I read a quote recently that got me thinking and it may do the same for you in your ministry as well.
“There is no life change without life exchange.”
The more I ponder this, the more true I think it is.
Consider two passages of scripture.
“God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God,”
2 Corinthians 5:21
In other words, Jesus’ life for mine. This is the heart of the Christian life (see also Galatians 2:20).
But ponder more of God’s words.
“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us,”
1 Thessalonians 2:8
Let’s look at these one at a time.
With whom do I need to exchange my life for salvation according to 2 Corinthians 5:21? Trusting Jesus is really trusting in his life for mine as a perfect substitute.
With whom do I need to share (exchange) my life with to see spiritual impact according to 1 Thessalonians 2:8? The short answer is those whom I share the gospel with. In other words, it’s sharing at a deeper level than just a few truths. It’s sharing in a practical, personal, and intentional way. And it’s about sharing the gospel and life with believers and unbelievers alike. It’s not one or the other.
And so it seems if we want to spiritually impact others, one way we do that is by sharing life with them. Not little snippets or trite sayings, but the intense, tough parts that get to the heart of life, who we are as people, who we are called to be as Christ followers, who God is, and what he has promised to do. It seems serving others is about sharing hours together, not just 5 minutes here or 10 minutes there. Really sharing life is more like a crock pot and less like a microwave.
So chew on these ideas for awhile. And if you want to impact others and lead them to all God has called to them, throw open the doors of your life and share it with those God puts on your heart to influence.
If you want to go deeper, what are one or two new ways can you share life with a believer or unbeliever this week? Think about that, then put it down in your life to do it.