Summary: Living your life in a way that always gives GOD glory.
Biblical Text: John 6: 66
“From that time, many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”
I remember watching a man put one dollar in the collection plate and take out four. He came to church that day with a personal agenda that had little to do with worship. Apparently, he had gone out of the Christian business, and just hadn’t taken down his sign yet.
There are many folks just like him. They enter the sanctuary looking for something that has little, if anything, to do with Christ. Perhaps they come out of sheer habit. Grandma came every Sunday, and Mom came every Sunday. There they are, in the same pew, with the same religious air about them…sort of like a hereditary religion.
Then there are those who mosey into the church on occasion….Occasions like Christmas and Easter, Mother’s Day and Thanksgiving. For them, it’s a sense of tradition that’s hard to squelch. They sit in the back and exit just before, or right after the offering. No need for a benediction. They don’t believe in God’s blessing abilities anyway.
Or perhaps we should mention those who attend regularly, belong to every club and auxiliary in the church, but haven’t had a talk with Jesus lately. They’re involvement in fellowship and program events keeps them so busy, there’s not time for Bible Study or Outreach Ministries. They can usually be found at the Saturday Night Church Fashion Show, but they are seldom found at the Friday Night Worship and Praise Service. If there’s a vacant position that needs filling, they’re eager to hold the title, as long as it doesn’t require public prayer, scripture reading, or a personal testimony.
Today we highlight these disguised unbelievers, and propose a solution for cleansing the church. If you have gone out of business, you ought to take down your sign!
Christians should possess certain qualities that speak of their commitment to Christ. If one professes to be a child of God, you can no longer be a child of the devil. A true child of God will willingly follow the leadership of his Father, and obey His commands. The Old Testament Law gives us an oversimplification of Christian demeanor in the form of the Ten Commandments. Let’s look at what they tell us about the qualities or character of a Christian.
The first and second commandment express God’s intolerance with idolatry. “Thou shall have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not take unto thee any graven image.” From these two commandments we glean that a Christian has a real attachment to his Father that prohibits him from becoming too attached to anyone or anything else. He serves a jealous God who demands first place in his life.
The third commandment warns us not to use the Lord’s name in vain. A Christian loves his Father too much to think of discrediting His name.
The fourth commandment reinforces God’s right to have a special day set aside to visit with His family. A real Christian wants to go home, at least once a week, to visit with his Father.
The fifth commandment gives the Christian a formula for a peaceful family life. Christians honor their earthly fathers and mothers.
In the sixth commandment we find out that Christians would never commit murder, and that includes the murder of unborn children. Then the seventh commandment calls the Christian to moral purity….it commands us to cleave to one mate.
The eighth commandment orders us to refrain from stealing ANYTHING that belongs to another, and the ninth commandment prohibits us from gossiping and spreading hateful lies about another person.
Finally, the tenth commandment puts a lid on our jealousies…telling us to be satisfied with what we have.
So we learn that a true Christian loves the Lord, first; allows nothing to become more important that his service to his Master; never uses the Lord’s name in vain; worships his Father faithfully; never steals; never commits murder; never envy’s or covets what others may have; and never gossips or tells lies. So if you’ve gone out of business, you ought to take down your sign.
Now, as we said in the beginning, the Ten Commandments are just an oversimplification of the depth of true Christian character. Should we study this phenomenon called Christian, further, we would find that he has permitted many other rules and regulations to guide his lifestyle.
He tithes, of all that he is blessed. That means that he gives the Lord a tenth of all that he earns and possesses. He is willing to do this, because he realizes that all he has belongs to God. Abraham tithed. So did Jacob and Moses. Nehemiah restored the tithe as the means by which the Hebrew people gave back to God. Malachi commanded that we tithe. Jesus reinforced it. God ordained it and Paul explained it. If you’ve gone out of business, you ought to take down your sign!