Tuesday, March 22, 2011

True Evangelism

“Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18).

God has given us something to talk about. It is the truth about how great His love is and how love can change the lives it reaches. Evangelism is more than words though, it is believing in the words we speak and letting the world see the difference God’s love is making in our lives. We have been given the opportunity, not only to speak about salvation, but living the life of those who are saved. We know that living the life that Satan offers in the flesh steals the eternal life God offers in Christ (John 10:10). The good news of salvation is not only spoken, it is lived.

We are living in a world of force. It is the “survival of the fittest” attitude that governs the actions of those who are bound by the philosophy of flesh. We can be thankful for the grace of our Lord that has reached out and saved us from the doom of this fleshly lifestyle. But, if we truly believe in the power of this life then our lives must reveal the changes it provides. When we say we have made Jesus Lord of our lives then we must be willing to show that proclamation. To convince the world of this life, we must die to the flesh and allow God to direct us in His Spirit.

One attitude that greatly offended our Lord as He walked this earth was the hypocritical attitude. Jesus reprimanded the Jewish leaders for pretending that they could keep the entirety of God’s Law. Oh, they knew how to talk the talk, but they could not walk the walk. And it is easy to see that their evangelistic efforts were minimal at best. We have been given the opportunity to reveal the “newness of the Spirit” by letting the word of God change us from the inside out. We cannot expect others to welcome the change if we are not willing to let our lives shine the light of God working in us (Matthew 5:16). God is love and when we accept His love as our way, the change it creates in us must be made evident. His love calls us to surrender the attitude of the world for the attitude of Christ (Phil 2:5). Allowing His love to work in us provides us a new way to live.

Evangelism is not just showing people how much you know. Sharing the good news of the truth about God’s love is revealing the “new creature” that His love has created in us (2 Corinthians 5:17). When we say Jesus is Lord then our lives are indicative of what it means to be a disciple. We are here to show the world how different our lives are because of our willingness to die to self, sacrifice our worldly minds and live in submission to His Father’s will. We will not save souls by words only. Our lives must reveal the change love produces in the willing heart.

Jesus asked some who followed Him, "Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). He went on to say how important it is to build their lives on the foundation of His teachings and used the illustration of building a house (47-49). If we want our lives to withstand the destructive nature of this temporary world, our lives must be built on the unshakable foundation of the eternity of His love. We must avoid being like those who are able to tell you what the Bible says, yet whose lifestyle is preaching a different message. We cannot bring the good news of our Lord through hypocrisy. God has established His church to “proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). If we are going to be successful in the mission then God’s mission must be successful in us.

In His Love,

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