‘That the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus’ – Philemon 1:6.
The Goal for 2020 is to share our faith more effectively. However godless our nation has become it does not have to stay that way or plummet even further into degradation. Nations can be changed by a move of the Spirit in response to the prayers and witness of God’s people. Our text reveals three things to keep in mind that will help us to effectively witness.
- Godward – ‘acknowledgment of every good thing’
‘Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God’ – James 1:17 TLB. This is why I say grace before a meal. It’s acknowledging I am blessed with food and thankful not only eating it but also for those who prepared and served it. It’s good to able to tell people because I am a Christian all things are working together for good, even the bad things life throws at me. It’s not bad luck but there’s a God who is able to turn what is against me into something that is for me. Joseph told his brothers, ‘You meant evil against me but God meant it for good!’ – Genesis 50:20. Let people know whose you are and whom you serve and that you are thankful for God’s love, care and protection.
- Inward – ‘which is in you in Christ Jesus’
This is the one main difference between Christianity and every other religion – ‘Christ in your hearts is your only hope of glory’ – Colossians 1:27 TLB. The Old Testament records a temple built with hands that God chose to dwell in. The New Testament shows how believers, individually and collectively, have become a temple that the Holy Spirit dwells in. It’s God on the inside, never to leave us or forsake us. In our flesh dwells no good thing but God inhabits our spirit which has been made righteous by the blood of Jesus. Jesus called it being born again (See John Chapter 3).
I once asked a lady if she ever witnessed about Jesus. She replied, “I am so worried about my salvation I do not have time to worry about anyone else!” How sad! Thank God we can witness because we know we are saved and sure of heaven. It’s only through having an inner certainty can we ever share our faith effectively.
- Manward – ‘that the sharing of your faith’
Philemon did not keep his faith to himself but shared it with others and this is our mission too. If there is no manward evangelism, then we have missed the point. When does Jesus want us to really know that He is with us? When we go, ‘Go therefore… and I am with you always’ – Matthew 28:19-20.
We talk about so many things to so many people but does Jesus ever get a mention? Who will we obey? The world that says, do not talk about religion or the God who commands us to preach the gospel to every person? This is the challenge to us for 2020 and the coming decade.
20/20 vision is a term for perfect eyesight. As a Christian, I need to see God correctly, myself correctly, and then I will see people correctly as Jesus did. ‘When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd’ – Matthew 9:36 NLT.
Get this picture vividly in your mind and it will not be long before you go and tell people about your wonderful Saviour who can save, heal, bless and deliver. If you are having trouble seeing these things, then ask the Lord to anoint your eyes with eye salve that you may see (See Revelation 3:18).
I pray that you will have a blessed and peaceful New Year.