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Share Your Ordinary

1 Thessalonians 2:8, gospel, community, find your people, church, natalie abbott, dwell, dwell differently, discipleship

find the miracles in your mundane.

because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of god but our lives as well.  

1 THESSALONIANS 2:8B

Do you remember last month’s verse?  

Guys. It was so good. It said, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). It was all about how Jesus brings us near. And I gave us all a challenge: invite someone in, bring someone near, just as Jesus has brought you near. And then, the most amazing thing happened: we did. And I got to hear the most wonderful stories about God stepping into our ordinary interactions and making them extraordinary. People shared meals and conversations, took walks together, and sat at sporting events—all totally normal things. But in the middle of our normal, GOD IS AT WORK! He is doing things, miraculously moving in our hearts and in our lives! He’s bringing people who were once far away near to himself. And that profound work is happening in the context of our completely mundane day-to-day. What’s even better is this: we aren’t done yet! Let’s take a look at the verse we have coming up this month: 

Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. (1 Thessalonians 2:8b) 

Hear that?!? It’s the perfect follow up verse. It’s the continuation of the story, the extension of last month’s verse. It challenges us to love those people we’ve invited in, not just by sharing God’s life-giving truth with them, but our very lives. We can do this! Sharing our lives with people as we share Jesus with them is what we were made to do. Have you ever done this? Ever been so blessed to live in community with people you are sharing Jesus with? I can attest, it is the BEST. So, let’s get practical and talk about how.   

First off, everything doesn’t have to be perfect.  

Just be yourself. You don’t have to be perfect. Your home doesn’t have to be spotless. This is not a show, it’s real life. And everyone feels so much more comfortable with people who are real. One of my dearest friends in the whole world is as real as rain. When she bought a house on my street, I’ll never forget what she told me. She said, “Now, I can share my true ministry with you.” I was like, “Cool, what’s that?” She said, “I help people feel better about their lives by not having mine all together.” And do you know what? Because she was real, I felt like I could be real too. If my bathroom was dirty or I had a pile of laundry on the floor, it was okay for her to knock on my door. I could serve her cereal or hot dogs at the last minute and that was perfectly fine. We weren’t there to one-up each other but to lift one another up. We shared real life, and it was life-giving to us both.         

(CONTINUED BELOW) 

ON THE PODCAST

"This is what God has for us. We were created to be in community with one another. And, as hard as it can be, that's where the joy is- when we are not only sharing the gospel at an arm's length, but when the gospel is penetrating into those relationships and making them beautiful and vibrant" -Natalie Abbott

Hear more about our verse in this week's podcast with Vera & Natalie!

 

(CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)

You don’t have to have all the answers. 

Oh, for real. People. If we are ever going to share the gospel of God with people we’ve got to go ahead and just get started. No one has all the answers. No human ever has, even Jesus’s closest people. Jesus didn’t send off his disciples to seminary before sending them out. And clearly, they were getting it wrong all the way up to the night of the crucifixion when Peter denied Christ, and after the resurrection when the disciples hid in fear, and after the ascension when they were snubbing the non-Jewish people. You get my point; there’s a precedent. And we all follow it. So, don’t be paralyzed with your lack of answers. Instead, with a humble heart filled with the very Spirit of God, you can hold out the words of God to people who need to hear it. And when you don’t have an answer, that’s ok. Just ask. And if you don’t know who to ask, there are so many good resources out there. I’m attaching a list below. 

Ask God and others into your ordinary.  

You can be intentional with your day-to-day life, inviting God to give you purpose and community. Let me give you some examples. I recently gave some random people a ride, and while I was driving I found myself praying that God would show up. That ride led to a conversation which led to a Bible study. A couple I know started praying for ways to share life and Jesus with others. Do you know what they did? They merely started ordering extra pizza on Friday nights so they could invite people to dinner on those nights. Another person I know intentionally helps out an elderly neighbor and prays for opportunities for her family to be light in her life. Another person rotates through his kids each Sunday, taking them on a date before church. There are things we can do—super simple, ordinary things that say something. They say: because I loved you so much, I didn’t just tell you about my faith, I lived it out with you. And that my friends, says everything. 

WHAT IS KEEPING YOU FROM SHARING YOUR LIFE WITH PEOPLE?

WHAT'S ONE TOTALLY NORMAL PART OF YOUR LIFE THAT YOU COULD INVITE GOD AND OTHERS INTO?

RESOURCES FOR ANSWERS:

THE GOSPEL COALITION, DESIRING GOD, THE BIBLE PROJECT, YOUVERSION BIBLE APP

Thanks for reading,

Natalie Abbott Bio

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