I once heard this quote, that "There's not so powerful a sermon in the world, as a consistent Christian life." This thought, along with Apostle Paul's exhortation to the Corinthian Church continue to move me forward in my walk. In 2 Corinthians 3:2(the message version), he reminds the Corinthians that their "very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking.."
Friends, take a minute to think about that...YOUR life, is a letter, that people read...just by looking. This is a challenging thought, but let us break it down.
First of all what do you consist of? What are the things that go in? Cos we all know the term 'garbage in, garbage out' and vice-versa. Consequently, the more of God's Word that we allow in our hearts, the more outward transformation will occur. There's no two ways about it. We cannot spend most of our time watching television, reading novels, going to the movies and expect to live a godly life with positive thoughts and attitudes.
Secondly, do your words count? Absolutely..go read James 3. It elaborates on the magnitude of work that our tongues can do. Blessing vs cursing, uplifting vs discouraging. What words do your mouth utter? Do you speak life or death into people's lives and circumstances? And do people come to you for comfort, counsel & prayer? Or are you the most negative one that helps spread gossip?
Thirdly, what do people see in you? What message are you putting forth with the way you respond to life? When you don't share God's love in word, do you SHOW it in your actions? Are you known for compassion or condemnation? Ladies, are we glorifying God in our way of dressing, or are we no different from the world? Jesus himself reminds us in Matthew 5:14 that we are "..the light of the world, a city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden." And just as He says of us, we must shine! But only for His glory!
This message is to challenge us not to just "look the part" of the christian life out of hypocrisy. Instead what I hope it gets across is the need for authenticity. Authenticity is essential and hard to come by these days. And it can only genuinely occur from the inside out. Such that the actions seen, and the words heard by all those around us, are an outward manifestation of God's work of grace, mercy and love going on inside of us.
This word is to me, and i hope to you, a higher call in God. A shove to know God better so I can display him better. We can only give what we possess. Regardless of how great(or not) your walk with God is right now, He still desires that you come closer. Remember the meaning of the world Christian?....Christ-like. The hallmark of Christ is love. My prayer is that we all will open the doors of our hearts completely to Jesus, so we can fully experience Him, and then others can safely follow suit.
I close with this beautiful quote by Ignatius, one of the early church fathers."Give unbelievers the chance of believing through you. Consider yourselves employed by God; your lives the form of language in which He addresses them. Be mild when they are angry, humble when they are haughty; to their blasphemy oppose prayer without ceasing; to their inconsistency, a steadfast adherence to your faith.”
Your comments and questions are very welcome!