Never before has it been essential that Christians know what they believe. In a world that is progressively losing the ability to reproduce the faith, we are faced with the reality that the command to "go and make disciples" has been replaced with "go and promote yourself."
But this isn't anything new. Satan has been tempting man to "be like God," and "make a name for yourself" from the very beginning. The Cambridge Dictionary defines it this way..."to become famous or respected by a lot of people." And if you google this same phrase you will find all sorts of help on how to make a name for yourself, creating an identity in the marketplace, personal branding strategy for success, etc.
There is nothing wrong with being known or famous. The question is, what are you known or famous for?
A popular word among entrepreneurs is "hustle." A quote that pops up when you google making your name great is... "Hustle until you no longer have to introduce yourself."
hus・tle /huhs -uhl/ - force someone to move hurriedly or unceremoniously
in a specific direction, obtain by forceful action or persuasion,
busy movement to activity.
"Hustle" in the business world. Does this mean we shouldn't get things done in a productive manner? Absolutely not! But we should be careful. Are we hustling for the next promotion or recognition? Instead, realize that as Entrepreneurs we have been given a platform for reaching those God has placed in our path with the Good News.
What is the Good News?
The Good News is the story of Jesus who came to earth to live a selfless sinless life and became the perfect gift for us. A sacrifice. A spotless lamb. He suffered to the point of death on a cross taking our sin and nailing it there. He rose from the dead, conquering death and giving us the Holy Spirit, to enable us to have life (eternal life), and live righteous lives. His righteousness was given to us not by works we have done but by faith in Him and the work He did on the Cross. He now sits at the right hand of the Father where He has the special place of honor.
Are you honoring Him with your life?
If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.
Our goal should be Christlike character. We will reproduce what we are.
What are you reproducing?
Are you reproducing people who are hustling to making their name great? Or are you producing image bearers of Christ?
In Christ, we no longer have to prove our existence. We are simply loved because He first loved us before the foundation of the world, before we could even prove ourselves. By Christ's death on the cross we no longer live by the flesh but by the Spirit. The "hustle" demands of me to prove what I can do. But God's grace says I am enough because my identity is found in Christ and His strength not in what I can do. The only true hustle is the reality that time is short and many still don't know of this wonderful life in Christ.
It's time to be bold fellow Christians. It's time to take our eyes off of ourselves and place them on the One who created us, gave us gifts and talents, and a unique story to tell.
“Followers of Christ have something essential and meaningful to share with their families, neighbors, friends and those they come into contact with,”says Roxanne Stone, editor in chief at Barna Group. “As pastors and leaders, we must invest the resources of our churches toward coming alongside fellow believers and empowering them with confidence to talk about their faith despite the obvious barriers. We ought to help Christians begin to make the connections between their everyday, ordinary life—their sleeping, eating, going-to-work and walking-around life—and the faith that sustains them.”
We have something amazing to share! So why are we not sharing it?
“Every Christian has a responsibility to share their faith." In1993, nine out of 10 Christians who had shared their faith agreed (89%). Today, just two-thirds say so (64%)—a 25-point drop. --Barna Group, 2018
I once heard someone say that the greatest tragedy in Christianity is the inability to reproduce the faith. I agree. As followers of Christ, we are ALL called to "go make disciples of all nations." It is not just for pastors and evangelist. If you are breathing, you are leading someone somewhere. What are you leading people to? Are you pointing others back to Jesus with your life story?
Did you know that today we have the ability to share a message with people from all over the globe? A lot of people are taking to social media and hustling to get their message and brand out in the world. What if, as believers, we all utilized social media to share the Good News and point them to Jesus?
The reality is...we are all, as followers of Christ, called to share our faith.
This is where I get super passionate. I was a fringe kid. I was awkward. Aren't we all? But someone invested in me early on. The first time I started realizing that I had value was when I was in High school because a Sunday school teacher pursued me. She was consistent in her pursuit of me and taught me so much about God and life. I remember when I was asked to prom, I was terrified because I knew my date had made reservations at a fancy restaurant. So my Sunday school teacher asked me over to her house where she had arranged all her dishes, flatware, and stemware (at that age I would have just called them all "dishes"). She took the time to teach me what everything was and how I was to use them. She even taught me how to use my napkin, how to excuse myself from the table, and how to indicate that I was done with my meal.
Why do I tell you that story?
Because I believe the great tragedy in Christianity is the unwillingness to invest in others and take the time to be a powerful and irresistible influence. Reflecting God's character, praying, teaching God's Word, listening, and doing life.
It's called "discipleship".
It sounds scary but it is actually very sweet and powerful. It is the way that God's name is made great throughout the world. Without it no one would know the great great love of Jesus.
We are called to "Come alongside fellow believers and empowering them with confidence to talk about their faith" and help them "make the connections between their everyday, ordinary life--their sleeping, eating, going-to-work and walking-around life--and the faith that sustains them."
I am not going to lie. I get off track a lot of the time. Satan loves to tempt me with making my name great instead of being an image bearer of Christ.
The true hustle is making HIS name great! Are you willing to invest in someone to begin sharing the love of Christ?
Think through the people God has placed in your life and how he might want to use your gifts, talents, and life story to reach them. Make wise use of your time because the days are short.
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