|What a privilege it is to share the Good News with those we love! As we walk with the Lord, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may we be a mirror of His love. James describes it in this way:
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” (James 1:22-24 NIV)
As we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we also accept the responsibility to be a Christian example to those around us, especially those closest to us. Often, in our enthusiasm, we think that God’s plan for others is the same as His plan for us. We want to protect our loved ones from harm and feel that “giving” them God will provide just the protection they need. Slipping into a care-giving role that only the Father can provide causes strained relationships and halts the spiritual lives of the very people we are trying to help. Sometimes, however, they are the very ones who reject our offer to share with them the life and wonders of Christ. How, then, should we proceed? How do we fish for men in the ponds of our own backyards?
Fortunately, we have the Bible as a blueprint for Christian living. Its pages contain instruction, encouragement, guidance and examples of God’s love, mercy and grace. As we live each day, we become a small beacon of light that will lead our loved ones to the ultimate Light, Jesus Christ. May, we, by our example open the flood gates.
Thought for the Day
The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deut. 31:8 NIV)
Even before I knew the Lord, He knew me. He created me and has always loved me. He was there when I didn’t know it. He was there when I thought He wasn’t. When I gave my life to Christ, I was gifted by the Holy Spirit with an understanding of how much a part of my life He has always been and always will be. The Lord is with me; He will never leave me or forsake me. As Moses encouraged Joshua, we can encourage our loved ones to move ahead in their lives without fear also. Knowing that the Lord is with them can give them the courage to face their problems head on. But what about those who do not know the Lord? While it is our responsibility to introduce them to the God who can make a difference in their lives, it is not our responsibility to demand that they walk their walk with Him in the same manner we do.
The Lord will go before them in their trials as He does with ours. He is not just OUR God. He loves all his children and has a plan for each one of us. A plan that stretches out, one day at a time, throughout the coming year and beyond. While we may be a part of that plan, we are supporting actors. We cannot live our loved ones’ lives, but we can be an example by showing and telling them how the Lord has worked in ours.
Lord, I thank you for the people You have put in my life and given me to love. Thank you that You go before us in all our trials. You already know the outcome of those trials, Lord. It is so comforting to know that. Help me to remember that although my relationship with You is so very personal, You are not just MY God. You care for all the people I love. Help me to show them that in my trials and tribulations You have never left me nor forsaken me. You walk beside me when I am afraid. Although You asked me not to be discouraged, You told me it was OK to cry. As I pass that message along, help me to remember that it is by my example of courage and fortitude, that You will be honored.