Friday, May 23, 2008

Walking the Walk

Today I am reading from the NT, in the book of Colossians. Paul is writing to us as believers, and in Chapter 3:12 - 13 it says,
"Therefore as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever greivances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you".
I know from experience, that those who aren't believers watch Christians to see how they carry themselves, and if they "walk the walk", and not just "talk the talk". If they see us portraying characteristics unlike those mentioned above, then we are portraying ourselves no different than the unsaved in the world. Why then would they want to listen to what we have to say if we are being hypocritical in our actions?
It is vital that we be ministers of Christ in our actions and attitudes. We are all surrounded daily by those who aren't believers, and you might not know that they are in a place of searching for the truth, but behind the scenes they are watching to see if your faith is backed up by actions that live up to the standards that Christ has set for us. If they see the living presence of The Holy Spirit in you, then they are more willing to come to you to receive God's Word, and then that is when you are able to "feed" them the Truth that will set them free.
Don't ever try to force feed God's Word to them - it's no different than when someone is trying to make a baby eat something they don't want - they will spit it out and not want to taste it again.
James 3:9-10 says, " With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? Can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water".
Think of what it was, or who it was in your life that caused you to come to faith in Jesus. I know in my life, it was Jim Henry, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando, FL. I was living a life of sin, and one day I saw this commercial with this man who was sitting in a pew and said, "Hi, I've got someone I'd like you to meet, and his name is Jesus". Something about him, and the genuiness of his words, led me to go visit his church. The first time I heard him preach, I felt the love of Christ radiating from this man. I SAW Jesus through him - he portrayed every characteristic mentioned by Paul in the verses from Colossians. I moved away from the area for a few years, but while home for a visit many years later, I had the opportunity to catch up to him after service one day and asked him if he remembered that commercial from when he first had moved to Orlando. He said yes, but was surprised that it was something I had remembered. I told him, "Pastor Jim, that commercial save my life - I saw Jesus in you". He hugged me with tears flowing from his eyes and said, "Thank you Sister".
My prayer today is that all of us would reflect Jesus in the same way I saw Jim Henry reflect him; that our lives would be living proof of Jesus living in us, and through us.

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