I know each and everyone one of us are called to “do the work of an evangelist,” but not everyone feels real comfortable in talking to people outside of their circle of family and friends about Jesus. That doesn’t eliminate us from speaking out and sharing our faith. I’m just saying, most Christians I know, are pretty quiet on the topic. They aren’t the ones who will give a testimony of the love of God while waiting in line at the grocery store or standing on a street corner handing out leaflets.
But if we’re not going to verbally say a word about our great God, can people at least see Jesus in us? I thought of that today as I started reading the book of 1 Thessalonians. The Apostle Paul started a church in the city of Thessalonica and it wasn’t always the words that were spoken that made the difference, it’s also what the people saw in him and his associates. Here’s what he tells us…
“My dear friends, God loves you, and we know He has chosen you to be His people. When we told you the good news, it was with the power and assurance that come from the Holy Spirit, and not simply with words. You knew what kind of people we were and how we helped you.” —1 Thessalonians 1:4-5
Can I tell you… letting Jesus shine through you happens when you “do life” among people. You weren’t meant to be an island in the ocean, a pie in the sky or the Lone Ranger. You were created, forgiven and saved to let your light shine among people. People should be able to see that you’re different, not just hear it. Being a follower of Jesus is caught as much as taught.
There’s nothing that replaces the opportunity for others to see how Jesus influences the real routine of our lives: family, friends, work, recreation, trials and even the mundane issues we deal with like shopping for groceries or cutting the grass. But it requires two things:
- God’s Holy Spirit to be living and active in our lives, and,
- For us to live among other people with intentionality.
Paul was very intentional. He wanted people to see the “real Paul.” He knew that would have the greatest impact on people’s lives. To be able to not only hear, but see, how Jesus had absolutely changed his life.
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today
I know being open and honest sometimes leaves us in a vulnerable situation, and we don’t like that. But, being intentional about living in such a way that honors Jesus, so that the world sees, will not only glorify Him, but it will rub off on others. Live your life, letting Jesus shine through you.
Help me be very intentional today and every day, living my life for You, so that those around me can not only hear it from me, but see it in me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
—Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen
Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.