It seems as if the world is becoming saturated with people proclaiming to be Christians. The sad news, though, is that not everyone who calls him or herself a Christian is one, and even many who are don’t show it. Being a Christian is more than speaking words; it’s putting words to action because words alone are not enough.
The older I get, the more I see that Christians my age are adamant about the nest eggs they have saved up for their own retirement and that they don’t plan to share it or give it away. The foolishness of this strategy, though, is that none of us knows how long we’ll live or if we’ll be here to appreciate our savings—and for that matter, if the world will be so far into the end that it becomes useless to us.
The Bible tells us in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” At this point, all we have is today and today is filled with its own challenges and blessings. We need to live each day with an appreciation for the life Christ has given us this day and with enough compassion that we don’t hold on to things that we are saving for a day that hasn’t been made yet.
Jesus makes this very clear in James 4:13-17:
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away”.
Being a Christian is more than going to church on Sunday’s and habitually placing our offerings in the basket. It’s more than hanging out with a Christian crowd during the week. While it’s good to control our temper and avoid swear words, it’s more than just appearing like a really nice person. It’s more than giving others a hug and sending them off with, “God bless you”.
James 2:20 says that “faith without works is dead”. We can’t proclaim to be a Christian and not bear fruit because it’s the fruit or the “characteristics of Christ in us” that reassure us that God’s Holy Spirit lives in us. And it’s ONLY through His Spirit living in Christians that the world will ever see God.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”—Galatians 5:22-23
Apostle Paul tells us that we are to live like Christ and that His values and character should be in us. He instructs us to turn from the world and in doing so we will not want the world’s ways to be in us anymore. We will want to be and act like Jesus.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.”—Ephesians 5:8-10
So, if we are going to be and act like Jesus, then we need to read the Four Gospels of the New Testament [Matthew, Mark, Luke and John] and learn about Jesus so that we become like Him. As we study, we learn that Jesus did far more than just send well wishes to people. Jesus was a servant! And He expects us to serve others with the same passion and love for God that He showed during His earthly ministry.
“So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.’”— John 13:12-17
We are saved and that is truly wonderful, but it doesn’t stop there. The second we receive Christ as our Savior, we are on a mission to get others saved. The passions of Christ need to flow through us and onto the people of this hurting world. Jesus tells us to let our light shine so the world can see Him. The only way the world is going to get saved is through Jesus, and so we need to draw people to Him by letting His Spirit live through us as a light onto a dark world. And we don’t do this by being a quiet Sunday Christian. We do this by our works!
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”—Matthew 5:16
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”—Ephesians 2:10
There are many ways that we can reveal God’s love to people and win souls for Christ. We can show it in our daily lives to our neighbors, to the people at the local grocery stores, to our co-workers, to anyone and everyone we come in contact with during the day. We can demonstrate our fruits in our words and in our actions. We can hold a door open for someone, walk with a smile and not a frown, offer to help or give a beggar some money, or be a peacemaker during a conflict.
We can share our earnings and our savings with Christian ministries that are out in the front lines and fighting for Christ. There are ministries like Samaritan’s Purse that’s made up of Christian volunteers who go into disaster areas to help the victims get their lives together. We can be a volunteer, and if we can’t do the physical work then we can send funding—and we can pray!
There are ministries such as the Paul Wilbur Ministries; this man has devoted his life to God and to sharing the gospel with the Jewish people through his inspiring worship music. The Billy Graham Ministry with Franklin Graham and others of the Graham family preach the gospel to America and around the world and warn the people who Jesus is coming soon. Jay Sekalow has a Christian legal ministry with members who fight for the legal rights of imprisoned Christians and who work day and night to fight abortion and protect innocent babies.
These ministries are devoted to God and to getting HIS message of salvation out to the world. These aren’t prosperity teachers or mega-churches that preach carnal messages for the “modern day Christian”, but these are people who put their lives on the line every day because the love of God is in them and they want to get people saved. Most of us can’t be part of any of these physical teams, but we sure can support them with our finances and our prayers.
Being a Christian is what life is all about. We serve God with a whole heart by serving people and helping them to find God as well as helping them through their problems. That means sharing whatever we have to share and not hoarding it for ourselves for some time in the future. We’re not looking for rewards here on earth and we’re not looking to be recognized by people. We do what we do to the glory of God, and our reward is in Heaven when Jesus opens His arms and says,
“‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’.”—Matthew 25:21
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Thanks and God bless!