I have a friend that is very skeptical of Christians and the Church. His rejection is understandable. He has seen people who claimed that they were faithful followers but lived unethically and immorally. This has completely turned him off. Something unusual has happened in the past year that is causing him to reconsider his conclusion – he has gotten to know some people at New Hope that are truly devoted to Jesus and His church, people that live and act very differently than what he has witnessed in the past. While he hasn’t crossed the line of faith (yet) he is more open to the idea than ever before.
When we read the description of the early church in Acts 2 we see God’s advertising plan in action. God’s purpose is that outsiders watching us will see a qualitative difference in our character and relationships that is the result of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. Jesus has told us to, “let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father (Matthew 5:16 NLT). The reading this week shows the early church doing this very thing. As Kim wrote earlier this week, all too often the caricature of Christians is about what we hate and are against instead of whom we love and are living for. Let’s help each other keep in mind that we are God’s advertising campaign and we are constantly being observed. Lets give them something good!