So often we may be concerned with our ability to share the Gospel of Christ. Will I be given opportunities to share? Will people listen to me (or why should they listen to me)? Will people be offended? These are all questions that might go through our heads.
As I am getting into my family lineage a bit during my sabbatical, my parents passed down to me the Mayo Family Bible from the 1800 (no financial value, but sentimental value). In it were names of relatives back to the mid 1800, as well as notes of some of our believed ancestors.
A significant name, especially for me, was the Rev. John Mayo, first pastor of the second church of Boston (Old North Church). So into the records we went (actually my wife Debbie seemed to dig in even deeper than I did). Come to find out, there were two John Mayos in the early 1600 who came to America, the Rev. John Mayo, and John Mayo of Roxbury.
The path going back took time, but come to find out, I am of the John Mayo of Roxbury lineage. There is actually a 300 page book that speaks about this lineage (my grandfather’s name is in it). I read through a bit of the biographies, but Debbie dug in deeper. She asked me if I had read the preface, and she ended up reading some of it to me.
This comes from the preface:
“John Mayo of Roxbury was a man of strict and simple religious faith, a Puritan; and all his descendants have clung to their faith: record after recorded shows their strong adherence to their church and their service to it. Although few served in the ministry, many were elders or deacons… In my lifetime study of these records, i do not find so many great accomplishments; but rather each life shows duty done. Each record is of honest, frugal lives, of clear vision, of devotion to family, to duty, and to God. The lives of these men and women should prove an inspiration to the living generation of us.”Chester Garst Mayo, John Mayo of Roxbury Massachusetts 1630-1688: a Geneological and Biographical Record of His Descendants (Charles E Tuttle Company, Inc: Rutland, VT), p. 15
Most did not serve in ministry, but the author found them to be an inspiration because they lived the Gospel. The gospel was seen in their lives, and their faith passed down from generation to generation.
Our call is to go beyond sharing the Gospel. Going through Ephesians, Colossians, and now Philippians, we see a clear call to live the Gospel… to
Be the Gospel.
In Philippians 1:27, Paul goes beyond what we should say to share the Gospel. “Just one thing. As citizens of heaven, live you’re life worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
It isn’t just about knowing the Gospel, or sharing the Gospel. We need to
Be the Gospel.
If we spend some time in self reflection, what do we see? When people look at us, do they see a reflection of the Gospel? Do they get a glimpse of Jesus? Or do they see something else.
Not what does the church see, but what does our family see? What does our neighbor see? What does our coworker, or classmates, or friends see?
Our focus should be on reflecting Jesus in all our actions. No matter where we are. This requires spending time with Him in prayer and in the Word, understanding what it means to be citizens of heaven, then working to live that out in our lives.