I have been working a series of posts concerning an “old” type of discipling through letters. I have written about this approach in my own discipling relationships. Here is a letter I wrote about “Telling Others About The Change.”
I am really excited to see the growth the Lord is allowing in your life as you continue to walk with Him through prayer, reading the Bible, and seeking to apply the scripture to your life. As you submit to these practices, you will begin to notice a change that takes place in your life. This is the Holy Spirit working in your life to shape and mold you into the image of Jesus. This isn’t a physical change in your life but a spiritual one that takes place in your heart and spirit. As the Holy Spirit diligently works in your life, you will begin to think and act more like Christ. You will not be perfect, but you will begin to take new directions in your decisions. You will begin to notice that you are more aware of opportunities to live like Christ in different situations in which he places you.
You will not be the only person who recognizes the change that is taking place in your life. Your friends and those with which you work closely will begin to recognize a difference also. Because the change is actually taking place in your life you may not see it as soon as others notice it. Do not be mistaken, they are noticing the change in your life. A promise we have in the Bible from God is found in Philippians 1:6, “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.” Paul wrote this to some believers in Philippi in Ancient Greece. We can trust that as we practice communicating with God through prayer He hears us and speaks back to us. As we read the Bible, learn more about how to live like Jesus, and begin to implement what we are reading into our daily activities others will begin to see a change. Because the change doesn’t happen “over night” it may seem slow to you, but others see and notice.
When your friends and colleagues see the change, they are going to ask what is happening in your life. They will inquire as to the change and how it has taken place — not fully realizing that the change is an on-going process. I want you to be ready for the questions that will surely come to you. These questions are by God’s design and the Holy Spirit will give you the right words to say at the very moment you need them. But, I want to help you be prepared to give an answer. At first it will seem strange as you explain how this change is taking place, but with preparation and practice you can be ready to give an account of the hope that is within you (1 Peter 3:15).
Always be ready to tell people the change is because of Jesus and his presence in your life. There are four (4) sentences that will help you be prepared to explain briefly about your new life.
1.What was your life like before you met Jesus?
2.What were the circumstances around you meeting and knowing Jesus?
3.How did you actually meet Jesus, commit your life to Him, and begin to follow His ways?
4.How is your life different today because of Him?
When you answer these questions naturally and confidently people will have a definite understanding that it isn’t a fad you are going through in your life. Not everyone will understand or agree, but they will not be able to deny that there has been a change in your life. If there wasn’t a change happening in your life and actions, they would not have to ask the question in the first place.
Our responsibility as a follower of Jesus is to be ready to give a reason for our new life. After our positive explanation, the Holy Spirit will begin the work that He is responsible for in the lives of people. All through the New Testament when people met Jesus and their lives were changed, they were presented with the opportunity to give an explanation about the new change.
In the Gospel of John, chapter 9, Jesus heals a blind man and gives him his sight back. People were amazed at the change that had taken place. It was truly a visible change in the man’s life. He was questioned by people who were against Jesus and the changes that were taking place in the lives of people because of Him. When the formerly blind man was questioned he told the Pharisees that he didn’t know everything about Jesus, but he knew he was once blind and now he could see.
He attributed the change to Jesus. He told them his life before Jesus was one of blindness. He told them Jesus made mud put it on the blind man’s eyes and told him to go and wash in a pool called Siloam. The Blind man did as he was told and after washing in the pool he could see again. After meeting Jesus the blind man could see.
The blind man told them what his life was like before meeting Jesus. He explained how he met Jesus and what he did as a result of the meeting. The blind man was very clear that he could now see because of his meeting with Jesus and everyone could tell he was a different man. The people might not have agreed with how the change happened or believed the man named Jesus had the power to accomplish something like that in a life, but the man gave a true answer that no one could deny because the evidence of a changed life is powerful.
I encourage you to begin to answer these questions for yourself as a way to recognize the difference Jesus has made in your life. He has changed you on the inside and now it is making a difference on the outside in how you live each day and the thoughts you now think. By taking time to answer and even write out a short response to each question, you will be ready to explain to those who are asking about the change they see in your life.
Remember, Jesus is the reason for the change.
Your friend and brother in Christ,