Bible Reading: John 13:18-38
You and I are the branding of Jesus. To a degree, what people believe about Jesus, is largely due to what they see in us. Jesus said that the single, most significant thing that they should see in us…is love. When people see the love of Jesus in us…they will be drawn to Him.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
It’s just water. That’s all. Just bottled water. But, in 2012, that bottled water cost 300 times more than tap water cost. In that year, Americans drank 9.7 million gallons of bottled water. The average cost of bottled water was $1.22/gallon. However, if you take into consideration that 2/3 of all bottled water sales are in single 16.9 ounce bottles, the cost rockets to $7.50/gallon, or 2000 times the cost of bottled water. But remember, it’s just water. That’s all. Just bottled water.
Italians drink more bottled water per person than any other country. Then, in order of consumption, comes Mexico, United Emirates, Belgium, and France. According to one report the global (that means world-wide) sales of bottled water in 2014 was approximately $170 billion and is expected to reach $280 billion by 2020.
Bottled water is sold under hundreds of different names. In the U.S., the top selling names are Dasani, Aquafina, Nestle Pure Life, and Glaceau Smart Water. While there are some differences…they are all basically just water. There is…
- Spring water-it comes from a natural water source flowing up from underground into a spring
- Artesian water-it comes from a natural water source but is collected in a man-made well
- Mineral water-it contains a higher level of minerals
- W.S.-this stands for “public water source” and tells you that basically it is tap water. It is sometimes called “municipal”. You will see this word on Dasani and Aquafina water bottles.
- Purified-This water can come from any source but it has been treated to remove chemicals and minerals.
- Distilled-This water has been boiled to produce steam that is then reproduced into water.
But remember, it’s just water. That’s all. Just bottled water. So, why do Americans (and people from all around the world for that matter) choose one kind of bottled water over another? Why are people willing to pay lots and lots of money…for one kind of bottled water, over another? It’s simple…branding. What? Branding. What is branding? The American Marketing Association defines “branding” this way: A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” How does a company make its bottled water appear to be better than those of its competition?
- Well, it might claim that its water is purer, or has a purer source. In 2008 Nestle Pure Life became the leading bottled water brand in the world. Its branding was its water purification process. The water is filtered through a process of 12 steps and is then enhanced with a unique blend of minerals.
- Some companies appeal to the idea of being cultured. For instance, Evian comes from the Alps…giving it an exotic appeal.
- Then, some companies claim that their water has added benefits such as vitamins, or electrolytes.
- Or, the benefit may be flavor. They add coconut, watermelon, maple, or artichoke (artichoke flavored water…really?).
- Or, they may appeal to being organic and environmentally friendly.
But remember, it’s just water. Well, not actually. It is actually branded water. And the branding makes all the difference. It’s not actually the water that sales…but its what people think about the water that sales.
Did you know that Christians have a brand? The definition of “branding” said that it is something that sets one seller’s product apart from another seller’s product. Well, as Christians, we’re not selling something…but we do have a product. Our product…what we are trying to encourage people to accept, or receive…is Jesus. We are the representatives of Jesus in the world and it is our mission, our responsibility, to encourage other people to accept Him as their Savior. So, why would someone accept Jesus as their Savior? What is it about our message, and about us, that would encourage someone to make Jesus Christ the Lord of their life? Love. That’s right…love. Jesus said that when people see His love in us and how it affects our lives…they will be drawn to Him. We may have beautiful buildings…but it’s not our buildings that draw people to Jesus. We may have great programs and ministries…but those things don’t draw people to Jesus. We may have compelling answers and catchy slogans…but those things don’t draw people to Jesus. Love draws people to Jesus. The love of God being expressed by Christians for each other. That is what draws people to Jesus. People see that kind of love…and they want to find it for themselves. They want to be loved with the love of God.
Do you want your friends to know Jesus as their Savior? Then love other Christians…and love your friend…with the love of Jesus. When they see that kind of love…that unconditional, unmerited, unending kind of love…then they will be drawn to Jesus. Oh, and by the way, Jesus said, “whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14). Go quench someone’s thirst. Give them a drink of Jesus.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,