One of the highlights of our recent trip to California was relishing a fantastic "In -N- Out" cheeseburger. Amazing experience! The service, the cleanliness, the taste, the fresh ingredients… It all blew me away. From beginning to end- perhaps the best restaurant burger I've ever had. The attendants cut the lettuce right there in front of your eyes, slice the cheese, cut the buns, slice the onions… it's all quality and it's all out in the open. The In agrees with the Out… I was drawn In for the integrity and taste of this burger and I went Out feeling fulfilled and longing for more.
Okay- so this is a bit of a cheesy segway, but the same can be said of our experience with Jesus. Everything about him is fantastic, quality and open. In fact, Jesus' goal for us is twofold… that we would be IN with him… spending time, relishing in him… and that we would go OUT for him… "into the world" telling everyone about him. We are to be in him and be sent out by him. Here's what Jesus says in his prayer to God the Father for his followers from John 17:17-18 :::
"Make them pure and holy by teaching them your words of truth. As you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world."
Perhaps I'm communicating this massive truth with too trivial of a parable… but who we are IN Jesus will impact who we are when we go OUT. And the OUT is not lasting or does not leave a good lasting impression if the IN is quick, filthy, and cheating. Quality in Jesus makes the experience and thus the testimony better.