“The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master’s Word, not only in the provinces but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore – you’re the message!” [emphasis mine] 1 Thessalonians 1:8 (The Message)
The obvious question is are we living as God’s message each day? That is a very valid question and there is a great deal that could be said there.
Beyond that, I think there is another question to ask: are we helping others become the message and tell the story of God with their lives?
That really is our job. As leaders, pastors, teachers, volunteers, workers, in church this is what we are called to do within the context of where we serve. Yes, all are called to evangelize, but in the church, our job is to help others grow in the knowledge and understanding of God with the discipline to apply the wisdom from His Word.
People are touched best by a story. Debates, rationalization, arguments, theological dogmas, all of these really just separate people at worst or just define people at best. But a story, now that is different. A story puts flesh to the theology. A story brings faith to life. A story moves the soul. A story is real, it’s human. Everything else is an intellectual exercise.
There is a place of intellectual learning, an important one. We must not base our walk with God solely on intellect. We surely cannot base our presentation of God to the world on intellect. That will reach its end. But the story of God’s redemption and love are timeless. It is bigger than any person or organization. The story of God among humanity is unstoppable.
We are the message. What message are we sending and what message are we helping others to send?