For part four of our "Called to Mission" series, we talked about how the evangelism process begins with the lives we lead, as Kyle reminded us to "live lives of distinction."
Our lives are critical to evangelism
Christians are holy and set apart -- they are different from the world because they are like Christ. That means our lives should look like Christ's life and, in so doing, should tell the story of Christ's redemptive work in our lives.
Jesus calls us "salt" and "light"
Many of us are familiar with Jesus's metaphors for the lives of believers: He calls us "salt" and "light." What does it mean to be salt? We could carry that metaphor through all sorts of comparisons -- salt's importance in preservation and seasoning, salt's value in the Roman world, salt's indispensability in cooking -- but this Sunday, we focused on salt's distinct flavor. Nothing else tastes like salt; nothing else can do what it can for our food. So should our lives be distinctly different from those around us.
Light is the more familiar metaphor for most of us, but the key trait of light that we focused on this Sunday is that light dispels darkness. Darkness cannot stay in the presence of light -- even a tiny pinpoint of light in a dark room makes a big difference. So our lives should, by their very presence, dispel negativity, sin, and evil and cast joy, righteousness, and good over everything our lives touch.
Christ is salt and light in us
If all this salt-being and light-bearing sounds difficult, remember: we are salt and light because Jesus is salt and light in us. We are pointing to Christ's light and Christ's character with our lives. Jesus put it this way: "Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven." When people noticed Jesus's light, He pointed them to the Father, and we should do the same. God is our source of light, and we shine it all back on Him. When our lives point to God, our good works become evangelism!
Hidden light helps no one
If our lives simply blend into the world around us, we aren't being salt and light as Christ wants us to be. If we don't look different from the world, something needs to change. A good sign that we are doing things right, is if we experience persecution for our good deeds. But take heart: life is hard, but Christ has overcome the world!
Questions to consider:
- Does my life point to God?
- Is my life distinct or do I blend in with my surroundings?
- Am I shining my light wherever I am, regardless of circumstances?