Don’t hide it. I remember when I was in high school, I felt too ashamed to carry the Bible. Most of the Bibles we had back then were big ones. You can’t carry one inconspicuously. Yes, I felt too embarassed to carry a Bible. Most of my friends did not carry the Bible along and seeing one wih a big Bible on hand gave a kind of different impression. They all tend to think you are that godly, angelic, holy saint. And then they would treat you like one until you make one mistake. It puts a great social pressure plus some laughs at you for carrying a Bible. I was definitely hiding my faith. Scared of what people thought of me. As for my beliefs, I wasn’t assertive about it either. I was not the kind who talks about Jesus unless a friend asked me about God and what I believe in. Being reserved by nature, I guess, it was natural for me to be quiet and so shy about almost everything. I was never the outgoing type, never boisterous, always reserved, and always the observer. It showed even in how I dealt with my faith. Of course, even quietly, we have our own way to tell others about Jesus, but back then, I had no purposeful goal to do that. I was too afraid that people would laugh at me. And I also lacked the self-confidence to do it.
When I had that “personal encounter”, a personal revelation, a quickening of my spirit by God’s Spirit, I felt the pull of God. Not a harsh one. A gentle and loving pull that told me, “I have always been here for you. I love you, my child. Walk with me.” No, I did not hear a loud voice from heaven nor a whisper or any supernatural experience. But that is how I felt when I came to realization, deep within my heart, how much God loves me, how much I need Him in my life, and more than ever, I decided to follow Jesus. An intentional following that I started to thirst and hunger for His Word. From then on, there was no more hiding. I was even proud to carry my Bible, the big one, when going to church. Upto now, I have that Bible with me. Look at it in the picture below and see how old it looks. There are pencil marks along the margin of the page that would tell you that I was on it for the real deal. But, you know, I am a pretty slow learner. Reserved but hardheaded, so it took many stumblings and many falls before I really learned what God wants to teach me in many areas of my life.
One of the things I learned in my walk with God is that we could not hide what is inside in our heart. When we experience the love of God, we can’t help but share it to others. We cannot hide it.
“For I am not ashamed of the Good News of Christ, because it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first, and also for the Greek. For in it is revealed God’s righteousness from faith to faith. As it is written, “But the righteous shall live by faith.”– Romans 1:16-17 (WEB)
Who is Jesus to you? My concept of God when I was young was different to my knowledge of who God is when I knew Jesus more and more. Probably, majority of the people know the name Jesus, but few could really say who Jesus is in a personal level. Personal level does not imply that we have seen Jesus face to face. Remember, Jesus said to doubting Thomas,
“Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”– John 20:29 (WEB)
Personal level means a close walk with God which made us familiar in His ways because we talk with God and we listen to what He wants to tell us through His Word. We know what pleases Him and what displeases Him. We learn to trust His wisdom and love for us.
People who do not have that closeness with God in a personal level have a different view of God. In Matthew 16:13-14, Jesus asked the disciples if what men thought about who He is. There were men who believed that Jesus was John the Baptist, others said, Jesus was Elijah, or Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. Even at present time, there are many different views about who Jesus is. Some thinks Jesus is a good prophet, while there are others who believe Jesus is God, the Savior who gives eternal life to all who believe and follow Him.
When Jesus asked Simon Peter, this is what Peter said.
“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”– Matthew 16:15-17 (WEB)
Peter, who has been a close disciple of Jesus, knew Jesus for real. And Jesus said, this revelation comes from God. Our faith is not our own doing, it comes from God.
We cannot know Jesus fully unless we come to Him in faith and spend time daily with Him as we spend time with our close friend or with our family. We give time for prayer and for studying His Word. We listen to His guidance and direction. We seek His will for our life. We walk in that will He has for us. Then, God is able to reveal to us who Jesus is as He revealed to Simon Peter.
Jesus Christ is the name of my wonderful God, my Lord and Savior, who loved me in my flaws and accepted me in His kingdom even with all the shortcomings I have. He is my loving Father. He is my faithful Shepherd. He is my sure Salvation. He is my great Healer. He is my constant peace. He is life. I could not imagine living life with a sense of meaning and peace without Jesus Christ, my Lord. He holds everything in place. He holds all my tomorrows in His loving hand. In Jesus, I shall not be shaken, I shall not be moved.
Who is Jesus Christ to you? If you have not yet met Jesus up close, I pray you will experience His grace in a personal way. If you already did, I pray you will continue to abide in Him and shine as light in the part of this world where He placed you.