Philippians 1:27, “Let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ”
Grass or weeds; bluegrass or quack grass; thick or thin; browning out or greening up? These are the things I look for when I drive by the front yard of an office building in Rochester. To the credit of its keepers, the lawn has been green and weed-free for some time now. Even in the middle of summer the grass looks first-class. There’s a very good reason I’m always checking out this lawn because it graces the corporate offices of a highly competitive and well-known lawn-care firm. I suppose they would have a good excuse if their turf wasn’t picture perfect. I’m sure they could claim they’re so busy servicing the lawns of others that they don’t have time for their own. On the other hand, who’s going to respect a business that doesn’t even use its own product?
My brethren, throughout history, the people of God have been in a similar position. They have always been on display, representing the true and living God. Unfortunately, as the apostle Paul pointed out, many professing believers have been a poor testimony for the Lord (Romans 2:24). When we call ourselves Christians, we are saying to the world that Christ is our Savior and that we are following Him. We have a glorious name, and with it a great privilege to be identified with Christ and also a much greater responsibility to live up to His name! So, how are you doing?
Sometime ago I read about a young husband who forgot that he was married. According to the newspaper account, the day after the newly-weds returned from their honeymoon, the husband was three hours late getting home from the office. Dinner was burned and his bride was burning mad. He had absentmindedly gone to his mother’s house! That is a funny story; however, when people who belong to the Savior (Jesus Christ) suffer from a similar memory problem, it’s not very humorous. The apostle Peter reminded those of us who have entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that we’re not what we used to be. As God’s people, we should always keep in mind that we have been cleansed from our old sins (2 Peter 1:9) and that we have a new purpose in life.
We are now His illustration to the world of what He has to offer. His work in our lives makes us a picture of qualities that people may not know they need or want until they see them at work in us. Jesus prayed that His followers would be unified so the world would know that God sent Him and loved them as God loved Him (John 17:23). Thus, when Christ is alive in us, we become examples of God’s love. We can’t manufacture love. God is the manufacturer, and we are His “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). So, as you browse through catalogs in the days ahead, consider what the “catalog” of your life says about God and do people see qualities in you that make them long for God?
More like the Master I would live and grow,
More of His love to others I would show;
More self-denial, like His in Galilee,
More like the Master I long to ever be. – Gabriel
As a Christian, you are “God’s advertisement.” Do people want what they see in you?