Do they see Christ in me?
As a Christian you should want to keep from giving others an improper message.
God has used this thought to impress on my heart the need we have individually to be certain the message we send out is the message the world needs to hear and that is Jesus Christ. So ask yourself the question “Do they see Christ in me?”
We read in Psalm 103:12 that-
As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. In a recent message I used this verse to make the point the Psalmist is saying that the distance from which God has removed our sins is as far as the east is from the west. In a popular song by Casting Crowns the lyrics suggest that that distance is from nail scared hand to nail scared hand.
If the church, if believers are the body of Christ, then what do people see when they see the body? Simply, what do people who do not know Christ as a Savior see when they see the body which is the church?
Do they see triumph and joy?
Do they see excitement and encouragement?
Do they see concern and love?
Jesus said that they will know us by our love as we see in John 13:34-35
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
I do not attempt to make the case that the life of a believer does not or will not have times that are hard and difficult and that challenge their faith. Certainly every believer will have those times when things do not go as we had hoped. When there are struggles on a variety of different fronts: financial, job, home, family, illness, relationships and the list can go on. For example, for every young person there is the struggle of peer pressure, being accepted, being like everyone else.
Yet whether old or young the struggles come and then the question is will they define you? The answer is yes they will define you but in what way? Will you choose to go with the crowd?
How did Jesus put it? He said in Matthew 7:13 and 14
13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it
So what should we be doing?
Let me give you three things that we all need to remember-
1 Remember the importance of how the church is a place of worship and prayer
In Isaiah 56:7 God Himself says
"…For My house shall be called a house of prayer…"
Jesus clarified this for them in Mark 11:17
17 Then He taught, saying to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it a 'den of thieves.' "
2 Remember how we should treat and respect God’s house and His Word.
Every one one of us has a cell phone. You know, it used to be that in a concert quite often the artist would have people hold up a lighter to light the darkened building. Now, it is asking everyone to take out their cell phone to light up the dark room. It seems that everyone today has to have a cell phone. Have you ever wondered what it would be like if we treated our Bible the way we treat a cell phone?
-Once a service has begun we ought to be still and attentive, worshipful and not be getting up or fidgeting around.
-Now those cell phones we spoke about a minute ago, you will probably say at this point that you use your cell phone for your Bible. That is good in case of an emergency but those cell phones should be turned off or placed on silent vibration and certainly there should be no texting. Get yourself that Bible out and use it in church.
-there should be respect of God’s house in the manner in which we dress
3) Remember that as a Christian people should see Christ in you, do they?
It can be in possessions, a home, travel, leisure time. How does the Christian exemplify Christ?
We are the body of Christ and in their song "If we are the body" Casting Crowns puts it this way
But if we are the Body
Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching
And if we are the Body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way
There is a way
So with all of this said, where does that leave us, what are we to do as believers? Come to God’s house to worship and pray. Treat God’s house with great respect in how we use it and what we do when we are in it. Present yourself to all as a Christian, ask yourself the question What Would Jesus Do?
In God's Grace,