Loud and Clear

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I want one thing to be obvious about me, above anything else – that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.  I have no desire to be like “Captain Obvious” that obnoxious character that markets for hotels.com. The gag that the commercials feature is his complete lack of awareness about how he is coming across to those around him.  Some Christians turn their faith into something like that: insensitive, sometimes just silly, often unnecessarily offensive, as they claim to be doing the work of Christ. Jesus becomes part of their political ideology, the Gospel turns into a ‘get out of Hell’ pass, and superstitious ideas replace deep intimacy with the Spirit.  Then, there are those beautiful Believers who are true saints, not because a halo hovers over their head, but whose lives demonstrate a deep faith and a godly direction.

Paul commended the Thessalonian Christians for a faith that came through loud and clear!  “And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. …  They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” (1 Thessalonians 1:7-10, NIV)

That phrase challenges me this morning – “the Lord’s message rang out from you… your faith known everywhere.”  People in that region of Greece were talking about these believers, not because they were obnoxious, but because they had found a powerful faith that completely changed the way they lived. They no longer held onto their old idols, they loved the Lord. They had found real hope of salvation and eternal life, no longer fearing the future, or even death itself.  They were not making a lot of self-congratulatory noise; God, the Holy Spirit was using them to proclaim His Message.

As you head into life today, I encourage you to pause for a few moments to pray a different kind of prayer. Pouring out our petitions is a wonderful privilege and we should do that. There is another way to pray that involves listening, with a focused heart and mind that wants to hear from the Spirit. We almost instinctively pray “Lord, I’m speaking so listen,” but do we remember to pray as young Samuel was counseled? “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” Contemplate the works of God. Spend time with the mystery of the love of the Almighty for you. Let God love you.

Something amazing happens to Christians who are listening to God. They begin to take on the character and beauty of the Savior. Grace pours into their lives and then spills over out of their lives. The Gospel ‘rings out’ through their love, their patience, their forgiveness, their gentleness, their steadiness in joy and sorrow alike.  When people talk about this kind of Christians, it is not to mock. Instead they speak about something beautiful, a message that ‘rings out’ through them. Oh, I want that to be true of my life.

Lord, let Your beauty shine through, Your amazing love owning my heart so that it overflows to those with whom I talk and walk today.

In our word from the Word today, Peter urges us to “Live such good lives among the pagans (those who do not know God) that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:12, NIV)  How can we do that? “As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! …  So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better.” (2 Peter 1:3,5, NLT)

Let Him be revealed in you today.

_________

Yes I Will
(A desire to let Him shine)

I count on one thing
The same God that never fails
Will not fail me now
You won’t fail me now
In the waiting
The same God who’s never late
Is working all things out
You’re working all things out

Yes I will lift You high
In the lowest valley
Yes I will bless Your name
Yes I will sing for joy
When my heart is heavy
All my days yes I will

I choose to praise
To glorify glorify
The name of all names
That nothing can stand against

For all my days
Yes I will

Eddie Hoagland | Jonathan Smith | Mia Fieldes
© All Essential Music (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC)
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