What Do They See?

“If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message,” (2 Corinthians 12:6 NLT).

With this statement Paul is making, it appears that when we are telling the truth, we are not necessarily boasting, but some could take it that way. Why should this matter? If we’re going to create an environment in which people will want to know our Risen Savior, we must make sure that they “see” us living what we preach and not just hear us–boasting about what we are able to do through Him.

If we are indeed a new creation in Christ Jesus, do people see us doing the same old things we used to do that kept us in a quagmire of ungodly living?

Are we living with others in an intimate relationship outside of marriage–as God defines marriage?

Are we subjecting ourselves to the fallout of using illicit drugs?

Are we mindful of the laws designed to protect the innocent and do we adhere to them?

Are we allowing our tongues to wag and snag others into the pits that kept us receiving God’s best in our lives?

If we say we are born again, and yet–others see us as though we have never heard of Jesus Christ, what benefit is that to the Kingdom of God?

Are we not aware that we when we “say” one thing and yet do another–we are hypocrites?

Do people see us being friendly and courteous to others–no matter what the situation that arises?

Do they see us respond calmly to negative events or do we clown like the heathens and then–five minutes later–we are heard praising God?

If we really want to win others to Christ, we must become “living epistles read of men” for the glory of the kingdom of God and not our own.

It is not what people hear us say that convinces them our God is an awesome God–it is what they see us do–in trying times as well as the good times–that convinces them of our God.

God is faithful to keep us focused on Him when we allow Him to do so. If we’re going to boast–let this be our boast–He is faithful–and we must learn to do the same.

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to become more like You with each breath we take and show others by what we do, not what we say–just how awesome You are.

For Long Life, Peace and Prosperity!

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity” (Proverbs 3:1,2 NIV).

“Do not forget my teaching”–what teaching was Solomon referencing? His teaching about all He knew about God and living a life that pleases God. I have often had my children’s friends come back to me when they become adults and remind me of the things I taught them. One young lady in particular, almost had an accident during a snowstorm, but she remembered what I had said about driving on slippery roads and avoided an accident. Many of them still remember bible study at my house and the things they learned when they were kids.

“Keep my commands in your heart”--why? If we hold fast to our instructions in righteousness, we will not disobey or disappoint. Whatever is in the heart of man (or woman) will surely come to light. Perhaps, this is why scripture tells us that God is not concerned with the external trappings of man, but looks at our hearts.

For they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity”–what will? Keeping the commands/instructions given (obedience) we were given. Imagine that!

Let’s look at how that might work in our society.

“Look both ways before crossing the street” –won’t get run-down by a car.

“Don’t spend every dime you get, save money (learn to invest)”–if we save, we’ll have money when we need it.

“Treat people the way you want to be treated” –unless there is something seriously wrong with a person, most want to be treated with courtesy and kindness. If we do this, we effect peace where we are.

“Learn to respect self, others and the property of others”–when we respect others, there is no need for strife and we will not kill, steal, or destroy.

“Eat your vegetables”–proven to have not just nutritional value, but can thwart the growth of cancer cells.

“Stay away from drugs and alcohol”--drugs change the chemical production in our brains and cause us to be delusional and eventually erodes any sense of rational thinking and so can alcohol, when misused. When we destroy brain cells, we destroy our ability to function at maximum potential.

There are so many other things I could say, but this is not the appropriate forum. Perhaps, I’ll expound more in a book, specifically dedicated to a reflection about Proverbs 3.

So, if we want long life, peace and prosperity, we need to be obedient–not just to parents, but to God and those in position of authority (teachers, laws of the land, etc.). (Please read the rest of this passage to the end–very powerful and pertains to our lives today.)

Now, just to look at things in a balanced perspective–if we don’t do all the things that Solomon was advising us to do, we won’t have long life, peace or prosperity. Could it be that this is the reason the world is in the shape it is in today? Hmmm. Something to think about!

What a novel concept! Disobedience leading to shortened lives, unrest, and poverty! This should not be a surprise to anyone if we understood that the act of disobedience is what caused man’s fall from God’s favor in the beginning with Adam and Eve. Nothing new under the sun–just recycled stupidity and foolishness when people refuse to listen and obey. We cannot keep doing things the same way, expecting to get different results (Einstein’s definition of insanity), it just won’t happen. We need to wake up, acknowledge where we are, and make some changes in what we do and how we do them. The first step is in seeking God and His wisdom to guide us in all things.

Lord, help us today to see the truth of Your Word and how it applies to every area of our lives.  Pour into us Your wisdom so we can get living right according to Your Word and then be in position to receive all that You have promised.