Our Lives Are Examples
We should strive to live in such a way that non-believers will want the love we have.
"Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God."(1 Peter 2:12 )
I have a confession to make. One day while driving, I made a rude gesture to another driver who had almost caused an accident. But then I remembered that I had a church bumper sticker on my car! I had no excuse to be disrespectful anyway; but, I asked myself, how dare I be rude almost literally in Jesus’ Name?
Can’t Help Doing Wrong
Have you ever had a similar experience? If so, you’re in good company: the Apostle Paul wrote, “I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway” (Romans 7:19 ). Only God’s saving grace through Jesus Christ allows us to be forgiven, and helps us turn away from sin. Paul goes on to advise, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person”(Romans 12:2 ). I shouldn’t have reacted in a worldly way when I was scared; I should have followed Jesus’ example of self-control.
Light of the World
Jesus told His followers, “You are the light of the world”(Matthew 5:14). So, “we must live decent lives for all to see”(Romans 13:13). You never know when someone is watching you. If a Christian repeats the same sin over and over, what kind of testimony is that? But if you are living for Jesus, you can be a godly example to those around you – even in places where it is unsafe to talk about Him.
We should strive to live in such a way that non-believers will want the love we have. Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples” (John 13:35), and that “when you produce much fruit, you are My true disciples” (John 15:8). St. Paul explained that this “Spiritual fruit” is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”(Galatians 5:22-23). Living with these godly qualities glorifies the Father and can encourage non-believers to want to know more about the Lord.
Prayer, Care and Share Jesus
* The Prayer, Care and Share (PCS) series is a guide to help you pray and care for others and share your faith in Jesus *
Scripture: "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. "(Matthew 5:14-16)
What attracts you to other people? Jesus calls us to attract people to Him and to the Father by our positive lifestyle. Unbelievers should want to be like us!
Note that Jesus does not say we should start with preaching, but DOING! He also implies that if we do bad things, we will push people away from Jesus! While we should not hide or be ashamed of our faith, Jesus also makes it clear that we should not boast about the good we do. We should humbly give glory to God in all we do.
We can start by asking the Lord to help us root out all open sin in our life that might push our friends or neighbors away from Jesus. Of course, we should strive to eliminate ALL sin from our lives, but in the PCS lifestyle the open sin (such as swearing, cheating, dirty jokes, flirting and substance abuse) should go first, so that it does not hinder our witness.
Pray this week:
That God will help you do what is right, rather than what is worldly.
In what practical ways can you share Jesus' love with others this week? How can you guard against being a negative example of what a Christian should be and instead let Jesus' love-light shine? If you need ideas, talk to us and we'll give you some!