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December 17, 2018

First Impressions

I was minding my own business at work when a friend entered my desk space. I have a small cubical that can be misleading. The desk is in an open area and looks welcoming. (Maybe you have the same situation at your job.) Whenever I want to get something done, a friend comes to chat about their weekend or something that their significant other has said. I love it, but also get frustrated in this situation. You know what I mean if you have ever worked in a cubical setting. Well, today a friend stopped by to chat right as I was putting the finishing touches on an Instagram post.

I forget what the conversation was originally about, but my friend proceeded to tell me about the first time we met. She said I was rushed, short with introducing myself. Frankly, I came off rude. What!? Me, rude? I told her, "I must have had a bad day."

This made me ask myself some questions. What is the first thing someone notices about you? Do you have a good handshake? Maybe it's your smile?

I love how Paul introduces himself to the Christians in Rome, who had never met him face-to-face. He had heard stories about this church and was so encouraged by their faith. Paul wanted this church to know him.

He started by saying, "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him, we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name's sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ."- Romans 1:1-7

What an introduction! First, Paul says he is set apart for the Gospel of God. Then he explains what this "good news" actually means. Jesus is fully man because He is a descendant of David and fully God because of the resurrection. Being a descendant of David fulfills the Davidic Covenant mentioned in 2 Samuel 7:8-17 and 1 Chronicles 17:1-15. The Davidic Covenant is a promise God made that a son of David would rule Israel forever. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Paul declares that he is a special messenger of the good news that is for all nations including those in Rome. Paul calls himself an "apostle" which was a way to describe someone who is divinely called to a purpose, not self-appointed.

What if I introduced myself to you like that? Hi, I am Hannah, a servant of Christ Jesus. Ok, I'll stop there. I don't think we have to introduce ourselves that way. However, I think that we can learn a few lessons from Paul on how to give a polite introduction. We are not an apostle like Paul, but God does give us a purpose. 1) When we really grasp what Christ has done for us, it will change us. 2) We need to know and live out our purpose or calling. When we live out our God given-calling, not the one we self-appointed or the calling someone else chose for us, we will be noticed. Living out the calling of the gospel is going to look different. Your life will stand out. 3) Live out this calling with passion! You have been called. Don't hide that you are set apart for the Gospel of God.

I don't know about you, but I would love it if the first thing someone notices about me is the Gospel. That's a good first impression. 

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Hannah Lynn

Hannah Lynn hosts Moody Radio’s That’s Real and is an engineer for Karl and Crew mornings. She grew up as a homeschooler on a tree farm, plays the harp (ask her about harp camp), drives a Prius (don’t judge), and started a fashion blog while a student at Moody Bible Institute (yes, that’s possible). Hannah loves to tell people about Jesus—as a seven-year-old she witnessed to her ballet teacher, then she started a Young Life club while in high school. Now she mentors teens with her husband, John, who serves as a youth pastor.

That's Real with Hannah Lynn

That’s Real with Hannah Lynn gives a one-minute dose of encouragement and advice to young adults who want to love and live God’s Word. Her fast-paced mix of storytelling and Bible truth helps create understanding between young believers and anyone who wants to follow Jesus one day at a time.