What is it that 99 percent of people possess? I’m sure you thought of several things. The one I’m thinking of is neighbors. Most people live in some kind of neighborhood—yes, an apartment complex counts! What can you do right now, for those people in your neighborhood to get started being a light in their worlds?

Have you ever experienced challenges with a boss where you were not seeing eye to eye? Paul’s words in Colossians 3 were a huge source of guidance and comfort during a number of work situations early in my work life.

God, through His instrument Paul, offers some most challenging applications for husbands and wives. If we are to “put on new clothes” and live in a way that reflects the gospel’s influence in our lives, these will do it!

If we do these three things, our lives will begin to more fully reflect Jesus. People will see the change and speak of the new wardrobe that characterizes our lives, and Jesus will be honored.

Jesus’ calling applies to and empowers every believer. It’s not just pastors, cross-cultural missionaries and “super-Christians” who can really know Him and make a difference in the world. It’s you and me! God sent us as “missionaries” right where we live, work, and play.

Last year on a plane, I sat next to a young man (we’ll call him Tim). We started talking about Christianity and church. “I am really turned off on church,” he said. “I overheard some of my parents’ church friends talking about political issues related to gay marriage and immigration in really hateful terms. I thought, ‘If that’s what it means to be a Christian, I don’t want it.’”

Here are some roadblocks to having a positive Kingdom impact...what can we do to avoid them?

Over a period of a couple years, we got to know Chris, a server and bartender at our favorite Mexican food restaurant. Our friendship grew, and we began to have open and vulnerable conversations with him while he served us. One time when we visited the restaurant, Chris sat down, obviously quite disturbed. He went into detail about how he had gotten sloppily drunk the week before, and while at the restaurant had ended up arguing with a coworker. During the argument, he got so upset that he threw plates and glasses, breaking them around the kitchen. He was embarrassed, in trouble, and very vulnerable. 

Since our house (and the houses of our neighbors) burned down in a wildfire five years ago, we have had the pleasure of closer friendships with neighbors and others in our community. One friend that I’ve gotten to know over these years is a guy named Jim. He and I were getting together every once in a while to catch up. A couple months ago, I wanted to check his interest in moving forward spiritually. I asked, “Jim, what would you think about reading the Bible together regularly?” 

Depending on where your friend is spiritually, here are three starting points in helping him or her grow toward Jesus.