Often times, people see the HOPE that a Christian has and are drawn to know the source of that HOPE! Peter encourages followers of Jesus: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15) As you live a life of HOPE and seek to be a BLESSING to others, it is compelling.
Those who are blessed begin to see the LOVE that Christians have for one another. Jesus told His disciples: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35) As you live a life of LOVE, it displays the authenticity of your HOPE. Those who are not yet followers of Jesus often begin to experience a sense of BELONGING as they interact with Christians.
As they are drawn into relationship with Christians, people can begin to understand what FAITH is all about. They take steps toward faith as they experience both the HOPE and LOVE of true followers of Jesus. In a real sense, BLESSING precedes BELONGING, and BELONGING precedes BELIEVING. Yet it is only through FAITH in Jesus Christ alone that anyone experiences salvation. Paul writes, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
True saving FAITH is a gift from God! No one can manufacture it on their own. Yet through FAITH in Christ and His finished work on the CROSS, a person not only becomes a Christian, but their life is completely transformed. They are a new creation! And they begin to LOVE others just the way that Christ loved them. They experience all that it means to truly BELONG together in Community with other Christians. They engage those in the Culture with the Gospel message and seek to be a BLESSING to others.
Live a life of FAITH, LOVE and HOPE – one that demands an explanation and draws others toward the Cross (BELIEVING), toward Community (BELONGING), and back toward the Culture (BLESSING) around you!