Summary: Some people are too pushy with their faith while others never even share it... where’s the balance!
It’s Not About Me… When It Comes To:
Video Clip: “Evangelism Linebacker”
Colossians 3:23 - 25 (KJV) 23And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. PRAYER
Prior to verses 23-25, Paul opens with several areas and examples of proper technique in living the Christian life before others. He addresses wives, husbands, children, fathers, and even slaves as to how they should live before others.
Now why is that so important? Because you are the one of God’s main displays as to His grace and mercy. In other words, God conducts an earthly “show and tell” with you every day!
- When you walk around like you’re mad at the world… people will never see the love of Christ demonstrated through you.
- When you embrace everything the culture does, instead of standing up for Jesus Christ, the world figures that He must not be worth standing up for… or that you really don’t believe it yourself.
- When all you do is voice your desires and how you thing things ought to be run, the world sees a narrow-minded, hypocrite that is more concerned about themselves than they are other peoples lives.
- In short… Paul knew that these Colossian Christians as well as you and I would develop techniques of serving Jesus Christ that were more about who we were and what we wanted, and less about Him.
So in an effort to help us, God lays out some fundamental techniques in living a life that others will recognize as genuine. And by the way, only a life that is genuine will point others to Christ… I’m glad you’ve got opinions… unfortunately, God has truth… we need to close our mouths, stop getting all lathered up about what we think is important and see what God says…
You are playing to an audience of one.
23And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
We get all hung up on who’s watching. Yes, people are watching, but people are imperfect… they will often applaud the wrong things… which leads us to do the wrong things.
Illustr: The world applauds free thinking… so then, we embrace everyone’s ideas and philosophies as legitimate, because when we do the world applauds us as progressive and inclusive… So we find Christians diluting their testimonies by participating in a whole host of culturally relevant activities… social drinking and partying (as long as it’s done responsibly), inappropriate entertainment, immodest dress, and on and on… all because we want to receive the applause of our friends…
Proof: Look at fashion… no matter how ridiculous looking, we embrace what others are wearing… and even the one’s who rebel and say they don’t want to conform… they conform to one another… let’s face it, we are a culture of spineless conformists who would rather let a Godless, flawed culture, who could care less about our eternity do our thinking for us, instead of a perfect God, loving God who wants to work all things together for good for you.
When we begin playing to God alone there is such a relief from not having to jump through the latest hoop. Stop spinning the plates… what do my friends expect, what does my family expect, what does my teachers expect, what does my boss expect… STOP IT!!!
What does God want? Just spin that one plate… There is still maintenance required with even one plate… but look how much simpler it is.
Notice next… in verse 25 (we’ll come back to v. 24)
A life centered on your self will be judged by God.
25But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
When you die there will only be one person who can reward your life… it’s not your teachers, not your family, not your friends… it’s God. So why poor so much energy into a business that is bound to fail.
Illustr: Jeffrey Skilling was indicted on 35 counts of fraud, insider trading, and other crimes related to the collapse of Enron. He surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on February 19, 2004, and pleaded not guilty to all charges. About a month after quitting Enron, Skilling sold almost $60 million of his stake in the company (in blocks of 10,000 to 500,000 shares), leading to the prosecutors’ allegation that he sold those shares with inside information of Enron’s impending bankruptcy. Skilling’s attorney is Daniel Petrocelli, the 52-year-old civil litigator who represented Ron Goldman’s father against O.J. Simpson in civil suit. Skilling spent $40 million in preparation for the trial, at least $23 million of which going to his defense lawyers’ retainer. Skilling’s younger brother Mark is an attorney and assisted his legal team during the criminal trial. Enron’s bankruptcy, the biggest in U.S. history when it was filed in December 2001, cost 20,000 employees their jobs and many of them their life savings. Investors lost billions." On May 25, 2006, the jury found Skilling: