Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Speaking their language
You don't have to be qualified to speak the good news.
At Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came and filled those gathered in the room, and the crowds heard them, they were amazed because they were hearing their own languages. These were people from all over, and the Galileans were speaking their languages.
This was not just unusual, like "Hey, I didn't know you spoke Cappadocian!"They were 'utterly amazed'. (Acts 2:7)
Utterly -completely and without qualification; absolutely. In other words - completely, totally, absolutely, entirely,wholly, fully, thoroughly, quite, altogether,one hundred percent, downright, outright, in all respects, unconditionally, perfectly, really,to the hilt, to the core;
Amazed -surprised greatly; filled with astonishment. In other words -astonished, thunderstruck, speechless, at a loss for words, dumbstruck; aghast, taken aback; bowled over, flabbergasted, blown away.
Entirely flabbergasted, thoroughly bowled over, unconditionally thunderstruck. The Amplified Bible says they were 'beside themselves'.
Get the picture?
These were Galileans - not exactly known for there high brow education or broad multilingualism. And yet here they were, speaking in all these different languages. And all declaring the wonders of God.
You don't have to be qualified to speak as a witness. God can use you to speak anyone's language. That may not mean the languages of different countries for you. It may mean the language of your neighbour, a person in the supermarket, a young person in your church, and old person in a home...all those people who have a different culture to you. Those people with a different life, age, gender, personality, education or interest to you. Those people with whom you normally have nothing in common and nothing to say. People not of your own 'kind'. Even people who normally look down on your or ignore you.
God can give you the words to say, and those words come with power.
Those people hearing the wonders of God spoken in their own languages probably could have understood other languages. They didn't have to hear it those particular dialects to be able to comprehend what was being said. But it was more than the words; it was witnessing the power of God to transcend the natural, to go beyond boundaries and borders. To speak right to the heart.
God isn't limited by your social circle, your education, your knowledge (or lack of it), your conversational skills, your age, race or occupation. So why do we insist on limiting ourselves? Why do we say 'I'm too old to talk to young people', or 'I have nothing in common with that person', or 'People will probably think I'm stupid'?
When we let God get a hold of us, when we receive the Holy Spirit, the words we speak will have power and impact. People will notice that you are speaking their language. They will notice the difference. They will be 'flabbergasted' by the power and wonder of God.
Perhaps some of them might think you are strange (or drunk - Acts 2:13) - but there will be plenty more who ask "What does this mean?"
Be ready to tell them.