Evangelizing by Loving
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another even as I have loved you that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another. (John 13.34-35)
When we talk about evangelism, often it can cause a feeling of excitement, but it can also produce a feeling of guilt because we feel like we’re not doing it. This comes from the way that evangelism has been described in the recent past. Perhaps we think of an ‘evangelist’ like Billy Graham as the perfect example of an evangelist. He speaks the Word and people listen and change.
But this is not the only way of evangelism or even necessarily the best way. In our passage in John, Jesus teaches his disciples to love one another as Jesus has loved them. One of the important ways that we as Jesus’ people evangelize is by loving one another and by others seeing that love.
So the way we evangelize isn’t only speaking the word, but also inviting our lost friends and family into gatherings of our local church, whether formal or informal, so that they see our Christian love. This love is displayed in our concern for the whole local church community and not just our close friends. This love is displayed by our concern for others outside of the church including the poor, elderly, the outcast, or invalid. This love is displayed by sacrificing our time for those in need. As we develop this love and invite others into it, we also develop our love for God. Exercising Christian love or charity also helps to fuel our private and corporate worship. Pray that the Lord would develop our love for one another and that we might grow in our devotion and worship for God. Pray for opportunities to invite your non-Christian friends and family into different gatherings where our Christian love is expressed.