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Friday, May 13, 2011

How Others See Us

“Imagine the impact Christians could have on this world if kindness were the rule in all we do.”  Bill Bright

If you are a Christian, how do you think others see your walk with the Lord?  Unfortunately, today many people say they cannot tell a born-again Christian from a nonbeliever because there is no difference in the way we live.  The only “religious” thing they may see in some of us is that we go to church on Sunday.  These facts truly sadden and convict me.  Perhaps some of us have lost our passion for sharing the love and Good News of Jesus Christ with others.  God’s purpose for us is to be passionate and radiant in our faith and to reach out in love to our neighbors, community, and the world. 

We should take the matter of obedience to our Christian faith as an action quite seriously.  Because of what Christ did for us on the cross, God wants to give us a burning desire to walk with Him actively and urgently.  It is so important to study God’s Word on a daily basis and listen for key messages that He is specifically speaking to us about.   We can pray and ask God, “How can I apply this to my life?  What practical things can I do to set this truth into my attitude, character, and behavior?  Where does it need to make a difference?  Then, ask Him to show you how to apply what you hear to your own life.  He will not only give you an answer, but strength to accomplish the task to which He calls you.  As Christians, faithfully pleasing God is definitely an activity, not just a nice set of beliefs.  It must be our way of life, so that others will see a difference in us.

To convince a hardened and cynical world that we are not just different, but better off for those differences, we must allow them to see how our struggles in life have been altered for the better as a result of our relationship with Jesus Christ.  So, be real.  Don’t be hesitant in telling others how your faith in Christ has sustained you during your pain, sorrow, and other challenging times.  Let them know that God wants to give them peace in the midst of their difficulties and that He is eagerly waiting for them to call upon Him.  Also, be an encourager.   So many people need to hear uplifting words that are spoken in love.  As Christians, you and I are called to be the ones to speak this kind of love to those in need of a Savior.

As we live out our faith in obedience to Jesus Christ on a daily basis, we will then begin to experience many positive changes in our heart.  God will give us the ability to show kindness and love to others in such a way that they will not see us, but the radiance of Christ living in us. The best means of creating an interest in Christ and the Christian way of life is to so thoroughly live and enjoy it that others will want to know how they, too, can have it. 

Scriptures for Reflection:
“God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8
“Little Children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and with truth.”  1 John 3: 18
“And live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  Ephesians 5: 2
“Love must be sincere.  Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”  Romans 12: 9
 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”  I John 4:7
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4: 8
Note: Scripture references taken from the New International Version of the Bible.

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