In Philippians 2:14-16, the Holy Spirit gives instructions about quiet evangelism. In this passage He challenges all Christians to “become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life…”.
Few things are more quietly alluring than the stars of the heavens. Yet, spend some time under a sky that is blanketed by those twinkling lights and you will quickly realize that stars have a very loud existence. They speak without words. They preach without a microphone. They quietly shout the brilliance of God’s power. they are evangelistic.
In this passage, Paul says three things about the quiet evangelism that is represented by the stars.
1. Notice the condition of our star light. To be God’s quiet star, our lives must scream a lifestyle that is “blameless”, “pure” and “without fault”. Peter said it this way, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2:12, NIV)
2. Notice the backdrop against which we must shine - “a crooked and depraved generation.” We live in the perfect culture to magnify the brilliance of quiet evangelism. If ever there was a generation to rival the darkness of Sodom and Gomorrah, it is the American culture of today. Our light WILL be seen if it is truly being shown, which leads me to the most important part of this passage and our warning.
3. Notice the phrase, “as you hold out the word of life”. The quiet life is anything but inactive. It is not passive or governed by the lazy excuses of a life on auto pilot. The quiet life of a Christian is designed to actively and obviously hold out the Word of God to a lost and dying world. Just as stars draw attention and prompt deeply personal moments of self-examination, the quiet life of a Christian attracts evangelistically attention and prompts conviction in the world.
Peter says it this way, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (1 Peter 3:15-16) It is our job as Christians to present such a convincing lifestyle of answers (verbal and non-verbal) that even when the world slanders our values they cannot escape the reality of their own shame for doing so.
The quiet life is dynamic and it is commanded by God. But the quiet life can also be mistaken for the many excuses of a life governed by silent inactivity.
Before concluding, let me give you a simple test to help you discover if your quiet life is effective or if it is an excuse. Ask yourself this question: “Does my life draw others to me?”
Every Christian is called to be an intentional teacher with intentional students. (Matthew 28:19) To gain these students, Jesus said we would have to “go”. (Matthew 28:19) But He also said we would have to “shine”. (Matthew 5:14) If you are not going, then it better be because you are shining so brightly that they are coming to you! The quiet life is no excuse for inactivity. Are you attracting students? Are you evangelistic?
Still got questions? Order the ebook “Serving a Loud World with a Quiet Life” by Sonny Childs.
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