Jump Start # 2900
Acts 4:20 “for we cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard.”
Here we are at yet another Jump Start milestone, number 2900. And, with that number we can already see the next huge record, 3000! Unbelievable! Who would have thought that this little project would have taken off and lasted this long. I didn’t. Our subscription lists continues to grow every week. Our readership is international. I’m now running into people who tell me that they have been reading Jump Starts for years. Our little Jump Start family is very dear to me.
Here are a few things about Jump Starts that you may not be aware of:
First, there are now 26, and soon to be 27 individual Jump Start books on a variety of topics. These are always free and you can get any of them mailed to you by contacting me.
Second, on the Jump Start website is a search engine that allows you to search specific passages that I have written about. This is helpful for getting ideas for invitations, sermons, or classes. I use it. I’ll go back and read something that I wrote years ago, and find it is useful for something I am working on presently.
Third, on Mondays, our congregation has a podcast called Jump Start rewind. I pull a Jump Start out of the achieves and read it. The podcast generally lasts around five or six minutes, which is about how long it takes to read one of these. But in that short amount of time, a thought, an idea, an encouragement is placed in your heart that can shape the rest of your day.
One of the best ways you can help us is to share a Jump Start with a friend and tell others about it. We have only used word of mouth as a means of growing these. That is the most powerful way of sharing good news. I’ve noticed through the years that these Jump Starts have involved a lot of personal reflection and sharing. I’ve talked about the days up to my daughters wedding. I shared info about going to concerts and ballgames. I’ve talked about grandkids. I shared the journey through my father’s death and his funeral. I never intended this to be an on line diary but I suppose when you write every day, you share what is in your heart and mind, you share your life.
I am very thankful for the wonderful congregation that I am a part of that has believed in this and has funded this and allowed me the freedom to write what I feel will help people. I could not have done this without their blessing, love and encouragement. This is first and always an extension of the work I do with the Charlestown Rd congregation.
And, on this day, I think about my dear friend Jim Babcock, who is now on the other side. Every milestone he’d call me. He’d ask me how much longer I thought I would continue this. He’d offer some kind words and encourage me on. I miss him.
Our verse today comes from the words of Peter. He had been in prison in Jerusalem. I now wonder if it was at Caiaphas’ house. I wonder if it was the same place Jesus was held before his trials and death. He was told to stop preaching. And our verse is what Peter replied. “We cannot stop speaking…”
Peter was sure. Peter was moved by conviction. Peter was not going to silenced. The world needed to know. And, what a change we witness in Peter. Just months before, months, not years, Peter fearfully denied knowing the Lord. He was scared of what a servant girl exposed him as. But now, with city officials demanding that he keep quiet, Peter has the fire of the three Jewish men who would not bow before the Babylonian idol.
Conviction will do that. It will drive a mom to write a letter to the school complaining about the awful books being presented to young children. It will cause a college student to kindly, but firmly, challenge a professors arrogant and blasphemous statements about the Bible. It will cause a worker to tell his boss that he will not participate in dishonesty, even if it costs him his job. It will cause a sweet grandmother to contact her granddaughter about what she has posted on Facebook.
Conviction. It’s the fire in the furnace. It’s the call to action. It’s the drive to stand up for Jesus. And, from one of my favorite articles by writer Bob Moorehead, “I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still…I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I will not give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go until He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me—for my colors will be clear.”
That, my friends, is conviction! Peter had it. Jesus had it. Nehemiah had it. Do you have it? Have you sold out? Have you hid in a cave with Elijah? Have you walked away with Demas? Have you found a convenient, yet crooked path with Jeroboam? Have you betrayed with Judas?
This world isn’t on our side. We don’t fit in. Tis the season for real faith and real conviction.
We cannot and we will not stop speaking about Jesus!