That He May Be Known
"May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us...May your ways be known through the earth, your saving power among people everywhere. May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you."
Reading this Psalm today, it hit me. This is an Old Testament expression of Jesus' command:
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" Matthew 28:19
We know this as the Great Commission. It's God's purpose for our lives--that he would be glorified--that he would be known as Jehovah God, the only true and living God, the One who saves.
I have to confess. I shrink back from this command. Lord, I don't have the gift of evangelism. I don't have the courage to approach strangers and ask them--"what decision have you made about Jesus?" I get nervous and tongue-tied. I say it wrong--and my voice quivers. I'm not Billy Graham or Greg Laurie!
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere--in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8
There were ten other apostles aside from Peter and Paul. There is scant mention of them. Yet, their witness for Jesus was powerful--where they were. Some of them were married and had families (remember Philip had four daughters who prophesied). Some of them hosted believers in their homes. In fact, homes were where the believers gathered. Formal buildings called "churches" were unknown in New Testament days. Believers are the church.
Believers shared the truth and love of God in their every day lives. Today, do we see our homes as Jerusalem? I have to ask myself, "Am I reflecting the love of Jesus to my family in the way I treat them? Do I sacrificially love them or do I selfishly love them? What is my motive? Am I encouraging them or complaining? Do they see Jesus in me?
What about our neighborhoods (Judea)? In this age of preoccupation with social media, do we even know our neighbors? Do we pray for them? They notice us.
Following the death of my husband I moved to Southern California to join households with my adult daughter and family. A month before moving we had an estate sale of the possessions I no longer needed. During that sale a neighbor (someone I only knew by sight) purposefully approached me.
"Thank you for being a good neighbor," he said.
"I don't know you. How can you say I'm a good neighbor?"
"You always kept your place neat."
That was it? I was a good neighbor because I pulled weeds?
Our actions may be the only 'words' other people hear.
"And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus..." Colossians 3:17
How we treat our families, how we participate in their activities, how we perform in the workplace, how we treat the people who serve us at the market...in a restaurant--all of these are ways we 'tell' people about Jesus. Actions open the door for words to follow. Conversely, words without confirming actions are hypocrisy.
Not many of us are called to be Billy Grahams, but we are called to let the light of Jesus Christ shine in us...every day wherever we go (Samaria and the ends of the earth). Holy Spirit power is our promise to fulfill this calling.
"May your ways be known throughout the earth, your saving power among people everywhere. May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. Let the whole world sing for joy, because you govern the nations with justice and guide the people of the whole world." Psalm 67:2-4
by Marilyn Allison