a beautiful hymn arrangement, and I asked her to play it for an offertory at church. I was surprised to hear her say that my daughter had recently played the same piece, and a lesson came to mind:
We all have the same story to tell: Jesus Saves! And each of us is to tell the story in our own way. Even though both my daughter and this student played the same hymn arrangement, I doubt that anyone listening would have known that. Why? Because each played with their own style. The notes were the same, but the delivery was certainly not – and both played it beautifully!
Perhaps Priscilla J. Owens can help us out here. She wrote the following words, published in 1882 for the Union Square Methodist Church Sunday school in Baltimore, Maryland.
(Thank you for that information: http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/j/e/jesussav.htm) Take a look at the words below and notice all her suggestions (I’ve highlighted them for you! )
We have heard the joyful sound: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Spread the tidings all around: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Bear the news to every land, climb the mountains, cross the waves;
Onward! ’tis our Lord’s command; Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Waft it on the rolling tide: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Tell to sinners far and wide: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Sing, you islands of the sea; echo back, you ocean caves;
Earth shall keep her jubilee: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Sing above the battle strife: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
By His death and endless life Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Sing it softly through the gloom, when the heart for mercy craves;
Sing in triumph o’er the tomb: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Give the winds a mighty voice: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Let the nations now rejoice: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Shout salvation full and free; highest hills and deepest caves;
This our song of victory: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
What a wonderful story we have to tell to a lost and dying world! Several years ago, I was subbing for an English teacher who had given the students the assignment of writing a speech about themselves. It seemed as though she may have given them questions to get them started. One question must have been, “What are you afraid of?” To my surprise, many of the boys especially wrote that they were afraid of dying, probably because a young man from the area had just been killed in Iraq. I wanted to stand before them and shout the Gospel! Unfortunately, that is outlawed in our public schools! How sad!
We have a story to tell, dear Christian. It isn’t the eloquence of your delivery that is important, it isn’t how smart you are, or how much Bible you know; it isn’t your audience that matters – what matters the most is that you ARE telling those you meet the best news they will ever hear: Jesus saves! If you have truly been born-again than you have all that you need to tell others! Just tell them what happened to you, and God will do the rest!
“And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,” Ephesians 6:19