Sometime ago a good friend, Pastor Audrey, challenged our group at that time, with the truth that we ARE being watched by others! Then later she again challenged us with another truth that we ARE servants, bond-slaves to our Lord, but not in the sense that the world looks at slavery; both awesome messages and right to the heart.
In the last couple weeks or so the thought has struck me again about how can we as “modern-day” Christians regain and emulate what the early church was known by; that is, they were known by their love for one another?
Back then Pastor Audrey eloquently poised the question as to whether we as individuals were aware of being watched by those around us, as I have been thinking about it with all going on in the world and especially in our country, I knew what the Holy Spirit has been speaking to my heart and the idea to share started burning within my spirit.
Now don’t think I’m being over-melodramatic for in truth I am not being that way, it is just that when I start to believe that the Lord has given me something to share, it truly becomes like a fire inside, something that just HAS to be fulfilled for my spiritual relief.
As I started to ponder and meditate on the questions that are still relevant today, I already knew where the Holy Spirit wanted to go for He has been dealing with me FIRST for some time, as is usually the case when the Lord gives a teacher or preacher something to share with others. The sign of a true shepherd is one that is led to the “pasture” first by the “Great Shepherd” long before His (the Lord’s) under-shepherds, His “servants, bond-slaves, etc.” can teach others what He desires to get across to His other followers and disciples!
How do we answer the question, in a realistic “real world” way, when we finally realize AND know that we ARE being watched by others? The question that should concern us is what is it that those who are watching, really see in us! For instance, do they see us as bond-servants; voluntary slaves doing the will of the One we call Lord or slaves acting as if we are obligated and not necessarily willing to serve? This is a question that we as individuals can only answer ourselves and since the Lord already knows our heart attitude, the only logical and rational thing to do is be honest within ourselves, and if we have to look deep to see the truth in that answer than we at least have the Holy Spirit to act as our Convincer of the Truth!
But it still begs the answer as to HOW do we regain that which was seemingly lost so very long ago? How are those who are watching us today going to see the REAL love that can only come from an honest effort of truly walking in a Christ-like way?
I may be “preaching to the choir” here, as the cliché goes, and many of you may have the answer before I can even pose it, but it bears repeating again and again until it becomes so much a part of us that we don’t have to think about it to accomplish it. I’m talking about truly walking or in actuality, LIVING in Christ; ABIDING in Him and thus in the Father Who IS and Whose Character is LOVE, as the Epistle of 1 John continues to tells us again and again.
Why is what I am telling you now, so different from what the world usually sees or claims to see?
The truth is this, and it’s going to hurt a bit; what the world sees most of the time is an act, a temporary demonstration meant to appease our human spirit within! You might be scratching your head right now, Brother Roland what did you just say??!!
Look at it this way, to most people when they see the “religious,” the “church-goers” and the “do-gooders,” they see them as they are on Sundays and maybe on the mid-week services, and of course during any times when there are also “Special Service Nights” in which they attend the church of their choice.
Of course when they see these same people back at work the next day, they see people just as they themselves are for the most part. They see everyday people who are opinionated, enjoy a bit of frivolous gossip, maybe just a little bad-mouthing of others they are acquainted with, and of course they may see a friend who is willing to share in a little risqué joking on the side, maybe someone who is not overly concerned about the quality of their work as long as the paychecks keep coming, etc., etc., and you get the picture.
You see, this stems from a fallacy that has been taught for way too many years. It’s the myth that in a person’s life, God should be first, then family, then either your job or church depending on the priorities in your life at that time and so on and so forth. For example if you were to look at a pie-chart divided into sections, you would see the greater part of the pie devoted to God. Second, you would of course see your family taking up the next to greater part and ever smaller divisions would indicate work or job and maybe church and then entertainment or education etc., as I said, all depending upon the priorities at that time in your life. But sadly, that thinking is one of the enemies greatest mind tricks, and it’s a total deception and lie!
When you attempt to portion your life like that, several things take place. First you realize that TIME is not on your side. There are only so many hours in a day, a week, a month and so on. Second, you can never ever satisfy to your spirit’s contentment any PART of your life devoted to the Lord, no matter how much or how noble you think it is. Third, you can never escape the fact that your life always seems to be one hurdle after another, and to make it all the more depressing, you learn that others ARE watching you and they’re watching you stumble all around when in truth you know that things should be different!
The fact remains is that you can NEVER EVER give God ONLY a part and ever be truly His. He MIGHT be your Savior and Redeemer, but He is certainly NOT Lord with only a PART given to Him!
Many of you know that one of my favorite verses of Scripture is found in Matthew 22, verses 37-38:
Jesus said to him, “’You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.”
That is certainly NOT just a part Jesus is stating, greater part or not. It is ALL, you must give Him your ALL! But you may still be asking, “how can someone, how can WE give Him our ALL when there is not enough to go around? And what about family and all those other priorities in our lives that demand so much attention?”
When God our Father, IS the WHOLE “pie chart,” so to speak, everything else will then be IN Him! Your life will then be ABIDING in Him. All your other priorities will be cared for as you abide IN Him and then He becomes responsible for your life! You MUST love and give Him your ALL! A part, no matter how great will never be enough to give you the spiritual contentment that your heart and being demands!
The modern world we live in today demands so much more of us, time-wise than when Jesus walked this earth during His earthly ministry. We all remember that the Bible states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” in Hebrews 13:8. We know this is what the Bible tells us, yet the TIMES have changed, they are not the same as yesterday and we are sure they won’t be in the future as today is, right? Yet we aren’t dealing with a “time” issue, but a human nature issue, AND human nature has certainly not changed in all this time!
Again, with all that is going on in the world and country today, we need to think and meditate about our place in Lord in our individual lives. Ask the Holy Spirit to honestly reveal to you, just where you ABIDE in Him. The Holy Spirit will always be honest and true in showing us where we are and where we belong!