Posted by: pastortomvabeach | January 24, 2018

Thought for the Week January 28, 2018

I am working at a bit of a disadvantage this week.  My desktop computer at work crashed and needs a new hard-drive.  So I am working on my laptop computer, which works fine but makes me take a few extra steps to get things opened and saved and has a keyboard that, for me, is much harder to type on.  Nonetheless, I am pressing on.

I want to drop one little thought into you hearts this week and let you ponder it.  On Sunday I cited some ways in which Christians are being mistreated in the United States in recent years.  Some examples are: an Illinois school superintendent said it was illegal for a third grader to sing “God Bless The USA” in a school talent show; a Georgia secretary was told she could not study her Bible on her break; a California man was stopped from passing out tracts in public by the police; and a theme park worker in Florida was told that it was against federal law to mention Jesus’ in the park.

One thing that is obvious to me about these incidents is that, in order for someone to harass or restrict these people’s activities, it had to be known that they wanted to or asked to or tried to do what was being restricted.  In other words it was noticeable that they were people of faith who wanted to practice some aspect of their faith.

So how do those around us, those we encounter in the normal course of our day, those we work with, attend school with, live among, or even pal around with know that we are Christians?  How would a manager at work, a principal in a school, a policeman on the street know that we are Christians?

You know, Jesus said that because the world persecuted Him, it would also persecute us.  But if the most apparent thing we do is put a fish on the back of our cars or go to church almost every Sunday, what’s there to persecute?  I guess, if they ever get to closing the churches as they do in some countries, then we’ll be noticeable, if we keep going to church under those conditions.

What I’m getting at is that there should be clear observable characteristics about our lives that set us apart from the unbelieving world.  Characteristics like our moral choices, our speech, our concern for others, or the love we project in our actions and conversations.  Jesus also said they would know we were His followers by our love for one another.

Some things to ask ourselves might be: do I give God credit for the good things that I have or do in life; do I give others the benefit of the doubt instead of getting irritated; do I express my support for those who are treated unjustly; do I put others welfare ahead of my own; do I look for ways to help those who are in need; do I set boundaries in my life to avoid falling into sin; do I find ways to tell others what Jesus has done for me?

You know, there are many ways that your life can radiate the presence of Christ so that others notice.  Some of the Christian lifestyle patterns may cause disrespect or disapproval from those who don’t follow or are opposed to Christ.  But these same patterns are attractive to those who are hungry for a real encounter with the real God.  How will either know if we hide our true identity as a child of God?

So my question to you is, if you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you in a court of law?  What about your life tells the world so witnesses could testify, he or she is a follower of Jesus?  If you can’t think of anything, it’s time to get busy and live for Him.  Let Jesus lead you in every area of life until everyone you know will know that you know Jesus.  Just a thought to ponder hard.

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