Jesus had a very simple approach in his life and ministry. God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and power, and “he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” (Acts 10:38) That’s basically it. We simply do the same thing today by the power of the Holy Spirit. We received the Holy Spirit when we believed in Jesus and decided to follow Him each day of our lives (Galatians 5:25). From there we go around (or live) doing good and healing people who are under the power of the devil. This is called offering God’s love in tangible ways. That’s how we reach out to our friends and new contacts.
So how do we do this? There are two signs, two directions, and two arenas that we must take into consideration.
Signs are basically representations of something. A sign simply represents and points to something else. So the significance of a sign is in its meaning, which must be shared both by the one using it and the one “seeing” it. In other words, it’s a communication tool. There are two signs that we can use to reach out to our friends and new contacts. First, we can use words. Words are signs. We can use them to point out to something, to a reality that words can represent. We can talk about the kingdom of God (a reality, which is also the truest of all realities). We need to grow in this area of “explaining” God’s truths (1 Peter 3:15-16). Second, we can use actions. Actions are also signs. They must represent something or else they are meaningless. We can do good deeds in order to communicate the kingdom of God. Both signs working together are powerful.
We can focus our signs on two directions: positive or negative. We can use words or actions to communicate the goodness or beauty of God. We can also use them to communicate the justice of God. We can use words or actions to show that God’s kingdom is worth pursuing and seeking. Jesus did this when he spoke about the kingdom of God. He also went around healing people as a sign of God’s kingdom. But he also rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees. He also threw the tables of the money changers in the temple. Both words and actions can be used positively or negatively. We must use them in the same way.
There are two arenas where we can use signs either positively or negatively: public and private. We can use words and actions, either positively or negatively, in the public arena. We can address crowds. We can impact larger groups of people. We can do good on a larger scale, involving all sorts of people. We can speak or communicate to many people simultaneously, like in the church, or in a public place, or in the internet. We can initiate campaigns on a larger scale as well like what some parachurch organizations do (e.g. Compassion). But we can also speak and do things privately, among friends or a few individuals. We can do good to them in tangible ways, like giving a cup of water, or counseling a friends, or helping out a neighbor. We can speak words of comfort in times of need. Both arenas are important.
So overall, to reach out to our friends and new contacts, all we have to do is live like Jesus. We do this by offering God’s love in tangible ways, just like what Jesus did. Jesus went around doing good and healing everyone who needed healing, whether physical or spiritual. We can do this using words or actions, positively or negatively, in public or in private. The choice is ours, but by the power of the Holy Spirit we can make such a significant impact in our world, because Jesus is with us (Matthew 28:19-20).