Not too long ago I finished up the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. That book is filled with so much goodness, highly recommend it, but today, I want to chat about one small part in particular, that totally convicted and changed me. It said “Whether we like it or not, we’re the only Jesus some people will ever see.” Wow! Then the author goes on to quote Dwight L. Moody who said, “Of one hundred men, one will read the Bible and ninety-nine will read the Christian.” Double Wow!
Did that just make you pause for a moment? Need a second to wrap your mind around it? Scroll up and re-read those two quotes one more time… Not sure on your reaction, but I feel like this should be a wake up call for all of us, especially in times like today where things are so uncertain and the bad seems so much easier to find than the good. I believe that God’s Word is powerful and transformational, but what if people aren’t in His word, rather they are looking to us to be living out the Word?! Personally, right now I think people are curious about God, searching for something to give them hope, possibly they are wondering if He really could exist, and if He does, what does it mean to believe. In that questioning, 99% of people aren’t going and grabbing a Bible, no, they are looking to us, believers, to see who He is, to see if God’s people really are different and if we reflect who they’ve possibly heard He is and not just in our actions, but in our words too. I feel that weight with you, the responsibility it holds, but this is super encouraging for us. Yes, it’s packed with a bit of a punch, but it needs to be because that is what is going to get us into action. What it sounds like is that if we don’t look like Jesus to the world, so many people in the world will miss out on knowing Jesus and who He really is and in turn not have an opportunity to have a relationship with Him. God longs for ALL his children to find him, to know him, to LOVE him and have a relationship with him. And this is a call for all of us as believers. I love how the Lord works, this quote that convicted me goes hand in hand with the core verse of our A Light In The Darkness Devotional, Matthew 5:14-16; we need to be lights in the world, when it seems dark, believers like us should be standing out, leaving people curious “What is different about her.” And then we can go on to share the Good News of Jesus.
In thinking about this for the past few months since reading it for the first time thinking “WOW!” it’s time to ask ourselves “HOW?” How do I reflect Christ so that when the ninety nine read me, they get a glimpse of Jesus? The best way I believe is we need to spend time with God because when we are distant or in a struggle with him, our hearts aren’t in line and our character reflects that. Have you noticed that? We can’t look like Him if we aren’t spending time with him. And what that looks like is getting to know Him by reading His Word and learning who He is and spending time in thanksgiving, prayer and worship. As we do these things the more natural it just becomes for us because He is working through the Holy Spirit within us to transform us from the inside out! Immediately my mind jumps to a verse the Lord gave me for 2020 that has now become my life verse, Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” As believers, God’s word says we should not look like the world, rather to try and see things through the lens of His perspective. I think of Jesus here on earth. Personally, I don’t think Jesus ever looked like the world, do you? He stood out because He was different, He lived for God, His Father. I know this sounds kind of cliché or “old school”, but WWJD- What Would Jesus Do? This still needs to be a question we ask ourselves regularly. He knew He was doing things that people were taken back by and confused by why He did certain things, but He did them anyways. He didn’t care what people thought, He cared what God thought. He was living for God His entire life, not for man or the things of this world. It’s tricky though, no one is wearing a tag on their shirt that says, “I don’t know Jesus”, we have no way of knowing who has an open heart for the Lord, so we have to assume no one knows Jesus and that everyone needs Jesus in their life. Instead of being afraid of what the world might think about us for how we act, speak or believe, we should be more afraid of displeasing the Lord. We should be constant posture that we have something that could bless and change so many lives, and with a gift like that, why wouldn’t we want to share it? Not everyone is going to agree with us believing and following Jesus, we may even get made fun of, but when our hearts are in line with the Lord, we will naturally look and talk differently and then it’s off our hands, then they get to choose what they do with their curiosity, but we can have confidence from the Lord that we did our part to reflect Him the best we could.
So, what if you are the one; the one someone is reading to find Jesus or to get to know Jesus? Let’s continue to spend time with God, so our hearts are aligned to Him. Then when He unknowingly presents someone to us, when they read us instead of the Bible, they still meet Jesus.