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As disciples of Jesus, we are to become by the Holy Spirit like our Master as He Himself tells us in Matthew 10:25, “It is enough for the student to be like His Teacher, and the servant like His master.” By the power of the Holy Spirit working in us, may we this Advent become more like Jesus who does not “judge by outward appearances, but looks upon the heart.”

This truth is no more evident than in our relationships with non- believers that the Holy Spirit often give us as divine appointments for leading someone to Jesus, and H. B. London, Jr., and Stan Toler brought that vividly home to me in a story they share in their little book THE MINISTER’S LITTLE DEVOTIONAL BOOK:

“Ron had long hair when it stood for ‘rebel,’ listened to heavy-metal music, drank alcohol, and experimented with drugs. He had also tried church but had been ‘turned off’ by the zeal of a few and the judgmental eyes of others.

“One summer he was hired to work in a lumber yard in California. He was partnered with a skinny, fair-skinned Christian teenager name Joe, who immediately thought Ron was ‘cool.’

“Over the weeks, Ron and Joe laughed, ate, and talked for eight hours a day. Ron drilled Joe about God and the Gospel, but Joe never pretended to know all the answers. One day, Joe asked Ron if he’d like to come over to his house—a beautiful home—for dinner the next night.

“A couple of weeks later, Ron got brave enough to ask Joe over to his small house in a poor neighborhood, where he introduced Joe to some of his favorite music.

“As the summer drew to a close and Joe prepared to return to college, they both knew that their days together at the lumber yard were numbered. As they walked out to the car on Ron’s last day, he looked up at Joe and tearfully said, ‘A lot of people have tried to tell me about Jesus, but Joe, you’re the first person who has shown Him to me” [--H. B. London Jr. and Stan Toler, The Minister’s Little Devotional Book (Tulsa: Honor Books, 1997), 41.].

During Advent join me in asking Jesus, “Lord, do I simply try to tell others about you, or do I allow the Holy Spirit to use me to show them Jesus?” Let each of us renew our commitment to Jesus not to judge those He brings into our sphere of influence by their appearance nor by the opinions or hearsay of others. Let’s ask Him to show us their hearts and what they may become by His Spirit. Let’s further ask Him for His divine appointments to cultivate relationships with nonbelievers and allow Him to use us to not simply tell them about Jesus, but to show Jesus to them by the life we live before them and the relationship we allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate between us. As He uses us, may we show people His love.

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