“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
“Holding Forth the Word of Life”
(Please read Philippians 2:15-16)
There are differences among versions as to the translation of the phrase the King James Version renders “holding forth,” with some saying “holding fast” or “holding out” the word. But it seems obvious that if Christians are “seen as lights in the world,” as the text indicates, we must be showing others the word of life. For the light which we are able to shine is not of ourselves but of that word.
A good idea, but how do we go about it? We can think of at least three ways. The first is to share the word by declaring it. Churches do quite a bit of that in our assemblies. But we’re all directed to tell of our faith, and not just in church services. Let’s be always ready to do that (see 1 Peter 3:15).
Besides talking about it, we must be demonstrating it by the way we live. Many people are likely to read Christians before they read the Good Book. Paul told the Corinthians, “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody” (2 Corinthians 3:2, NIV).
We can also hold forth the word by defending it. We should be like Paul, “not ashamed of the gospel,” and willing and ready to defend when it is attacked. Then we can honestly sing, “I’m not ashamed to own my Lord, or to defend his cause.” Our manner of defending it is prescribed in Peter’s words, previously cited, “with gentleness and respect.”
If all of us radiated the word in these ways we might turn out to be pretty good evangelists!