BE: Evangelism

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-17 NIV)

During the Christmas Season we celebrate the arrival of the light in the world of darkness. In John 12:46, Jesus says, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” Earlier, in the beginning of the book of John, Chapter 1, we read that, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” (v.5, 9 NIV)

A flame… a light in the darkness. As disciples and followers of Christ, we are to be bearers of the light and not only that, but we are to share that light with others. In the Scripture verses quoted above Jesus tells us that we are, “The Salt of the Earth…The Light of the World.” Within these words is a warning that should we lose our saltiness we are no longer helpful or good for anything. If we lose our saltiness we are no longer beneficial ambassadors for Jesus here on earth; we are no longer useful as his hands and feet. If we want to be effective Christ-followers we cannot lose what makes us powerful and fruitful. If we are bearers of the light we are to let the light shine in our lives and “shine before others.”

“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-17 NIV)

Each of us is to BE…

BE who God created us to be.

BE in relationship with God.

BE in relationship with others.

Be the Salt.

Be the Light Bearer.

Within NYI (Nazarene Youth International), we work from a perspective of three core strategies: BE, DO, GO. I believe that these three words serve as reminders and provide a focal point for commitment as we move forward together being followers of Christ. Recently, God has been speaking into my life and focusing my attention on the idea of BEing. In saying that we are a Christian or that we believe in Jesus Christ, we are not talking solely about something that we do or the way we act. We are referring to our very essence as a human being; we are touching the core of who we are. We are called, and take up the call, to BE.

We are to BE…..

BE a disciple of Christ.

BE a student of the word.

BE a prayer warrior.

BE a servant of the Lord.

BE with Him and share Him with others.

When it comes to proclaiming the Gospel and living out our faith we need to be honest with ourselves. We are all growing, all learning. None of us are perfect and none of us know it all. We are on a journey.

We do not know it all and we cannot be afraid to admit that. When we live an open, authentic life as a follower of Christ people take notice. In evangelism, as with everything else in our lives as disciples of Christ, it all starts with Jesus. Our own personal relationships with Jesus and our own testimonies are the greatest tools we have for evangelism. If we do not, or have not, experienced the forgiving nature of Jesus we cannot share with others the truth of his amazing love and the freedom found in Him. If we have not acknowledged and accepted the love and grace of God we cannot communicate it. We share our faith not just by our words or during outreach programs, but we share it every day, everywhere by our very being a forgiven and freed child of God.

Billy Graham once said, “We are the Bibles the world is reading; we are the creeds the world is needing; we are the sermons the world is heeding.” If your lifestyle does not bear the mark of a life changed by Christ then you are like the hidden light or ineffective salt. Jesus does not just affect our beliefs, He changes lives. He transforms us from being slaves to sin into being children of God.

We are to BE faithful and authentic and bear the light of Jesus in our lives. The Holy Spirit in us is really the One who does the work of evangelism, but in order to do that we must be open to the Spirit’s movement and presence in every area of our lives.

In their summary of what it means to BE NYI explains that in evangelism, “God’s Spirit is already at work in people’s lives; wooing them before us (prevenient grace) and our invitation is to join Him and follow the Spirit’s leading in the process.”

We are to BE examples of God’s unconditional love. Not only do we confess the salvation and forgiveness brought to us by God, but we offer it to others. We live our faith and we offer love even in moments when we are tempted to hate. We offer forgiveness whether it is accepted or not. We love our enemies, the hurting, the down and the out. We are to BE the hands and feet of Jesus. NYI adds, “Evangelism is coming to Jesus and letting Him form you to be in relationship with others.”

So, together let us BE.

Andrew Barker