I have been a Christian since I was a wee thing, and so arguably my faith has grown up right along with me (I was immature in my faith right around the time I was immature in all things). But growing in the Lord is different from growing as a person — we can always grow in our relationship with Jesus.
Having said that, there are a few things I’ve learned in just the last few years that I wish I’d known all along! In fact, I wish I’d had someone to tell me these things sooner. So I thought today I’d share some of my biggest lessons here.
My faith is not private.
I was reminded of this important fact while listening to our Into the Harvest recent conversation with Susie Walthers and Liz Hile on Rediscovering the Mission of Jesus. Those words practically jumped from my headphones and hit me square in the face! We live in a culture that is constantly telling us to “Go ahead and believe in Jesus, but keep it to yourself! Don’t offend the world around you by pushing that message on them!”
In reality, we as followers of Jesus hold the very key to life and we absolutely must share that with those around us. Their life depends on it.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5.14
I have a story. Learn to tell it.
If you have a relationship with Jesus then you have a story. A story that includes a time when you didn’t know Jesus and a time when you started following Him. I’ve shared too many “testimonies” over the years that get bogged down in the “before I was following Jesus” portion of my life and then rush on to how I am now and literally skip right over the important Jesus moment in the middle!
It can happen to the best of us, especially if we’re doing public speaking (nightmare central!). But what if we all started to see that our own story is just a teaser trailer to the really good stuff? What if instead of having a 30-minute epic tale we learned how to articulate ourselves in shorter form? A few descriptors of who you were before Jesus and who you are now. What if we learned to drop this little story into conversation followed by a question and then just see what the other person had to say?!
See your story of Jesus as just the jumping off point into something greater. And get so acquainted with that story that you could tell it in your sleep — or better yet, when you’re standing in front of someone who really needs to hear it.
I have a mission. We all do.
As a follower of Jesus, we are each called to live a life striving to honor Him. There are literally no days off! Monday morning in the break room, Tuesday afternoon getting your oil changed, Wednesday at the dentist (this is arguably one of the HARDEST places to share the gospel!), Thursday at school pickup, Friday in the grocery checkout line, Saturday at your granddaughter’s soccer game, Sunday picking up donuts before church service.
I’m not saying you’re sharing the gospel in all these moments (although, why couldn’t you?)! But I am saying that if I’m in a rich and close relationship with Jesus every single day, then these moments are for Him too! I am challenged to take back all the moments in my own life, both important or mundane, and give them back to the One who died for me!
Now it’s your turn!
As long as I keep digging into Jesus, I know that He will continue to reveal more lessons. He is, after all, faithful to keep up the work He is doing in our lives (Philippians 1.6) and I’m sure if you’re walking with Jesus then He has done the same for you.
I would love to hear the truth Jesus has been teaching you. What are your lessons? Leave a comment and let us know!