To start the New Year, I'm reading through 1 Thessalonians. As I mentioned in my post about 2015 intentions, for me, no plan = little to no growth. So this year, I have a plan for my time in the Bible. When I'm committed to not just skimming, but really reading God's Word, many things stand out to me. In Paul's letter to the Thessalonians, these verses* in Chapter two have new meaning for me:
- Verse 4: But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel, so we speak, not to please man but to please God who tests our hearts.
- Verse 8: So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God, but also our own selves.
And then I read this:
[...] but the hiding of Christ in us can never be justified, and the keeping back of truth which is precious to ourselves is a sin against others and an offense against God. [...] To speak for God will be refreshing to ourselves, cheering to saints, useful to sinners, and honoring to the Savior.
I enjoy connecting with people, and genuinely like to ask about and share in other people's lives. Most people would probably consider me to be "nice" or "friendly." However, I need to be wary of a dangerous disconnect for me. As as Christ-follower, I need to share my life and talk about the saving grace of Jesus. That sharing should be more than just a shell of words—not just being kind AND not just talking about the gospel. We should be sharing both the good news AND sharing ourselves.
We have this precious gift that should burst out of us. As you share Christ's love, extend that into sharing your life with the same people. Discuss your daily struggles and triumphs and how Jesus is good and He is there (in His sovereignty, authority, power, and love) through it all. The gospel certainly doesn't need us. Not one bit. But, as we live in our own need for Him, we can allow our hearts to be open and useful for the Holy Spirit to work in us to bring more people to Jesus. Because, in the words of Charles Spurgeon, "To speak for God will be..."
- refreshing to ourselves
- cheering to the saints
- useful to sinners
- honoring to the Savior
How do you share your life?
*these verses are in the wording of the English Standard Version
**I think the term "share" is somewhat tainted by today's social media. I don't necessarily mean we should document every detail of our lives for all to see, but we should allow others to truly partake in our lives in a more personal setting.