Always be full of grace when proclaiming the truth
"People may not read the Bible, but they read Christians.” (Harlyn Kuschel)
We seem to live in a society that demands to be introduced to the presence of Christ, before being preached about Christ. They want evidence. They want proof. They don’t want a theological discussion on the merits of Christ, but they want to know how Christ will be a direct benefit to their own life.
Before a Christian brings a message of Christ, they need to take the time to present themselves as a model of Christ.
"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." (Col. 4:6)
“The most effective way for Christians to advertise the gospel is to conduct themselves in a way that will make it evident that Christ's love has filled their hearts and lives." (H. Kuschel)
The love of Christ permeates our soul. It dominates our disposition. Our love for Him reflects His grace, His presence, and His salt. And by remaining in Him, we bear the fruit that points to the answer of how to live a joy-filled life. A Christian full of grace builds a bridge to bear the truth to willing ears who have carefully observed the truth within them.
It is the love of Christ that prompts Christian to proclaim the truth of Christ.
I vividly recall sitting in a classroom at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN ready to start a new class entitled, "Lutheran Liturgy." I was fully expecting this class to be dry and dreadfully boring. When the professor came bounding into the classroom full of zest and energy, I was completely taken aback. When he excitedly proclaimed, "I love teaching this class!" I couldn’t help but to be intrigued. By his love for the subject, he baited the hook. Struck by his enthusiasm, intrigued by his joy, I grabbed the hook. Like the dry bones of Ezekiel, the professor brought a dry subject to life with his enthusiasm and love for the material. It turned out to be one of the best classes I ever took.
Love for the subject influences our teaching. A love for people influences our witnessing. A love for the Savior prompts us to share the message of Good News.
When going door-to-door sharing the gospel in Provo last summer, I was very conscious of being joyful and confident when approaching the door of a Mormon. It makes a difference. It sends a message that we have good news to share of what Christ has already done for us. A message like that cannot help but affect the way we approach people. We have a message of joy that comes from a heart of joy.
A great man of history wrote that he cared not who wrote the nation's laws if only he could write its songs. Culture is influenced by the songs people sing. The songs Christians sing pour forth from the faith we have in Christ and the trust we have in all of God's promises. The psalmist sings out, "He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." (Psalm 40:3)
When speaking the truth in love to Mormons, we will want to display the song the Lord has placed in our hearts and minds. Out of the overflow of a thankful heart our mouth speaks the words God wants them to hear.