Wednesday, May 28, 2008

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Well, I guess most of us began our training for public speaking back in kindergarten or first grade. Remember when your teacher had you do that "show and tell" thing? You had to bring some object to school and tell about it or what it represented. I can remember this scramble around our house many mornings. Our children would remember, of course, with one foot out the door, "Oh man, I've got show and tell today!" So we'd race around the house trying to find something that they could show. You see, the teacher wasn't interested in a student just showing up with some story that day, you had to have something concrete. No "tell" was good enough to make it without being backed up by a "show."

I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Show and Tell."

Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Matthew 5:16. Listen to Jesus, "Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." We're supposed to attract people to Jesus. How do we do that? He says with your good deeds. You lead with deeds, not with words. It'll change their attitude toward your Lord. Peter said in 1 Peter 2:12, "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." He's talking about a total change of heart toward God because of your good deeds.

Now, in a way, the lost people around us are like those teachers on "show and tell" day. Don't just come with something to tell, show me what it looks like; show me how it works! In fact, this is what will stimulate conversation about Jesus. Peter again, in 1 Peter 3:15, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have." In this case the "show" is a positive, hope-filled, optimistic outlook on life. It will make people say, "Why are you like this?" Now, you do have to "tell." If kids just brought some unusual object to "show and tell" everyone might find it interesting, but they'd have no idea what it was. Words are necessary. They could watch you for the next twenty years, but they're not going to say, "Man, you know, Joe was such a nice guy, I'll bet Jesus died on the cross for my sins!" They're not going to figure that out! You have to tell them that. But you also have to show, or no one will be interested in what you have to tell.

It seems like believers tend to overdo one or the other, doesn't it? Some just "show" Jesus by the way they live and they never "tell." Or others witness real aggressively, they "tell" all the time, but they aren't winning the right to be heard by specializing on good deeds in the lives around them. You say, "Like what?" Being there at the hospital, at the wedding, at the funeral home, remembering the special occasions in their lives like birthdays and making those things really special. Or asking the second question. Everybody says "How are you doing?" Why don't you ask the second one, "Are you really?" It's the second question that shows somebody cares.

Maybe it's just making each person feel very important when they're with you. Here's an important question: What difference could I ask Jesus to make in me that these people would notice? What kind of difference would mean something to your family, your co-workers, your teammates? And here's the second question: "How could I show love to these people in a way that would mean something to them?" Most people won't be interested in all the religious things you do, or you believe, or you preach, but they can't ignore someone whose changed life and strong love is living proof of a living Savior.

We learned when we were very young that they have to go together, "show and tell." If you never tell them, they'll never know what Jesus did for them. If you never show them, they'll not listen when you tell. Lead with deeds. They will open the door, and then, bring Jesus in through that open door.



Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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