Summary: Talks about the fact that we represent our Savior in all our deeds and words - What a responsibility.
I REPRESENT JESUS CHRIST 2 THESS. 1:1-12
As you all know my family and I are from the area of Ft Lauderdale in S. Florida. We first arrived in this area of the country in January of 1986 when I entered the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville; and we immediately fell in love with the whole region. We love the beauty of the country side, the old homes, and, as you know - even the winter weather.
But one of the things that really impressed us when we first arrived was just how polite people were. You see, I’m sure you have heard stories about rude New Yorkers - but I am here to tell you that New Yorkers don’t have much on people in South Florida. People down there are generally rude and unfriendly.
But here in this part of the country, Betty and I immediately noticed that just the opposite was true. We noticed that for the most part people are even polite when they drive their cars! And that is definitely not true in Florida.
Not that all the drivers in S. Florida are rude and unsafe but they seem to have an unfair share down there. In fact, there used to be a story going around that in order to move to Florida and become a legal resident - you must first take a safe driving course - and fail it!
While driving in Florida, it seems that you just can’t go anywhere without at least once - someone cuts you off and nearly causes an accident. Of course, when this happens a person tends to get a little upset and frequently you are inspired to yell out a few unfavorable descriptions of the offending driver!
Now I am sure that none of you would ever do so - but I will admit that once or twice in my sinful past - I have let myself go! I have really let some people have it - verbally!
I have some very good friends who own a shop called Busy Bee Florist back in Florida. At times in years past, on Mother’s Day and other holidays, they would get very busy and they would ask me to help them by making deliveries. Of course, on such occasions, I would drive one of the company vans.
One particular Mother’s day, I had just left the shop with the van loaded to the brim with beautiful flower arrangements and planters - all intended for eager mothers.
When suddenly a car shot around the corner right in front of me! I slammed on the brakes, barely missing the car --- and you could almost hear the cry of disappointed mothers as their flower arrangements and planters crashed to the floor of the van.
Well - I’ll tell you- right then an unfavorable description of that driver and every one of his ancestors formed in my mind - I opened my mouth --- and I caught myself! And didn’t say anything!
You see, I was in my friend’s van. On the side in bright, tall letters it said BUSY BEE FLORIST. If I had yelled out and told that fellow what I thought of him - people would have heard me -- but they would have seen BUSY BEE FLORIST.
At that moment I was representing the florist shop and my friends. My actions and words would reflect on the image people had of my friend’s business and on them. So I had to be careful.
*When we call ourselves "Christian" - we represent Jesus Christ in the eyes of the world. When I say I am a Christian all my actions and words affect the image other people have of Christ - whether for the good or for the bad.
Paul spoke of this in our scripture passage . "With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Did you catch what that said? "so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you." My actions and my words either bringing or failing to bring glory to Jesus.
But let’s stop just for a minute. In churches we tend to use certain words quite a bit. We use words like glory, grace, sanctified, and a whole lot of other "God talk."
I have often wondered how many of us may not really understand all this "God talk" we use. How many of us have heard and used these words over and over again without really understanding what they meant?