I am convinced that the majority of people in our world are not anti-Jesus. Are some anti-church? Yes. But they are not necessarily anti-Jesus.
The gospel tells us that “the common people heard him gladly” (Mark 12:37). Why? The answer is simple: because Jesus loved people! He healed people, fed people, forgave people, and had compassion on people. He loved everyone, including those whom others considered unlovable. He had time for little children and talked to those that others would have normally ignored. What was there not to love about Jesus? Everything He said, no matter how challenging, was worthy of listening to because who He was had such credibility with His audience. Although there were religious leaders who despised what He said, the majority heard His message with eagerness.
Because He was the message, He was received as He delivered the message.
All of this, of course, was made possible because of the indwelling Holy Spirit who was, literally, God-in-man.
My point is that we are to have the indwelling Holy Spirit, who is yearning to love people through us as He did through Jesus. As we acknowledge Him constantly and intentionally, allow Him to live His life through us, we will have a glow about us that will attract, not repel. The true Church of Jesus is an intensely beautiful body of people who it is a delight to know and have connection with.
Friends, if we live out of intimacy with the Father and by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, we will live life differently. We will be literally convincing in our Christianity. Not out of striving to do so, but because we will feel different; the result will come from a transformed heart within. That inner glow will be seen in our countenance, our attitudes, our actions, and our lifestyle. True representatives of Jesus are beautiful people!
The common people heard Him gladly because His life was so completely convincing. He walked the talk.
My challenge is this: To what degree are we convincing? Christians are called to be men and women of strong conviction – “the convinced ones”. We often preach about those convictions and even write books about them; but do we live them?
There is only one way that we can effectively live out the convictions of the Christian life, and that is by the empowering reality of the indwelling Holy Spirit. As we get a new revelation of His reality and Person within us, and surrender entirely to His control and directorship, those convictions become flesh in us, and the beauty of His life will be seen. The Holy Spirit knows how to represent Jesus well and, in becoming the message, our communication of the message, is received much more easily.
In short, we need a new reliance on the indwelling Holy Spirit. We need to live life as one utterly abandoned to the cause of accurately representing Jesus to our world. Friends, we need to be convincing. I will close with the same thoughts from Selwyn Hughes in his devotional ‘Every Day with Jesus’,
“The indwelling of the Holy Spirit gives us a face-lift that makes us APPEAR redeemed, an inner assurance that makes us FEEL redeemed and reinforces every part of our personality so that we ACT redeemed. It is the Spirit who makes the convinced convincing.”
My challenge to each of us is to live life in such a way that people will grow to love the Jesus we represent.
Isn’t it awesome that we have wonderful Holy Spirit, who empowers us to do exactly that!
Read another related blog: Ambassadors For Christ by David McCracken.