Monday, September 28, 2015
Although very few will confess it, here is one Bible verse that has troubled many Christians probably through many ages: “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38) My guess is that this verse mostly disturbs Christians who are quiet and unassuming. Because of their general nature, they make an effort to not attract too much attention to themselves and are content to remain in the background as much as possible. I suspect that, because of it, some overzealous believers may criticize them, perhaps even admonish them by citing this verse to them.
Here is where many Christians trip over this verse: They assume that Jesus was speaking exclusively about our conversation with others and forget that actions speak louder than words. They forget that when He said that we should let our lights shine before men, He was referring to the lives we live before them, not just our conversation. Recently, my wife and I were in a local burger place and sitting in a table right next to us, I noticed a young man who removed his cap, bowed his head, and prayed right before he ate his burger. My first thought was: “Boy, I wish there were more young people like him in today’s society.” Then when he raised up again to eat, we noticed the bottle of beer he was drinking with his meal. Now, let it be known that people won’t miss out on Heaven because of what they do or don’t do. People are saved forever once they believe in Christ, ask His forgiveness for their sins, and invite Him into their hearts. We are saved by what Jesus did not by what we do or don’t do. Even so, most Christians see saying the table grace in public as a good thing, drinking a beer, not so much.
On the day we commit our lives to Christ, the issue of our eternal salvation is settled. After that day, all God’s children are visited from time to time with subtle voices which remind us that we are not saved, including the times when we don’t speak or stand up for Christ. Some of you may find it hard to believe, but I have never been the type to draw attention to myself, and I confess there have been times when I too felt convicted because I did not speak or stand up for the Lord when I should have. Even so, and because of God’s mercy and grace, I have been able to win many people to Christ. How did that happen? It happened because those around me mostly noticed the change God wrought in me, many of them inquiring how come I was different than others, which opened the door for me to speak freely with them about Christ. Child of God, remember this: you don’t have to look for opportunities to be in the light, you are the light. I didn’t say it, Jesus did.
Bible verse for the week: (1 John 3:19-20 KJV) “This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.”