Summary: Over 70% of our communication is non-verbal so when Jesus said ’let your light shine’ what does this say about the message our lives communicate to others?
17.5.09 COMMUNICATING THE GOSPEL Matthew 5:14-16
How skilled are we at communicating? Perhaps not as skilled as we think.
It is easy to send the wrong message without knowing it.
There is a famous example of a message that was sent in WWII ‘Send reinforcements we’re going to advance’
But by the time it reached its destination it had become ‘send three and fourpence we’re going to a dance’
A simple typing error can do the same, I sometimes type ‘not’ instead of ‘now’ and it makes all the difference to a message such as ‘I have now sent you the document’ or I have not sent you the document’.
I have sometimes sent the wrong message using predictive texting. Thankfully I nearly always check for errors before I send the message. The one that keeps coming up for me is if I type ‘I phoned again this morning’ it comes up as I sinned again this morning
Experts reckon that between 55 and 70% of our communication is non-verbal, and that only 7% of our communication comes from words used. The rest is tone of voice.
What does this mean in terms of what we are communicating on a daily basis to others?
Here is what Jesus says to us as Christians about the way we are to communicate to others:
READING Matthew 5:14-16
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
What do others see when they see you? What message does your life communicate?
THESIS If well over 50% of what we communicate is non-verbal what does that say about us being a good witness for Christ?
Words and profession can be cheap. The most effective communicators of the Gospel are those who seek to live the life.
THE MOTIVE FOR COMMUNICATING THE GOSPEL
Recap this morning:
Drama of Scripture – the final scene – creation restored (Revelation 21)
In the meantime, those who are in Christ go immediately into the presence of the Lord.
[But there are others who souls are temporarily separated from the body who are not in the presence of God] and at the second coming of the Lord all of us will stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
The Bible teaches that the only certain way of being saved is through repentance and faith in Christ. And our commission as Christians is to make this known to others.
Peter is very direct about this. He says:
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives  as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
So how do we go about witnessing, letting our light shine, as God would have us do?
1. We associate LIGHT with VISIBILITY
How visible are you as a Christian?
Do people in your workplace or neighbourhood know you are a Christian?
Anybody in marketing can tell you about how essential it is to advertise something. You may own the best restaurant in town and cook meals to the highest standard. But unless people know you are there they will pass you by.
The same is when it comes to Christian witness. Unless you are known as a Christian people will not know where they can find God.
And if so then what is it that people see?
Paul wrote Christians saying: 2 Cor. 3:2-3
You yourselves are our letter, …… , known and read by everybody.  You show that you are a letter from Christ, ……………, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.