Your Life – the Living Gospel

2 Corinthians 3: You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.

I was recently at the Canadian Track & Field Championships.  Canada’s top athletes were competing and there was no doubt who they were.  I stood on the far side of the stadium beside the long jump pit, far from the main bleacher that stood in front of the 100m home stretch.  Occasionally the crowd would roar when a name was called.  In the men’s 100m final it was Andre De Grasse’s name that caused a stir.  In the women’s 800m contest it was Melissa Bishop’s.  Derek Drouin and Damian Warner’s names would draw similar responses.  On my side of the track it was an American, not a Canadian, who was causing a bit of a stir.  Carl Lewis had flown in to provide some long jump coaching and support for my son and his University of Houston teammate Jarred.  In the few minutes I stood beside Carl, he had countless requests for a picture or a selfie, or just a greeting from a fan (all to which he graciously complied).

What is it that made these people stand out to these track and field fans?  Had they written some impressive articles about track and field?  Had they delivered some stirring speeches about athletics or developed some new techniques which would revolutionize the world?  No they are all athletes who did something special on the highest stages of athletics – in the Olympics and at World Championships.

This experience reminded me of the importance of actually living out our testimony.  I believe it is important for a Christian to develop a strong understanding of the scriptures and to memorize key verses.  I believe it is also important to share our beliefs with others.  “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” (1 Peter 3:15).  However, I believe it is even more important that you live out the gospel.  Your life cannot be incongruous with the messages you hear at church, or God’s laws that you read in His holy book the Bible.  Of course you cannot be perfect, and you will sin, but if your life does not even dimly reflect the life of Christ, then there is a serious problem.

Have a critical look at your life (or if you are brave, ask a mature Christian who knows you well) and determine if your life is consistent with what you believe and understand to be true from the Word of God.  Others you meet may never open up a Bible or join you at church to hear the gospel, but they will surely watch you.  Will they have an opportunity to see the gospel at work in your life?

Without the world-class performances, the athletes I mentioned above would have just been another face in the crowd whom most would have walked by without notice.  If the average athlete stood on a podium and shared their secret to success, some would politely listen, but most would walk by.  However, if any of the names I mentioned earlier did the same, a crowd would quickly form because they have a testimony.  Because of what they had done, people would be intrigued to hear their story.  Likewise, if you live out the life of a loving Christian with uncompromising integrity, where the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) are evident in your life, people will be intrigued to hear your story.  And it is then that you can effectively share the gospel because it will be consistent with what they have already seen.

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