If the past year has taught us anything, it is that the world has most assuredly changing. We have surpassed another year and walked into 2017 as the world continues to shape and form around us. For some, this was marked by a difficult time, for others a time for celebration. Yet from whatever background you come from, it seems that hope was quickly fading from many people. With everything the news was reporting, the perspectives that were reinforced through our conversation, hope seemed to be a fading concept. For a world searching for hope, this is the ideal time for those who follow Christ to show the world that Jesus Christ saves.
“You are the light of the world. A town built 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 others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
– Matthew 5:14-16
The call of the Christian is not to circle the wagons for safety but to reach out into the world and set up Gospel Outposts for those seeking the three things the church can offer; faith, hope, and love. One of the pivotal parts of establishing a Gospel Outpost is to, in essence, establish yourself as counter cultural. Faith is not designed to be hidden, nor are we meant to hide our faith from the eyes of others. For whatever ridicule, persecution, or exilation a person may face, we put our faith on full display.
Relevance vs. Authentic Faith
We cannot say that the lifestyle of the mountain top will in any way be relevant to the lifestyle of the valley. People see the light and approach it because it is different and because it stands in contrast to what they know. They have tested what they know and found it to be wanting. To say that eternal life, forgiveness, and a loving relationship with a Heavenly Father is not relevant to all people cheapens the precious gift that Christ is offering. Relevant appeals to the desires of the word. Authenticity, however, speaks to our deep need for a Savior to love us where we are and guide us into a deeper relationship.
Instead of appealing to relevancy in our daily lives, we should strive for an authentic representation of our faith in Jesus Christ. We look different than those around by what we think, what we say, and what we do. As our lives are transformed by the redemption of Jesus Christ, His transformation of our souls is put on full display for all of the world to see. When people see the authentic light shining through us, they will see something different and something worthwhile. Hopefully, they will flock to it. Living out the authentic relationship with Jesus Christ will show the world that however dark and bleak things may look, there is hope in the redemption of Jesus Christ.
Choosing to Stand Out
If we are to be the light in the world that shines for all to see, it is a necessity that we stand out from the ways of the world. The ways of this world are vastly different than the ways of God. When we choose to follow God, we will stand out from the desires of the sinful heart and come alive to the renewed heart in Jesus Christ. Our standards will reflect the redeemed life given from Jesus Christ, turning our back on the ways of the world. We will be different because we have been changed.
For wherever you are starting, you can take the next step or even the first step in living out your faith. You can start attending a small group or bible study outside of your church’s Sunday morning services. You can work on a service project, mission so trip, or other form of outward expression. The idea of living a missional life rests in our allowing God to shine through us to proclaim His love to the world in the mission field of our community. Often times, these moments will be small divine opportunities to represent the God you serve to someone in need. The God who dwells inside of you and is greater than you and shines through everything you do.
Question of the Week
What are some unique opportunities you have to represent your faith and Jesus Christ in the community? Comment or email to firstname.lastname@example.org