“So now I am giving you a new commandment: love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
–John 13:34-35 (NLT)

When I was a relatively new Christian, I learned how to share my faith with others. After all, Jesus did say that we are to be his witnesses to the world. But as I read the above verses, I found no mention of knocking on doors or learning any kind of witnessing formula. Instead, the emphasis was on love. While it’s true that Jesus has called us to go to the highways and byways, he also said that we are the light of the world. I think that for the most part our focus has been wrong, and our light has been hidden.

According to the Master, God’s love needs to light our lamps. I can say that Jesus and I both love you on Sunday when I’m feeling the warm fuzzies. But what will happen at work on Monday, when you get the big promotion instead of me? My attitude becomes sour, and I want to get revenge instead of giving love. The person I have just told about Jesus walks off mumbling, “If that’s what a Christian is like, I don’t want any part of it.” The way we talk to others about Jesus should be a lifestyle rather than a forced role. By asking God to help us show love to that unlovely person, we will say more than we ever could have said otherwise, and when God opens the door for us to share verbally, we will have a loving platform.

To me, witnessing is like writing a term paper. I remember writing papers in college, and the professors stressed that my own words needed to be backed up with documentation. Jesus is saying here that the documentation we share with the world needs to be his love, so that our words will bring light to others. If our walk doesn’t match our talk, you can’t blame people for turning away from Christ. We need to remember that his words are words of life, and that we must ask him to cleanse our hearts before we can share them with a world that is dying.

Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870.

If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 641-715-3900, ext. 874157.