Photograph Evangelism…The Good News in Living Color.
Most members of Emmanuel Bible Church are parents, some even grandparents. Those who don’t yet have children can still relate because we all have people in our lives for whom we are so grateful and in whom we delight. Think of these special persons in your life. No one had to force you to show that newborn baby photo, speak about your child who won the game or received straight A’s, or glow with the heartfelt report of your mom or dad who sacrificed so much for you to accomplished your noble goals. Such sharing was NOT laborious but rather spontaneous! It was easy since it came as the outpouring of a heart that was bubbling over with appreciation, delight, and love.
Yet, oftentimes when it comes to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others it becomes intimidating to us. Why do you think we would never even consider the idea that the person to whom we show that newborn photo will be offended? I think, at least in part, it has to do with our focus. Whether showing that newborn baby photo, or sharing about our beloved athlete or scholar, or communicating the deep gratitude for the precious parent who worked so hard and sacrificed so much for our benefit, our attention is not on ourselves but rather the one we love.
God’s Word tells us “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts off all fear” (1 John 4:18). I think the more we open the Bible and purposely seek the incredible love God the Father demonstrated on your behalf and mine while we were still sinners (viz. we who were dominated by the power of sin; and regardless of our veneer, lived as God-haters), the more we prayerfully contemplate the cost of Jesus Christ the Lord to redeem us from sin’s guilt and shame, and the more you and I deliberately rehearse all our blessings in Christ with a heart of worship then the more the amazing dynamic of 1 John 4:18 will become experientially real in our lives!
You and I don’t have an accurate photo of Jesus Christ in our pocket or purse to pull out and show others. However, we do have a very real, powerful, and effective picture to share with others. And, neither you nor I can ever be found without it. The image of which I speak that is always available to us to share with others concerning the wonder, awe, and love of God in Christ is YOU and me if we are born-again and the Spirit of God lives within us! If this is the case, Christ lives in us in all His magnificence and glory!
So, what am I saying? Smile at the Shoprite and evangelism is being done? No! Just as our most cherished photos are framed so that those frames draw attention to what is being displayed, so too the living-photo of Christ in you is framed by the promises of God in the Scriptures! When we share the gospel promises of God’s all-effectual grace in Christ Jesus and underpin our testimony with them, people we’ll see in you and me supernatural changes that only Almighty, All-Gracious God can produce! Isn’t this what we are told in 2 Corinthians 3:3 and 4, “And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the Living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God”?
Brothers and sisters in Christ, your life is the living-canvas on which the Lord is indelibly painting His own image! The living-photograph is not yet completed; however, praise the Lord we are not the Picasso-like canvases of distortion, perversion, and hatred towards God that we were once! “Therefore, if YOU are in Christ, YOU are a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 3:2)
Look for opportunities to share the new you in Christ with those around you, especially those in need. Tell others what Christ has done for you! Winsomely share gospel-oriented Scripture! Demonstrate the love of God perfectly revealed at Calvary by your sacrificial help towards others. A piece of paper is affected by a copy machine. The power to change that paper isn’t in the paper but the copier. Certainly, the paper must be in the copy machine and the means to produce the copy must be employed. When these things are done, the results are an amazing wonder we often take for granted!
If you are in Christ, and you’re employing the means of grace (the Bible, prayer, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and real Christian fellowship), then the Holy Spirit IS reproducing the Character of Christ in YOU in living color! And, photograph evangelism will NOT be hard at all. Keep your heart and mind on Jesus, and your evangelism will be picture perfect! Amen.
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