Be Different

Be Different

January 8, 2022

Bible Verse

You used to be like people living in the dark, but now you are people of the light because you belong to the Lord. So act like people of the light. (CEV)  Ephesians 5:8

As a kid, I wanted everyone to know Jesus. I still do. But my evangelistic journey started out a little rocky. For example, I was the only kid who dressed up as a Christian singer for Halloween. I thought every cracker was meant for the Lord’s Supper. I baptized my cats. Though all of these moments were sweet (and worth catching on videotape), my parents were careful to teach me how Jesus shines brightest not through forced conversations, but through the way we live our lives.

We live in a world that tells our kids that they can define for themselves what is true, right, and worthwhile. However, it is our responsibility to help them understand the world’s standard is not necessarily God’s plan. God calls us to have those hard conversations, not to shy away from them, but to shine light in dark places.

As a family, explore what it means to be God’s light in the world day by day through these Biblical truths:

  • Jesus came to be Emmanuel, God with us. When we let the love of Jesus enter our hearts, we let God work through us. (Philippians 2:13; Romans 8:28)

  • Did Jesus say following him would be easy? No! What does it mean to truly follow Jesus? (Matthew 16:24-25; John 16:33)

  • God does not want us to detach from the world, but to be his hands and feet in it. What does it mean to shine Christ’s light? (Matthew 5:14-16; 1 John 2:9-11)

  • As a family, discuss the challenges we face as Christians in the world. How can we use the words in the Bible to encourage one another on a daily basis? (John 14:27; Philippians 4:8; Hebrews 10:24-25)

God’s Word urges us to show our love by what we do, not merely by what we say (1 John 3:18). Through the truth in the Bible, we can help our kids understand that love is not just a feeling. Love is an action. In the same way, light is not simply something we see. It is something we are, for God’s glory and our good.

I’m thankful my parents helped me learn to follow Jesus by example. Through word and deed, they showed the world grace and truth as they held fast to their beliefs. When I let my love for Jesus inform my thoughts, conversations, and actions, other kids would often take note and ask me, “Why are you and your family so different?” I’d smile to myself, knowing Jesus put hope and light in my heart that couldn’t help but shine through. After all, my parents taught me that the transformed lifestyle of a disciple begins in the heart, takes root in the home, and shines God’s light brightly for the world to see.

Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Follow Me As I Follow Christ

Areo Keller-Donahue

Areo Keller-Donahue

As soon as Areo could pick up a popsicle stick, she was making puppets and putting on plays that shared her faith with her neighbors. Areo grew up with a strong interest in musical theatre and earned her BFA at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Areo was led to use artistic gifts to share the gospel with young ones, and she became involved in ministry. She has worked in children's ministry at Redeemer Upper West Side and North Way Christian Community and is currently developing a musical live-action series that celebrates faith and fun. Areo and her husband live in Pittsburgh, where they enjoy spending time with their families and adorable cat, Daisy.

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