2 Corinthians 3:12; 4:1-6 - Since we have such a hope, we are very bold ... Having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's Word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
When I was a teenager, some of my friends got involved in a kind of evangelism where they invited the neighborhood kids to come do arts and crafts in somebody's open garage. Then, after a little while, the children found themselves listening to a hard-sell evangelism pitch. That made me really uncomfortable. The kids didn't know that was the purpose! They thought they were just having fun.
Now that I'm an adult and my family shares the Gospel with Vietnamese people, we make sure that nobody stands in any doubt about who we are or what we are trying to do. We don't hard-sell people on Jesus. When we help people deal with doctors' bills or landlord problems, we make it clear that we would do that with them anyway, whether they ever believe in Jesus or not. That's the only way we can square it with our consciences. And it's amazing how many people come back years later and the seed of the Gospel has sprouted in their hearts!
I'm glad we follow a Lord who doesn't need gimmicks to get His work done. He came into the world openly, exactly what He was—truly God, but truly a human baby as well, all the way down to the dirty diapers! When He taught, He refused to hide the difficulties that come with following the Lord; He warned people to count the cost. And He paid the highest cost Himself, when He went willingly to the cross for our sakes. There was no fakery about it; it was clearly love. His love cost Him death; but it gave us life.
And now that He has risen from the dead—well, that means we have Jesus looking over our shoulder every day, doesn't it? So definitely I want to do this thing right. I want Him to see me helping His people for love's sake and telling the truth about the Lord, just as you do. No gimmicks, no pressure. Just the love that comes from Jesus.
WE PRAY: Lord Jesus, give me Your Spirit so that You live out Your life in Your way through me. Amen.