SHOW GOD TO THE WORLD
Are you a disciple of Christ? Jesus calls us to be His disciples. A disciple is a student, but not as in continually learning. A disciple is someone that imitates their teacher. Another way to think of the word disciple is as someone that uses and applies what they’ve learned.
“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.”
These verses are part of that great commission that Jesus gave to his disciples. In this great commission, Jesus was sending His disciples to go and teach all nations or, in other words, to apply what He taught them. Jesus’s disciples were His students or pupils, and in essence, He was making them apostles.
We recognize the Apostle Paul, and we know that Peter, also a disciple of Jesus, became an apostle. But did you ever wonder what the difference is between a disciple and an apostle? A disciple is a learner, but an apostle is sent to teach or show what they learned. Jesus chose his twelve disciples for special training, and when they were trained enough, Jesus sent them out to show the Gospel to others. 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? Our students spend six to eight hours a day in school in America. Do you behave the same way at school as at home or church? Are you as careful about how you talk at school as 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 the world, which means we should behave the same where ever we are. God wants us to show his Gospel to the world by how we live our lives. How many people at your school or that live 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 will not 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.” Do you feel ashamed of being a Christian when you are at school? If yes, I want to encourage you that there is no reason to be ashamed. If you’ve asked God into your heart, shining brightly for Christ is your right! Sometimes young people do not want to feel different from others or do not really know how to 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 they want to do is share it with someone else. When your grades are good, you share them. Maybe you do well in a track race, and you share the good news of winning. Paul encouraged the Christians to share the Gospel in the same way they share the good news about other things in their lives. What comes to your mind when you think about sharing Jesus with others? By the way, sharing Jesus is not putting a Bible under your arm and telling everyone you go to church. Anyone can grab a Bible and say I am going to church, but their lives may show they are probably not true Christians. We need to show others we are 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 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. We would often stand together in a group and visit like 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. The other students would tell them that I didn’t listen to dirty jokes.
Because I gave my life to God, I could show my friends how to live for Christ. Can your friends see you are different? Some kids in school make bad choices or are continually disruptive in class. But when God changes your heart, and you grow spiritually, you can show Christ in His pure form. Your friends will see a difference. They will know you won’t do ungodly things like drugs or drink alcohol. They know you won’t sin. Your friends will know you are Christian because you live the example every day. Your teachers at school will know too. Teachers will know because you finish your homework on time, you respect your teacher, and because you won’t cheat. When I was in school, sometimes we would have a substitute teacher, and often, students would cause problems for the substitute teacher. God showed me that I shouldn’t be a part of the problem for the teachers in class. What if you don’t turn your homework in on time and choose not to 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 important. If you show people that God is living in you by your actions, people will recognize something different. Then they’ll ask about it, and when they ask, this allows you 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 the power to save those that want to believe, which means that another person’s Salvation does not depend on how perfectly you might or might not explain the Gospel. Instead, how we live or show Jesus to others 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 dying without knowing the happiness we have, without the experience of waking up with peace, or 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 don’t help those using drugs by showing and sharing they can have a better life or telling those hungover, they can find true peace and joy, then who will share the good news with them. God is calling you young people. You that choose to serve God are called to go out and show the world there is a better way to live. Unless someone talked to us first, we wouldn’t know about God either.
“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 the power, to be honest. When you show God to the world or your friends, they’ll 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.