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Commissioned to SHARE

 In All Church of God, SHAPE

She was distraught as she walked down the airport hallway. I was sitting in a location where I normally don’t sit in airports. Twenty minutes later, after much discussion and prayer, she said it had been “one of those ‘God moments’ that I have read about but never thought would happen to me!” And it had been an encounter that, knowing all the circumstances, could have only been God-orchestrated.

Other experiences have been much more common. In the everyday events of life I have been able to witness about the presence and love and grace of Jesus to others. Unfortunately, there have also been those times when the words and actions of my life have been very incongruent with a witness to Jesus.

We are witnesses to something every waking moment of every day. Sometimes it is to our love of family, devotion to our favorite sports team, frustration with our job, or delight with our favorite Starbucks beverage. As Christ-followers filled with the Holy Spirit, we have been promised power to witness to Jesus (Acts 1:8). “As you are going, make disciples” (Matt 28:18–20). Wherever we go, whomever we are with, we have been empowered to witness to the good news of life through faith in Jesus Christ.

But do we? In our attitudes and actions at work, at home, in line at the local store, or on the road in heavy traffic at the end of the day, do we reflect the spirit and attitude of Christ (Phil 2:5)? It is too easy to be controlled by the world around us—events, people, values, perspectives—rather than to carry in us at all times the attitude of Christ. It is too easy to react out of the weakness of the flesh rather than to respond with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—the fruit of God’s Spirit at work in our lives (Gal 5:22–23).

Consider Acts 1:8. Christ-followers realize that every moment of life should—and can—be lived with the intention of witnessing to the reality of Jesus Christ. In every situation and relationship of life, do I live in such a way that when my opportunity to witness to Jesus arises, people are not surprised by my confession of faith? I don’t mention the name of Jesus in every relationship I have, but I do seek to exhibit the spirit and attitude of Christ at all times. I have heard people involved in the helping professions remark that Christians are among the most difficult people to deal with. We can be demanding, demeaning, arrogant, and a multitude of other attitudes and actions, failing to realize how they affect our ability to provide our world with an accurate picture of the Savior.

The same is true in the life of the church. As those who are exhorted to grow together into the “fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:13), our immaturity and self-centeredness can lead us to experience some of the most damaging witnesses to Jesus within the life of the local congregation. Remember, there is nothing that happens to us in life that gives us a right to be ungodly. Even when confrontation and correction are necessary, they are to be done in love and grace.

We have been commissioned to share the good news of Jesus to our world. That is a commissioning that extends throughout every moment of life. Jesus did not come to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17). We are to be ambassadors who joyously and faithfully carry that message. So what are you sharing with your world?

 

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