Now, Joseph and John’s attention is turned to building a bookcase, which has to be completed by the middle of next week so that the carpet can be installed.
(This is the eighth in a series of entries drawing analogies between experiences that Ambassador Joseph Grew shared about in his book Ten Years in Japan and practical aspects of being an ambassador for Jesus Christ)
Ambassador Grew spent 17 days aboard a ship traveling from the United States to Japan. While he was onboard the ship, he spent most of his time reading about Japan and preparing speeches.
Ambassador Grew shared, in several places within his journal, how very important speeches are to ambassadors. He went on to share that an ambassador should always be ready to share on a variety of topics. Such speeches don’t always come easy as evidenced by his journal entry for May 21, 1933, which was titled, “The Burdens of Speechmaking.” He had spent that entire day writing a speech that was to be given at the dedication of a new hospital. Coming up with an analogy or theme for the speech was often the most challenging part of speech preparation for Ambassador Grew. However, once he had an idea and started on it, he shared that the speech generally came together rather well.
Because Ambassador Grew had been in the Foreign Service for many years and held a number of different postings, he had developed the habit of saving the notes from his various speeches in case there was ever a need for a similar speech in the future.
The spiritual analogies seem so very obvious!
Jesus began His public ministry giving “speeches” and publicly sharing the gospel:
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17)
He continued speaking and teaching all throughout His ministry:
And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils. (Mark 1:39)
Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. (John 18:20)
And Jesus preached and publicly shared right up until the end:
And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives. (Luke 21:37)
Jesus shared how His Father’s kingdom impacted many different practical aspects of life. The gospels are filled with His teaching about: love, service, divorce, prayer, sacrifice, blessing, defilement, thought-life, enemies, discipleship, idolatry — and the list could go on and on.
Peter, one of the disciples, who spent three years with Jesus, wrote that we should always be ready to give answers when we are asked (1 Peter 3:15). Paul encouraged Timothy to be ready to preach “in season” and “out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2).
What if an ambassador didn’t feel he was an ornate, naturally-gifted speaker? Would that exempt him from needing to prepare and give speeches? No. Considering that speeches are simply a part of an ambassador’s job, I think he would just have to work harder to prepare and then give those speeches!
What about us, as ambassadors for Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:20)? Are we ready and willing to publicly share? If given an opportunity to speak, will we? Do we spend the necessary time to properly prepare for such sharing? What a blessing that we have the gift of the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us as we prepare (John 16:13), and because He is within us (John 14:17), we can rely upon Him as we share!
Anytime we are presented with an opportunity to publicly share Christ may we do so!
Sunday night was the first time we have been invited to play at one of our local churches. It had been put together by a couple who attend our nursing home church. The husband is a resident in the nursing home, and his wife is with him every day. After we had played at the nursing home last Christmas, the wife began talking to friends at her church suggesting they have us sing there. The church invites groups to sing on fifth Sunday evenings.
We were blessed by having many of our friends join us for the evening in addition to the members of the church. The nursing home brought a van load with 7 residents and 4 volunteers. Work acquaintances, old friends we hadnâ€™t seen for a long time, friends of Teriâ€™s parents, neighbors, and those we interact with around town brought joy to our hearts by giving up their evening to spend with us.
We played many of our usual songs plus two Christmas songs, and between each song one of us gave a testimony. â€œThe LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise himâ€ (Psalms 28:7).
Trusting in Jesus,