A wide variety of religious and philosophical ideas compete for people's attention today, much as if the ideas were items in a giant supermarket. But Jesus isn't just an option for consumers. He's unique because He's the ultimate truth.

Here are some ways you can show others how Jesus is unique:

  • Focus on who Jesus is instead of what He can do for you or other people. Remember that Jesus' value isn't based on how user-friendly He is; His worth is based on the fact that He is the Son of God. Realize that Jesus rightly expects a commitment from those who form relationships with Him. Coming to Jesus means inviting Him to completely transform your life.

  • Don't worry about offending people. The truth will offend those who don't want to hear it - such as people who don't want to give God control of their lives - but the most loving thing you can do for someone is to resist compromising the truth of the Gospel.

  • Remember the lost. Jesus urged His followers to tell people throughout the world about Him. Commit to praying and evangelizing people regularly as God leads you. Take heart that God - who is love, and also the source of all wisdom - will deal justly with every person on Earth, including those who haven't yet learned much about Him. But be passionate about spreading the Gospel so people can begin new lives connected to God. Remember that God welcomes everyone and hopes they will choose relationships with Him.

  • Be kind and respectful to people with whom you disagree, such as atheists and adherents of other religions. But don't confuse love for them as people with tolerance of their beliefs. Whenever you have an opportunity, engage them in dialogues to help them discover the fallacy of their beliefs. Never lead them to believe that their false beliefs are true.

  • Don't boast about having a better religion than someone else or give people the impression that you think you're smarter than they are for having found Jesus. Simply and humbly affirm the truths you've discovered, which God intends for all people to find.

  • Remember that religion never saves anyone. Only God does. Focus on the fact that salvation is God's work, not people's work. No amount of rituals, rules, or prayers can get you into heaven; only Jesus can.

  • Help people understand that relativism is an illogical and self-contradictory belief. Point them to the evidence for absolute truth in our universe.

  • Give people the facts about the recorded historical events that support the Gospel, such as the Resurrection.

  • Be prepared to suffer hardships and persecution for remaining committed to the Gospel, but realize that doing so is worthwhile. Pray for courage.

  • Pray regularly God's grace to effectively evangelize others, and for deliverance from spiritual warfare that may seek to stop you from reaching out to others.

  • Live out your faith! Let people see what it looks like for someone to truly follow Jesus. Let them see the genuine difference He makes in your life. Pray for the fruits of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control - to be evident in your life.

Adapted from The Uniqueness of Jesus, copyright 2001 by Chris Wright. Published by Monarch Books and distributed by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.kregel.com, 1-800-733-2607.

The Rev. Chris Wright, an Old Testament scholar, is International Ministry Director of Langham Partnership International, founded by Dr. John Stott and based in London. He was previously Principal of All Nations Christian College.

How have you tried lately to show people the unique difference that Jesus makes in your life? Do you think you've been successful or unsuccessful? Why or why not? Visit Crosswalk's forums to discuss this topic by clicking on the link below.