This past Monday, I had a procedure at the hospital, and while in the “room,” the nurse that was preparing me to receive the medication to put me to sleep asked me, “What do you do for work?” Can anyone say open door? Well, I told her what I do and also the address of the church building. It turns out that she lives close to our building and then expressed her appreciation for the words on our sign out front. I expressed my gratitude for her kind words, invited her to visit, and went off to sleep.
When it comes to evangelism, sometimes it is our work that causes someone to think and inquire about why we do what we do. So, how we involve ourselves in our communities can impact and create opportunities to share Christ with others. For example, on Thursday of this past week, I met with two people looking to locate a facility that can accommodate a community service project called Window Dressers. It provides storm windows for those unable to afford them. Assisting in such a way is a chance to give our facility greater visibility and serve the community.
If there is one thing this last year and a half has done, it has brought much of our community service efforts to a halt. Annual car wash, Thanksgiving baskets, food for the pantry, even service towards one another are just a few examples. It is time we start refocusing and remembering that our efforts do not go unnoticed. The idea of serving the community and one another caused me to think of what Jesus taught during His ministry here on earth. With a multitude of people before Him, he said,
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand,
and it gives light to all who are in the house.”
Just how important are you to God’s great plan? What He reveals here answers that very question, at least in part. Jesus had just got done telling His followers that they were “the salt of the earth” (5:13). Salt was an essential part of their lives, used in preserving food. If that were not enough, now He tells them they are “the light of the world.” Sirach wrote, “There is nothing more useful than salt and sunshine.” Just how important is our light? Paul would tell the Christians in Philippi that they were to “shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15). In reality, we are not the source of that light but rather a reflection of His light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). Like the moon that reflects the sun, giving light in times of darkness, we to reflect the Son in an often dark and dreary world. That is what we are meant to be! We are that grand city on a hill. One person writes, “There is no greater light for God than the church that is filling its mission in the community.” As God works in and through each of us individually and collectively, we are to be that beacon in this dark world.
Let your light so shine before men that they may see
your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
As His disciples, Jesus encourages us to shine brightly! How? In part, it is through our good works, something we have been “created in Christ Jesus” to do, for we are “His workmanship” (Ephesians 2:10). Doing good works for the cause of Christ presents the opportunity to point people toward God and His saving grace. Paul said that in “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1st Corinthians 10:31). He would encourage the church in Colosse that in “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17). It is all about Him! Pointing People to God is our objective.
It is true, everyone needs to hear the gospel, and it is wonderful to learn how we can be more effective in evangelizing, that is, sharing the hope of Christ. Sometimes though, before that can happen, we need to get their attention. One way for that to happen is through good works. It is allowing God to work through us so we can shine His light in this world. Lord, use us to be Your beacon of goodness to all those around us.