SHOW GOD TO THE WORLD
Are you a disciple of Christ? We are Called to be a disciple of Christ. A disciple is a learner. But not just a student or pupil as in continually learning but someone that is an imitator of their teacher. Another way to think of it is someone that uses and applies what they learn.
“19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
This is part of that great commission that Jesus gave to his disciples. Jesus’ disciples were learners of him. They were his students or pupils. In this great commission Jesus was sending his disciples out to go and teach all nations or to apply what he taught them. In essence Jesus was making them apostles.
We commonly recognize the Apostle Paul, and know Peter, a disciple of Jesus, also became an apostle. But what is the difference between a disciple and an apostle? A disciple is a learner, but an apostle is one who is sent forth to teach or show what was learned. Jesus chose his 12 disciples for special training and when they were trained enough, Jesus sent them out to show the gospel. God is calling us to do the same, go forth and show the world this great gospel.
How many hours a day do you spend in school? In America, our students spend six to eight hours a day in school. Do you behave the same way at school you do at home or church? Are you as careful about the way you talk at school as you are at home and church? Do you make fun of people more at school than at home or church? God is calling us to show the gospel to world. This means we should behave the same wherever we are. God wants us to show his gospel to the world by the way we live our life. How many people at your school or in your village know you are Christian? Do people around you know you go to church? Do they know you pray and give thanks to God before you eat your food? Do they know you are not going to cheat on your test or schoolwork? Do they know you will not lie to cover yourself or your friend’s bad behavior? God calls all Christians to show this gospel or his light to others, but sometimes young people tend to be a little bit more nervous about doing this.
“16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
The apostle was challenging the Romans by saying, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ and you should not be either.” When you are at school do you feel ashamed of being a Christian? If yes, I want to encourage you, there is no reason to be ashamed. In fact, if you asked God into your heart, shining brightly for Christ is your right! Sometimes young people do not want to feel different than others or they do not really know how they can show people they are Christian. Translated, the word gospel means “good news”. So, the Apostle Paul was sharing his good news with the Romans and he was encouraging the Romans to do the same.
Sharing the good news of Jesus is one way to show the gospel. Usually when someone gets “good news” the first thing he or she wants to do is share it with someone else. When your grades are good you share it? Maybe you do well in a track race and you share the good news of winning. Paul was encouraging the Christians that they can share the gospel in the same way they share good news about other things in their life. When you think about sharing Jesus with others, what comes to your mind.? This is not the same as putting a bible under your arm and telling everyone you are going to church. Anyone can grab a bible and say I am going to church but their life may show they are probably not a true Christian. We need to show others we are a Christian by the way we live.
Talking about the gospel is not the only way to share Jesus. Sharing Jesus can be as simple as allowing others to see there is something different about the way we behave. When I was in school, I remember being tempted to do things that were not right but I chose to serve God. So I was different than the others around me who were making choices to do wrong. I went to grade school and then secondary school with some of the same people. My classmates knew my testimony well; they knew I was Christian. Many times, we would stand in a group and talk as many young people do. Then someone in the group would want to share a joke, and my classmates would stop them, and ask if the joke was clean. My classmates would tell them that I would not listen to dirty jokes. Because I had given my life to God, I could show my friends how to live for Christ. Can your friends see you are different? There are some kids in school that make bad choices or are continually disruptive in class. But when God changes you and you grow in him, you can show Christ in his pure form. Your friends will see a difference, they will know you will not do ungodly things, you will not do drugs, or drink alcohol, you will not sin. Your friends will know you are Christian because you have lived the example before them every day. Your teachers at school will know too. Teachers will know because you complete your homework on time, you show your teacher respect, because you won’t cheat. When I was in school sometimes are regular teacher would not come in and we would have a substitute teacher. Many times, students will cause problems for substitute teachers. God showed me I should not be a part of the problem for the teachers in class. What if you do not turn your homework in on time, or you do not do well in class, or you cause problems with other students and the teacher. Then you try to invite your teacher to church. What do you think your teacher will think? Do you think your teacher would want to go to church with you? The life we show to others is very important. If you show people God is living in you by your actions, people will recognize something different in you. Then they will ask about it and when they ask this will give you an opportunity to share what Jesus did for you.
Sometimes young people are at a loss to explain how someone can acquire salvation. The good news of Jesus has a power of its own, the power to save those that want to believe. This means that another person’s salvation does not depend on how perfectly you might or might not explain the gospel. Instead, it is how we live or show Jesus to others that is most important. If you and I do not show God to the world who will? Thousands of people die every day without God. They are dieing without knowing the happiness we have, dieing without the experience of waking up with peace, dieing without enjoying this good life that God gives. Do you see them around you? There are souls out there that need God. All around us people are searching for, seeking for, reaching for, and trying to find true happiness, and we have it! We have what they need. If we do not help those that are using drugs by showing and sharing they can have a better life, or tell those hung over with alcohol they can find true peace and joy, then who will share the good news with these who are searching? God is calling you young people. You who have chosen to serve God are called to go out and show the world there is a better way. We ourselves would not know about God unless someone first talked to us.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
We need to be ready to give an answer when people ask us about salvation. As a young person, you might ask, “what answer do I give?”. Someone may ask, “why are you happy all the time?” You can respond about how unhappy you were before Jesus came into your life. Someone might ask about your honesty, or why you never lie. You can let them know that you were not always honest, but God changed your heart and now you have power over lying. When you are showing God to the world or your friends, they will ask questions about your honorable behavior. You can let them know that God in your life is what makes the difference.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
God is calling all who love him to let their lights shine.