Bible Studies for Life
Imagine being in the midst of a horrible famine. There are more hungry people than there is food to feed them. Babies and children with horribly distended bellies, parents unable to provide them with even the smallest meal.
Now imagine stumbling on an unimagined treasure: an enormous warehouse filled from side-to-side, top-to-bottom, with all the food needed to alleviate the famine and return its victims to health and vitality. All you would need to do is start sharing the news and point the way to the warehouse. You have a hope that could touch every single person.
A Legacy of Hope
The Bible records a very similar story in 2 Kings 7:3-9. Assyria had laid siege to Israel to such a degree, some within the cut-off city had turned to cannibalism to survive. It was an extreme time.
During this time there were, sitting at the city gate, lepers who are not allowed entrance due to their condition. Because of the severity of the famine, they decided to walk over to the Assyrian camp to look for food. Their reasoning was simple: we might as well try; if we stay here we will starve.
Totally unknown to them, God had scared off the army in the middle of the night. The lepers found an abandoned campsite with mounds of food and supplies. As they considered their unexpected blessing one said, “We should not keep this good news to ourselves. We should tell our people that they might be fed.” This is just what they did and the city was saved.
What if these lepers had refused or neglected to share the hope they had found? How would history have remembered them? Selfish. Careless. Unloving. All these would have been their legacy.
A Greater Treasure
God has entrusted us with a treasure far greater than food. He has entrusted us with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Physical hunger and famine are critically important, but spiritual deadness condemns people for both time and eternity.
How are we sharing this hope? Like these lepers, our sharing has to consist of more than words. Sharing hope is so much more than telling information. Hope is demonstrating through our lives how the gospel has changed us. As Pete Wilson says in Bible Studies for Life, “When it comes to sharing our faith with others, the minds of many turn to the idea of learning a set gospel presentation. In our culture, though, people don’t want to just hear the truth; they want to see it. We should certainly talk about the hope we have in Christ, but we must support what we say by living it out and showing hope to others.”1
But, isn’t this what people should expect? If we claim to have a message from the King of Kings, should the truth of that message not be reflected in our lives? If not, what kind of message do we have, anyway?
Let us both proclaim the hope that we have and live in such a way that makes that hope obvious.
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