If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: Suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it al l— was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God. — 1 Peter 3:13-18 — The Message translation of the Bible
He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world. — Acts 1:7-8 — The Message translation of the Bible
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations — these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit — immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. … Next to the blessed sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” — “The Weight of Glory” by C.S. Lewis
Living among and influencing immortals is a sobering thought. The message of the Bible is clear and convincing about God being our Creator and eternity being our destiny. Please read the Gospel of John Chapter 1. All humans are in the process of determining their relationship with God and final destination in response to receiving or rejecting Christ.
Jesus came to seek and save lost humanity so we can reunite with our Creator and spend eternity with him. In Luke 19:10 Jesus tells Zacchaeus that salvation had come to his home He goes on to announce that his mission was find and restore all those who are lost. Once Jesus atoned for our sins by his death on the Cross, he delegated his mission to his disciples and all those who would believe as a result of their witness before ascending back to God the Father.
Each person we live with, work with or meet on the street is on a sacred journey. God has empowered and called Christians to love, serve and witnesses on his behalf, in order that others may know God and enjoy the salvation achieved through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. Jesus assures his followers that they will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to witness on his behalf. Peter challenges Christians in the passage quoted above to be ready to speak up for Christ and expound on the good news whenever the opportunity presents itself. C. S. Lewis reminds us that our neighbors are holy objects who deserve our best prayers, best conversations and best efforts to help them find Christ and become beloved children of God.
We are called to know God, enjoy God, and joyfully share God with others. Jesus came to testify of the truth (John 18:37) and he has asked us to do the same with all we meet. I urge you will join me in being quick to comment on our personal faith in Christ and eager to commend others to find new life in Christ.
Reach the Rev. David Player, First United Methodist Church senior pastor, at 580-482-0795 or [email protected]