Today’s Bible reading* tells us about a day that people would seek out God’s people asking to follow them because they had heard that, “God is with you.” On that day, people would be hungry to know God, and the only way to know Him would be to be with God’s people.
The LORD of Armies says this: “In those days, ten men from nations of every language will grab the robe of a Jewish man tightly, urging:
Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”
Zechariah 8:23 (CSB)
Paul tells us that God’s people are like living letters to be read by people who don’t know God.
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are Christ’s letter, delivered by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God—not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
2 Corinthians 3:1–3 (CSB)
Some people may never darken the doors of a church. Some people will never own a Bible. Among those who do own a Bible, some may never open it to read it. There’s an old hymn that encourages God’s people to be a book that people read,
Your life’s a book before their eyes,
They’re reading it through and through;
Say, does it point them to the skies,
Do others see Jesus in you?
Many of you who read this devotional may be great testimonies for Jesus. You may be the only Bible some people ever read. Will they see Jesus in you? Will they meet you and come away thinking, God is with you?
One of the Names given describing Jesus is Immanuel; “God with us”. (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23) Paul said that there’s a mystery that’s been hidden, but revealed in Jesus Christ.
God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Colossians 1:27 (CSB)
“Actions speak louder than words.” That may be true, but don’t let that saying discourage you from speaking! Know that even if they see Jesus in you, they will never come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ unless you share the Gospel message with them.
I’m not saying that you have to talk about Jesus — and only Jesus — everywhere you go. I fear that oftentimes, in our desire for our friends and loved ones to come to Christ, we may actually stand in the way of the process. Look at the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:21-22. Those are character traits that people want to be around. Those who express the fruit of the Spirit from an overflow of their lives are attractive people. To hungry people, spirit-led people “smell good”.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.
Galatians 5:22–23 (CSB)
How do you smell? Do you repel people from Jesus, or do you draw people to Jesus?
* Chapters covered in today’s reading: