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When you live around New York City like I did for 30 years, you take people on lots of tours. We've had friends visit us from all over the country - all over the world - and, of course, they all want to see the sights of New York that they've heard so much about. We've gotten to take many of them to the Statue of Liberty, the late great World Trade Center, Times Square, Broadway, the United Nations, Central Park. And something interesting happened to me as I introduced others to the place I knew so much about and I'd seen many times. In a sense, I discovered those places for myself in a new way, and I was actually energized by watching their reactions to seeing it all for the first time.
Those places that I knew so well became more special to me when I introduced others to them. Just kind of like what happens when you or I introduce someone to the Savior we've known for so long. That's why Paul prayed what he did in Philemon, verse 6, our word for today from the Word of God. He said, "I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ."
Now there are many reasons to tell people about the life and love that you have found in Jesus Christ; not the least of which is that their eternity depends on them understanding what Jesus did on the cross for them. But here Paul gives a reason we may not think much about or we don't hear much about; that it is in sharing your relationship with Christ you begin to really understand your relationship with Christ as you never did before.
If you remain silent about Jesus, you can just coast along in a comfortable but really shallow spiritual rut. But once you step up to your responsibility to get this life-saving message to the people around you, something awakens in your own soul. You have to find ways to explain what Jesus did without all that religious vocabulary which I call "Christianese." And that vocabulary allows us to believe without thinking much about it. We just kind of agree with the words. But as you struggle to explain a relationship with Christ to someone else who doesn't know all those words, you actually start to better understand that relationship yourself. It's like me taking tours of where I lived; it becomes more special to me as I tell someone else about it. As I see the wonder of someone else discovering what I discovered a long time ago. When you tell others about Jesus, He starts to mean even more to you.
And if you're like most believers, you're actually missing this life-changing, faith-expanding experience. Surveys shows that 90% of Christians never talk about their relationship with Jesus Christ. Which means 90% are missing what Paul calls "a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." And the lost folks in their circle of influence are likely to go into a Christless eternity, an unthinkable eternity because of the silence of the Christian they knew. Please don't let that be you.
It's time to start blowing a lid off your relationship with Jesus by telling people about that relationship; about explaining it to others! Because when you show someone else this Jesus that you know, He'll mean more to you than He's ever meant before!
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