Speaking in public is one of man’s greatest fears. Research shows some fear it more than death. But what do people fear more, standing before a crowd and speaking, or receiving the audience’s negative reaction?
The purpose of a speech is to communicate. There are many types of speeches: informative, persuasive, entertaining, tribute, motivational, acceptance, and farewell. One of my favorite types is the demonstration speech. This speech usually includes some type of action or item.
Have you given a demonstration speech? Do you remember the topic? Maybe it was on CPR or shining shoes. If you had to give a demonstration speech, would you choose an easy topic? Would you choose one you were comfortable with? Would you choose one where you stayed clean?
In Romans 5:8, Paul writes about God’s demonstration speech: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus demonstrated his love for us by dying on the cross. This is the most horrible way to die! This is the greatest demonstration of love the world has ever seen. His death speaks volumes. According to John 10:18, Jesus chose to die for us.
Just before his crucifixion, Jesus showed his disciples “the full extent of his love” by washing their feet (John 13:1-16). “Full extent” means total expression. Jesus, “the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth” held nothing back. His demonstration was not a partial picture of his love; his total sacrifice showed the depth of his love for us. He gave his all so that we could receive everything that matters; he has “freed us from our sins by his blood” (Revelation 1:5).
At Communion, we are celebrating the demonstration of God’s love for his people. Jesus died at the right time (Romans 5:6) and in the manner God wanted him to die. As a result, no one who looks at his demonstration can doubt his love for us.
Charles Gerber is founder of Christian Counseling Services in Muncie, Indiana, and has served in this ministry more than 25 years. The counselor and author also serves as an elder with University Christian Church and as an adjunct professor with Central Christian College of the Bible, Moberly, Missouri.