Jacob wanted to rebuild the carburetor on his 4-wheeler. He is a young teen with limited mechanical training but he got it done and proudly showed me the result of the smooth running engine by racing down the street with me hanging onto him for dear life! “How did you know what to do?” I asked. Without a blink of an eye, he responded “I watched some YouTube videos.” I chuckled because I have done the same thing for different tasks. Yes, in case you did not know, you can gain instruction by searching for videos that people post! Most of the time you don’t just watch a talking head. The ‘instructor’ shows you how to do it by providing a visual.
Christian, in this world we have a responsibility to show the way for others. The last word of Jesus to His disciples was to wait in Jerusalem for the empowering of the Spirit. They would then become witnesses for His Gospel. By that He meant more than good talkers. Their lives would be demonstrations of the transformative nature of the faith! “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, NLT)
About 25 years later, Paul, in his letter to Titus, made a similar case for living the Gospel! In chapter 2, there are practical instructions about how knowing Jesus and the way to live for Him. He addresses various groups within the church and in each case reminds them to keep in mind that what they do in life reflects on Christ. Look at the phrases he includes: “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. … So that no one will malign the word of God. … so that they have nothing bad to say about us. … to make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” The qualities that are encouraged in that chapter are character issues of self-control, diligence, love, faith, and endurance.
Looking at myself, I must ask, “Jerry, are you living in such a way that the beauty of Jesus’ Person eclipses your personality, that the power of the Spirit is conquering the temptations that come your way? Are you providing a visual of what it means to be a Christian?” The does not mean that I pretend or pose! It does not mean that I try to earn the applause of those around me. It means I love the Lord and live with an authentic, deep, and abiding faith that makes me different from the inside out.
Here is how Paul was inspired to encourage Titus and the church in Crete that he served as Pastor. Wait a minute. Pause and ask the Spirit to make these words come alive in your mind. Now, read on. “God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.” (Titus 2:11-14, The Message)
There is so much empty talk in our society. Words overwhelm us. Few of us trust much of anything that people say to us. Knowing this, let’s present the Gospel of Christ visually. Without pride or self-consciousness, let’s aspire to lives filled with the Spirit, overflowing with love, so that we can say ‘Just watch me!’ When others despair, we will know hope. When others hate, we will love. When others live for the moment, we will live for eternity. When others will not serve, we will give ourselves without holding back. The impact will be astonishing.
Here is a word from the Word. Own it for life. “Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord.” (Philippians 3:17-4:1, NLT)
You stood before creation
Eternity in Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand
You stood before my failure
And carried the cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand
So what can I say
And what can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You
So I’ll walk upon salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
My life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand
So I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours
Joel Houston© 2005 Hillsong Music Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
CCLI License # 810055
Jerry D. Scott, Pastor
Faith Discovery Church