I think like most others, I tend to camp out in the New Testament. Sorry, Ezra and Nehemiah. Old Testament history can get, well, old! The words of Christ are magnetic. I mean who doesn’t want to dwell on the eternal wisdom Jesus shared with His disciples?
As I try to improve my constant contact with God (love me some step 11!), I have found myself spending a lot of time heeding the advice of my friend and Bible study leader by seeking to understand God’s character in His words. In John 13:35, Jesus reminds His followers to play nice. He tells them: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” It reminds me of something my mother would say to me and my brother when we were fighting. “Love each other. One day you may not have anyone else!”
I read those words and put them out of my mind. I mean of course we should love each other. Lines up with what Jesus called the greatest commandment: love God, love your neighbor as yourself. Ok, I got that. Only, Paul had to go and mess it all up for me.
In Romans 10:14-15, Paul wrote: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?” Ok, sounds like the work of preachers and missionaries. Except, Jesus told us in the Great Commission in Matthew 28 to go and tell.
I don’t know why, wait I really do know why, but all those disparate points coalesced in my recent study of Romans. By how we love one another, others will know we belong to Christ. Not will come to Christ…will know we belong to Christ. Jesus told us that wasn’t enough. Go and tell. Paul took it a step further. He reminded us that people need to be told. They need to hear the words, to listen to the Gospel. We must go and tell. Tell the story of Jesus, the Gospel, and how he overcame death and sin and was raised from the dead. And how He saved you and all about your story of recovery and redemption. How he didn’t walk away from me and redeemed me in my addiction and continues to work in my family…all about my story.
So go. Tell. In your work. At your school. To your neighbor. Your co-workers. Your friends. What better way to show your love than to share the Gospel with others. And if you feel safe, share your story of how Christ redeemed you.