Carol Round

“Lord, your loyal followers are happy. They live in the light of your kindness”— Psalm 89:15 (ERV).

“When I saw you driving up, I thought to myself, they love Jesus.”

But, it wasn’t just the new shirt my friend was wearing that led to a stranger’s remark when we stopped at a gas station to fill-up on our way to the Colorado Christian Writers Conference last month. Before the young woman had even read the words on Clarice’s shirt, she’d already recognized fellow sojourners.

The shirt my friend wore proclaimed, “Messy Bun and Jesus kind of day.” It was an appropriate thought for a day spent on the road. 

The stranger approached as I was filling up the gas tank and Clarice was cleaning  the windshield. “I just love your shirt!” the young mother said.

Our pre-ordained meeting with the young couple, who were traveling from North Carolina with their six children to their home in Ogden, Utah, came as we drove across Kansas. It opened the door to an uplifting conversation. 

The husband and wife are worship leaders in their church and were returning from outreach work to other church groups, After exchanging email addresses, we agreed to stay in touch.

When I think back to this young woman’s statement about my friend and me loving Jesus, I’m in awe. While there are no bumper stickers on my car to proclaim my faith, this stranger saw the light of His love shining through us.

In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world…..let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in Heaven.”

What is that light that shines from someone who loves the Lord? It is the glory of God.

In Philippians 1:20–21,  Paul writes, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

To be an effective witness for His amazing grace, we have to surrender to Christ. It’s a daily dying to self. As John the Baptist said in John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

What does that look like in the Christian life? It requires time spent in God’s Word every day. How can we be filled with His Holy Spirit if we forsake reading scripture? It’s the Holy Spirit’s presence within us that draws people to want what we have.

You do not have to wear a shirt proclaiming your love for Jesus, but for people to see Jesus in us requires us to be careful about the way we dress, the way we speak, the way we act and the choices we make. It’s not about following a set of rules, but about loving Jesus so much that we want to emulate Him.

We need to let people hear Christ in our words of grace, to see Him in our good deeds, especially by helping those who have little,  and by loving others in a way that doesn’t depend on who they are, but upon who Jesus is.

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