Yesterday our associate pastor, Reverend Pete Belmain, preached on 1 Peter 2:9-10 and spoke of an alternative lifestyle. He biblically made the case that Christianity is the alternative lifestyle and that the other lifestyles so described are actually culturally acceptable. One thing he said is that as Christians we are billboards. I like that, except Brother Pete challenged us by asking, “What does your billboard say?”
I haven’t been able to let go of that question because too often I don’t like my answer. However, I need not despair because I have a gracious Lord who forgives me of my sins if I will just confess them to Him. Nevertheless, I must endeavor to be more like Jesus and to reflect His character. If I reflect my old character, then what others see will not be Jesus. Solomon knew this well:
“As in water face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the man.” (Proverbs 27:19)
If I am to be a reflection of Christ, then I must allow my heart to be made more like His. The best way to do that is through His word and the working of His Holy Spirit. The Bible aids in converting our character from depravity to divinity. God’s word is trustworthy and true, able to change a simpleton into a sage:
“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7)
Dear Christian, are you a poor witness for Christ? I am not speaking of how you live; do you testify about Jesus or are you a secret agent Christian not “wearing my Christianity on my sleeve.” I really do not like that statement. Brother or sister, the Bible never calls us to wear our Christianity on our sleeves; it is to reflect from our faces and our hearts! If you’re not successful in witnessing to the lost people God sends your way, then it is probably because you are unprepared. Go read Psalm 51 again and understand the sequence of repentance, renewal, and then comes witnessing:
“Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.” (Psalm 51:13)
For me to reflect Christ, I must be like Him. While at conversion I receive the Holy Spirit, Christlikeness comes through daily obeying Christ’s call on my life. I must mirror my Savior if I want to look like Him to others:
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Oh but Brother Dave, as hard as I try I can never seem to reflect Christ’s image. It’s just so hard to be Christlike in this world today. If I thought that I would have reason to doubt my salvation. At the very least it reflects a complete ignorance of the Bible’s teaching on Christlikeness. It is true that I still have my old sinful nature, but I am a new creation in Christ and I should reflect that:
“And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.” (1 Corinthians 15:49)
Perhaps this will help you; I must continually concentrate on Christ if I desire to receive His guidance and to reflect His grace. My focus must be on Jesus Christ and nothing else. If my thoughts are on anyone or anything other than Jesus, then that has become an obstacle in my life. I have to remove all idols from my presence. I may have to go as far as to cast out the Ishmael from my home. If I am to receive the vision of Christ, then my pathway to Him must be clear. Oswald Chambers explains:
“We have to learn to maintain an unimpaired state of character up to the last notch revealed in the vision of Jesus Christ. The abiding characteristic of a spiritual man is the interpretation of the Lord Jesus Christ to himself, and the interpretation to others of the purposes of God. The one concentrated passion of the life is Jesus Christ.”
Today I encourage you to take note upon what you concentrate your passion. Do you concentrate on making your career more successful? Are you concentrated on pleasing your spouse and/or your children? Is your concentration focused on pleasing your parents? If so, you’re living the life of Sisyphus and you’ll never push that rock over the top of the hill.
However, if you will concentrate all your passion on the Lord Jesus Christ, then all these things will be given to you. Those are Jesus’ words, not mine:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
What does your billboard say?
I want mine to say, “Built by Jesus.”
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Copyright © 2014 David Jeffers