Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Daily Message: Live as a witness ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

For years I claimed to be a Christian, but didn't make any effort to emulate Christ in my daily life. At 13 years of age, I walked down the aisle at church, told the preacher what he wanted to hear, was baptized and thought, "Whew! Got my ticket to Heaven." Then I proceeded to live and act like anything but a Christian. In fact, most would have never used my name and the word Christian in the same sentence. I won't go into details here, but suffice it to say that I lived this way for 20 years or so before I realized there was more to being saved than saying a few words and getting dunked in water. I was at a particularly tough time in life and couldn't seem to understand why. I tried to do right by others, worked hard, and tried to be an overall good person, but nothing seemed to be going my way. That was when I realized I'd never really given myself over to God.

That was about 10 years ago, and it's taken me that long to get from where I was to where I am. The transformation from the then me to the now me wasn't instantaneous, and I know I still have a long way to go. I hope and pray I keep growing as a Christian for the rest of my life. Not one of us is perfect, nor will we ever be, so there is plenty of room for me to improve.

But one thing I've learned is that we should strive every day to be sure that others see Christ's light shine through us.
" 9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody." ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

We are called to love all people, even those who don't reciprocate. We're also called to work hard, to be productive, and to be independent so that others will respect us and not resent us. And finally in this passage, Paul tells us to "lead a quiet life." We're not to stand on mountains, pound our chest, and draw attention to ourselves.

If we strive to live this life we're called to, as a lantern through which Christ's light shines, we'll draw attention to Him. That should be our goal, to be a living witness of the hope, peace, and love that comes through faith in Jesus Christ.

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

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