Summary: Do people see Christ's love in you? And do they see your love for him?
I really enjoy reading Our Daily Bread. Recently I have been really trying to start my days off with a daily dose of wisdom that is printed for the day. The devotions are so simple and to the point, they really have a neat way of speaking to me no matter what the topic is. The other day I read a great one that really spoke to me and I decided to compile a sermon off of the reading. The reading started off with a story about a professional football player. Let me read it to you.
Illustration: A professional football player’s team was having a terrible season, losing week after week. A reporter asked him how he stayed motivated to play hard and give his best even though his team lost almost every game. He responded, “My dad is watching that game. My mom is watching that game. You better believe I’m going to do my best!” He recognized that there was more at stake than just winning or losing. People were watching, and that reality always drove him to do his best.
Jesus reminded us of this reality in the early portions of His Sermon on the Mount. We should live our lives with a recognition that what we do is observed by those around us—and this visible life makes a statement about our God. He said, in Matthew 5:16 “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”.
How does the light of our lives shine? By bringing the heart and character of Jesus into the situations that engage us every day. By showing compassion as He did for the marginalized or forgotten. By displaying concern for the God's name and reputation.
People are watching us. The question is, ....What do they see?
I. Do they see Christ's Love in you?
Illustration: Several years ago, a preacher from out-of-state accepted a call to a church in Houston, Texas. Some weeks after he arrived, he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, 'You'd better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it.' Then he thought, 'Oh, forget it, it's only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a 'gift from God' and keep quiet.'
When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, and then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, 'Here, you gave me too much change ...'
The driver, with a smile, replied, 'Aren't you the new preacher in town?'
'Yes' he replied. 'Well, I have been thinking a lot lately
about going somewhere to worship. I just wanted to see what you would do if
I gave you too much change. I'll see you at church on Sunday.'
- Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read. This is a really scary example of how much people watch us as Christians, and will put us to the test! Always be on guard -- and remember -- You carry the name of Christ on your shoulders when you call yourself ‘Christian’.
Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
- The Bus Driver saw Jesus in this preacher. And this is what others need to see in us, the Love of Jesus! People are always watching, testing and examining us. What do they see in us? Do they see Jesus in us?
A. The truth is that the decisions we make from day to day, moment to moment matter. How we re-act matters. We are ambassadors for Jesus, preacher or not.
1. What we do matters. What we do shows others one of two things. One, it shows US or two, it shows JESUS. I for one want others to see Jesus in me but I realize it is a daily, constant struggle between my flesh and the Spirit of God. But the good news is that I know God's Spirit is much stronger than me and he's gonna win. I just need to learn to not fight a battle that I know I'm not gonna win!
2. But we still battle don't we? Our flesh and the world tell us to act and to re-act a certain way. Someone makes you mad or does you wrong, simply get back with them and get even. You see something you want, just take it. We see how we can get personal gain so we do it, no matter who we hurt in the process. We live in a world that is full of "I's" we care more about self than others.