Before we can share our faith and light with others we need to make sure our hearts and minds are clearly set on God’s wants and desires. How do we do that? Pray for forgiveness for the times where we fall short, lay down any worries/cares, and ask for the opportunities to share our faith and light throughout the day. We first have to be right with God in order for us to share our faith or be a light for someone else.
1. Have you tried to share your faith with someone when you haven’t been right with God? If so, what was the result?
2. If you have tried the above, how did the experience differ when you shared your faith with someone and you were right with God at the time?
Challenge: Take time to get right with God so you can share your faith and be a light to someone else today.
As stated on a previous day, evangelism is not the only means of sharing our faith. You can share your faith in a variety of ways—giving food or clothing to those in need; providing hospitality; and showing love to those who persecute you.
1. Thinking just on this week and the activities described in this passage, how have you shared your faith with others?
2. If you haven’t so far this week, how could you have shared your faith with others (what could you have done differently)?
Challenge: Now think on the upcoming week. What one thing could you do over the next 7 days that would share your faith with others? The challenge then is to do that one thing.
In this passage, Jesus tells the parable of the farmer scattering seeds to illustrate that not everyone is going to understand or even relate to our faith stories. Just like a farmer who will plant seeds year after year, we need to continue to plant seeds by sharing our faith and being a Light for Christ regardless of the response.
1. Have you shared your faith with someone before and felt like it was fruitless? How did that impact you when you went to share the next time?
2. Think back through your faith journey. Who planted seed(s) in your life? Consider when and how those seeds helped you grow.
Challenge: Ask God to show you one person in your life who needs your story and then, have courage to share that story with them.
Sharing your faith isn’t just about sharing your testimony. We need to live as Jesus would—being kind, humble and gentle and giving freely mercy and forgiveness just as God has given those things to us. Then, the Light in us will shine and in some cases, others around us may approach us to understand why we are different.
1. Do others around you know that you are a follower of Jesus? If not, why?
2. Considering today’s passage, what action or behavior do you need to work on or show more?
Challenge: Based on what you noted above, think about one way or instance today where you could practice being a Light. Then, just do it.
In this passage, Jesus is not only commissioning the disciples to spread His teachings and their faith in Him but He is commissioning each one of us to do it too. This can be frightening to some. The thing to keep in mind is Jesus doesn’t expect perfection – just to share what we do know and what He has done for us.
1. Have you shared your faith with someone? If not, why?
2. Who around you might need to hear about how Jesus is working in your life?
Challenge: Considering the individual you identified above, schedule some time with them to connect (possibly as a means of getting to know them better). Possibly schedule some time to have coffee or lunch. Then, ask God to show you an opportunity for sharing your faith during that time.
As individuals and as a church, we are called to be salt and light in this world to those around us. This applies to our immediate families, friends, co-workers, fellow church members, neighborhood, city, and world. As long as we are here on this earth, we should be looking for opportunities to reach out to others and make a difference.
1. What has God been calling you to do?
2. What has been holding you back from embracing this calling?
Challenge: Many times we know deep down the next step God has in mind for us. We allow the unknown, fear, uncertainty, and lack of trust to hold us back from God’s calling. Be in prayer that He will give you strength and trust to step out in faith and leave fear behind.
Actions speak louder than words, a phrase that is thrown around often, but is very true. As we have been looking at gossip, being honest, criticizing, and complaining; remember actions are powerful as well. We can talk about being followers of God, say we are good people who do good things, but people see our actions. Raising kids is a great example of this. We can teach them to do the right things, but if they see us doing wrong, they are going to think it’s OK, regardless of what we say. We can speak volumes without saying a word!
1. Think about the people around you on a daily basis. Who could be watching you?
2. What are they seeing?
Challenge: Seeing yourself through others’ eyes can sometimes be a very uncomfortable view. If we honestly consider this, we often don't like what we see. There is good news, however. You can change who others see today, just by making small changes in your daily life. People around you will notice the difference!
I don't know about you, but many days I feel like anything but God's masterpiece. Many times we get so consumed with everyday life, focusing on the next thing on the schedule, that we forget basic truths. You were created by God so that you can do the good things He planned for you long ago. Be seeking out what God has for you each day, not just what your calendar tells you must be done.
1. Take a look at your calendar, is it filled with what God created you for or just “stuff?”
2. What steps do you need to take to realign your schedule and your life to match His plan, not the world's plan, for your life?
Challenge: It can be extremely difficult to change your lifestyle and schedule once it is filled with commitments. It can take time to make changes. Take an honest look at how you spend your time and ask God to help you make those tough choices.
We all remember, when we were in high school (or possibly you are currently there) the talk about what this person did or said. I am reminded this happens in all stages of life, and it is so easy to get caught up in. At work we can fall into this trap talking about the boss or other co-workers. It goes on in all types of friend groups, and can even creep into the church if we are not careful. It is so important, if you have an issue or concern with someone, that you go directly to them in love and with positive motives. Don’t make it a topic of conversation with others.
1. Is there anyone God has put on your heart while you read this whom you need to meet with? If so, who?
2. How can you approach them and have a private discussion that will be beneficial and helpful to them?
Challenge: If you do decide to have a private conversation with someone about an issue or concern, I challenge you to put yourself in their shoes first. Ask yourself how you would want to be approached in the same situation if the roles were reversed.
When I think about the words that we say and how they affect others, I think about the phrase from when I was young. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” We want that to be true, we like to think the words that people say don't hurt or even affect us, but we know they do. We can put on a tough exterior, but inside words can cut like a knife and can inflict more damage than physical pain. I tend to forget this from time to time, and catch myself saying things that I never thought I would. Even for a mature Christian, a tongue unchecked can get out of hand quickly.
1. When was the last time you caught yourself saying something that you regretted later?
2. What pain or discomfort did it cause those around you?
Challenge: Pray that God would help you keep your tongue in check. Is there someone you need to apologize to or make things right with? Do it today and begin to repair the hurt you may have caused.