Convict me! I am a BELIEVER!

For the last two weeks, I had it figured out what I was going to write about for this week’s blog, then, last night, I went to The Gathering in McLane Stadium at Baylor University and God said, “I have a better message for you to blog about!”

Going to this event was more than amazing! It was a revival of thousands of believers who came together to Baylor’s football stadium to worship our Savior. They could not have come up with a better name for this event, “The Gathering,” as it was a gathering of people from all walks of life, ages, backgrounds, denominations, etc. It was a gathering of Christ followers from many different places. I sat with my friend Audrey and her friends who are Baylor students. I am a UMHB student, and I’m sure that here and there, perhaps there were some from UT or A&M as well. So many people gathered in one place.

They even had different pastors, from different denominations pray at the beginning of the event, two in English, one in Spanish. It was a large group of so many different kinds of people.

But beyond that, beyond it being Bears, Crusaders, Aggies, Longhorns, young people, elderly people, middle-aged people, black people, brown people, white people, English speakers, Spanish speakers, there was one thing that united us. We are the body of Christ, we are all loved and redeemed by God, and He can use us, every part of us, regardless of where we are at, because it’s not about who we are, but who He is.

One thing that stood out to me was something that Baylor QB Bryce Petty told the audience in a video. He talked about how he struggled with his faith when he was unsure of where God was taking him as he had to watch on the sidelines as a backup QB to RGIII and Nick Florence before finally becoming the starting quarterback. However, he told us something that God revealed to him in this situation. He told us that he’s not just a football player, that playing football is what he does, it’s not who he is. Who he is, is a believer in Christ. Instead of being known as Bryce Petty, that football player, he wants to be known as Bryce Petty, that Christian.

He talked about not defining yourself by a label that the world gives you or a label you try to give to yourself, but the label God gives you. That’s the only label that we should be concerned about. The label we have as believers is that we are followers of Christ. That is the only thing we should label ourselves as. Then, Bryce Petty told us that no matter what we do, whether we are people working in an office, taxi drivers, or football players, we should do it giving God the glory, proclaiming His name to others around us.

So, I am not just a UMHB student, a History/Political Science major, an American, a Texan, or a Baptist. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. That is my label: A Believer! As a believer, I need not be afraid to wear that label, and where it proudly!

During this concert, God reminded me that as a Christian, as a believer in Christ, I need to proclaim His name at the top of my lungs. And not just to fellow Christians, but to others where I may be more uncomfortable about my faith. While it may be easy to talk faith around other believers, the true test of faith is proclaiming His name to those you are unsure of whether or not they are believers.

The speaker, Dr. Tony Evans, asked us something that I will always remember. He asked us that when those around us charge us of being a Christian, “Will they have enough evidence to convict us?” In other words, are we proclaiming His name to extent that there is no doubt of who we serve? This is one charge we must all strive to be convicted of. When others see me, I want there to be no doubt. I hope that when they see me they go, “Hey. That’s Joshua Stewart. He follows Jesus!”

Every time I look at the sky, I can’t help but smile. Every time I feel the cool breeze blowing against my back, I can’t help but think just how awesome and how mighty my God is. So why am I not proclaiming this, not just to fellow like-mined believers, but to everyone? Why can’t I jump that hurtle and climb that wall that is keeping me from telling everyone I meet and showing them, “I am a believer,” so that they too can have the same hope that I have?

One of my favorite hymns that emphasizes this is “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.”

I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back. 

Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
No turning back, no turning back. 

The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back. 

Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
No turning back, no turning back. 

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
No turning back, no turning back

Even if everyone else is acquitted, even if none go with us, will we have the courage to stand convicted and proclaim that our label is that we are believers? Will we openly follow Jesus without turning back? Will we proclaim His Good News?

Acts 20:24 says this, “However I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

In everything we do, we must do with one goal in mind, and that is to finish the race, to testify to everyone so that the whole world hears us, that we are believers! Doing so openly may be frightening. It may be scary. It may be challenging. Let us strive to take up that challenge, and proclaim His Good News to the world. Let us stand convicted!

I AM A BELIEVER! Are you!?


Anonymous. I Have Decided to Follow Jesus. Public Domain.

New International Version. Bible Gateway. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.


Until The Whole World Hears by Casting Crowns

I Have Decided To Follow Jesus/Moving Forward by Israel Houghton

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