“Here are the kinds of beliefs that God our Father accepts as pure and without fault. When widows and children who have no parents are in trouble, take care of them. And keep yourselves from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27 NIrV)
James saw the kind of faith God required. He saw it throughout his life in his brother Jesus. Jesus took time for the children. He spoke to the ignored of society. He comforted those in pain. He wasn’t afraid to put His faith to the test among non-believers. Jesus wore His faith on His sleeve if you would. He didn’t hide His beliefs in a bushel basket. He let His Light shine. He did indeed LIVE OUT LOUD!
“And do this (love your neighbors) because we know the time, that it is already the hour for us to awake from sleep, for our salvation is now nearer than when we became believers.” (Romans 13:11 NET)
We know Paul’s (Saul) story. He was the tenacious and very successful prosecutor of the Christians. He hunted them down and saw to it that they paid for their crime with imprisonment, beatings, or even death (Acts 7:59-60, 8:1-3). Once the Lord revealed Himself to Saul the Road to Damascus (Acts 9), the Lord used that same tenacity to allow Paul to now LIVE OUT LOUD for God, rather than the persecuting government. Paul then would write to the Roman believers to love out loud…all in the name of Jesus, because time was getting short! Well if time was getting short then (A.D. 57) don’t you think we should be even more alert today? God is calling for all believers to LIVE OUT LOUD in a time when so many are seeking answers to the world’s problems.
Jesus would answer the experts with a simple answer: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:29-33). It was known from the first laws laid down by God as to what He accepted as pure worship and acceptable living from His people (see Deuteronomy 6:4-5). This is the great SHEMA, with which the Jewish synagogue starts the daily liturgy morning and evening, and which every Jew is supposed to repeat at least once daily.
In a world where people are on the edge of their seat and begging for answers, we who know the Lord have those answers. We have to show His love by how we care for others. We are so rich in a nation and a world where people are losing money by the thousands every day. Love is priceless, yet worth millions. So if we love God, we must love others. It is the basic building block of our faith.
As songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman put it:
Wake the neighbors
Get the word out
Come on, crank up the music, climb a mountain and shout
This is life we've been given, made to be lived out
So, la, la, la, la, LIVE OUT LOUD