That Overwhelming Feeling
I have several Bibles at my home and all of them vary in length and wording. The one I use for the majority of my study is a 1,847 page NKJV version, which includes the Old and New Testament, as well as maps and commentaries. It would take me years to read and memorize all of its content.
When I think about sharing the details of this book with others, I could easily get overwhelmed and believe I’m not equipped nor have the knowledge to share His truth. Thankfully, Jesus provides us with a simple way to share the whole gospel.
Marked by Love
In Matthew 22, Jesus teaches us that sharing the gospel requires more than knowing the story, although that part is significant. He says we must also live out His words with our actions. Jesus’ lesson can be summarized this way: love God with everything you have and love others as yourself. How do we love God? We live as Jesus did. How do we love others? We live as Jesus did.
Jesus displayed His love throughout His life when He shared the Father’s love with the world. He visited the outcasts, He healed the lepers, and He ate with sinners. Jesus knew the Word and put Scripture into action when He willingly laid down His life for those who hated Him. He treated His enemies as friends by giving them the opportunity to live abundantly if they believed in the following truth: that He was the son of God, that evil was buried in His death, and that His resurrection gave them new, eternal life.
It was that simple. Jesus lived the truth with both His words and actions. And as John 14:6 says, He is the way, the truth, and the life.
Exemplified by Truth
Many people today live by their own truth. They do whatever they want and believe in whatever they want. But until love is put into action, they’re missing the whole point of the gospel. Simply put, Christians share the whole gospel when they live as Jesus did and exemplify His truth (the only truth) through words and actions of love.
In order to love like Christ, we must first read the Bible. We can’t live out Scripture if we don’t know what’s in it. Plus, the world’s definition of love and God’s definition have vast differences. God’s definition of love isn’t always pretty or easy to do, but it’s helpful and always right (1 Cor. 13).
Don’t settle for second-hand knowledge. Study for yourself and learn the ways and patterns of Jesus, realizing that all of Scripture points directly to Him as the example for how we are called to live and love.
Characterized by Obedience
Second, we must obey what God has commanded, believing His words to be the truth for our lives. We cannot pick and choose certain passages of scripture. We have to faithfully abide by the words of Christ, even if that makes us uncomfortable. We must personally turn away from a life of sin and humbly love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. Then, we can engage with others and invite them to do the same. In grace, we are to help those around us that are hurting. We are to give aid to the orphan and the widow. No matter what their appearance, social status, or beliefs, we are to love both our friends and our enemies.
Last, we must trust the work of the Spirit inside of us to guide us in all truth to live and love as Christ did. The Holy Spirit is our best friend. He enlightens us to the wisdom of God and continuously changes us to be more like Jesus. When we believe in Jesus and live for Him, we have His Spirit inside of us, thus yielding good fruit and actions of love.