We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. I Thessalonians 1:3-6 NIV
Some have “given” up stuff for Lent, some have repented for a moment of the lifestyles lived to honor a “holy week” and for some–a life-changing event has taken place.
We’ve paid attention to the last week that Jesus lived with various events and tributes and programs and praise for Jesus loving us enough to come down and make the ultimate sacrifice for us–so we may have eternal life with Him.
Now, that the celebration is over, how will our lives or rather how we live reflect our gratitude for what Jesus did?
Do we really love Him? Do we really understand what He did? If what He has done has touched our hearts and made us realize that our lives are nothing without Him, does the life we live before others provide evidence of who we say we are?
Most of us can talk a good game–we’ve learned how to be the best hypocrites in the world, but when it comes to evangelizing the world by how we live–not what we say–would we be found “guilty” of living a Christ-Centered life?
It is so much easier to “preach” to people than it is to “live” The Word that we forget–not only is God watching, but those around us are watching us, too. What do they see? Do they see us living what we say or do we just become more hot air in the society that is known for “talking loud and saying nothing?”
Are we seen helping those in need without looking for recognition and accolades?
Are we seen exercising wisdom in all decision making that affects others?
Are we known by the love we have for others–whether we approve of their lifestyles or not?
Are we known for praying for others at all times?
Are we known for showing kindness and self-control in any given situation?
Do others see evidence of self-discipline in our lives?
While we espouse having access to power through Holy Spirit–are we allowing Him to guide us in all we say and do?
What are people going to see us doing in the next forty days that’s going to be different from what they saw in the previous forty days? Will they see Holy Spirit powered dedication to living a life that is evidence of our love and gratitude for Jesus?
Well, will they?
While we ponder our actions and how we’ll become proficient at living the life we say we love in Jesus, let’s pray–and then allow Holy Spirit free reign in our hearts so at some point, in the very near future, all will see the message we live.