This past week I was encouraged by a conversation I had with one of the folks at our church. This person was loosely connected to The Harvest for several years, but didn’t seem overly serious about a relationship with God, or about trying to live as a child of God. Instead, when he came to church it was more because there was a “Christian holiday” happening, or he needed help from the church.
That all changed a little over a year ago, and for the past twelve months we have seen him actively grow in his faith, and in his desire to live fully surrendered to God. As we were talking about that this past week, I asked him what changed twelve months ago that gave him this new passion and direction in life. He answered with one word: “Jesus”. His answer didn’t really surprise me, because I knew that a little over a year ago, he gave his life to the Lord. However, it was still great to hear, and I walked away from that conversation reminded that one of the best arguments for Christianity is a transformed life.
That conversation has continued to motivate me in my own life this week - challenging me to consider how my life reflects the fact that I’ve been transformed. It’s an interesting idea to ponder, because I’m convinced that believers can be the best advertising God has. A transformed life can be more impacting than clever TV ads, great preaching, and beautiful church buildings all put together. That’s because, when we become Believers our lifestyles should change, our attitudes should change, and our priorities should change. And through all of those things we demonstrate to the world that it’s possible to be transformed. I once heard it described this way: the greatest biography of Jesus is written in the words and actions of His people.
This is a truth Jesus drives home in Matthew 5:16, when He tells us, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” We are called to be walking neon signs for God. Our actions, words, and very lifestyle should demonstrate the fact that we are different people because of Christ’s work in our lives.
Of course, this is where the challenge comes for us because so often in the hustle and bustle of life, our focus gets more on us than it is on God. The result is that our “light” dims, and we lose our ability to illuminate the path to Christ. The good news is, we can always get our focus back on God - allowing Him to continue the transformation in our lives, and making us the example of His love that we need to be. The key is, we need to be intentional about submitting to the work of His Spirit in our lives.
So today, let’s do that. Let’s take seriously the fact that we are all “advertising” something by how we live our lives, and let’s be sure it’s God we’re showing to the world. Let’s spend time in His Word, and in prayer, and in asking Him to continue to transform us. Then, as we go through the day, we can ask God how He wants us to spend our time - how He wants us to respond to situations - how He wants us to love others. And as we follow His answers, we will have the privilege of showing the world the transformational power of a life committed to God.