People talk like Jesus Christ is an ambiguity. “Where is He? I do not see Him?” they say. People act like Jesus Christ is an ambiguity. “I do not know anything about Him,” they assert. People live like Jesus Christ is an ambiguity. “I do not need Him for anything,” they claim.
One of the downfalls of our contemporary times is that it seem the majority of people are not clear about Jesus Christ. And, it leaves society at large having to deal with a muddled mess of moral uncertainties, disappointments, and unsolveable realities.
Part of this problem may actually be perpetuated by those of us of the church.
Recently, while attending church, a person wondered in after the service had started. Shortly afterward and talking with them, we found out that they were not clear about several things. The only thing they wanted was to be able to sleep in the church. Others had turned them away, they said. So, they looked to the church for a place to sleep. The drug they were apparently on severely distorted their sense of clarity.
This particular incident has concerned my thinking ever since, for it has become symbolic in my mind of the real importance that the people of the church have. It goes beyond providing a place to sleep, or giving food to someone hungry, or paying a utility bill. Acts of kindness done in the name of Jesus Christ are right and good. After all, people need assistance with the rigors of life. Part of the church’s calling is to minister to the needs of others.
But, if the church is to ever make a vital difference in society, we have got to take more seriously living Christ with clarity in our own lives. We our selves must live manifesting the reality that Jesus Christ, oh, most certainly, changes lives.
If Jesus Christ has changed your life, you should respectfully verbalize His name every opportunity your have. Just uttering the name of Jesus Christ has profound affect in hearers of it. The reason for that is because—-as the Bible says—-He has a name that is above every other name. The citing of the name Jesus Christ by those of us of the church directly affirms that the Lord has invested our lives with spiritual change for good because of identification with Him, and becomes powerfully suggestive that others may experience the same change for good for them selves through personal identification with Him.
Consider the possible profound impact if every person of the church would every day invoke the name of Jesus Christ.
If Jesus Christ has changed your life, you should openly live out His expectations as reflected in the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, and the points of Apostle Paul in Colossians 3.
You should prove to be a person of integrity and honesty. You should prove you are a person of faith in how you deal with circumstances that come to you. You should show that you are a person whose lifestyle is based on Bible-based moral principles.
You should practice being a faithful worshipper of God because of the eternal hope His salvation gives and the deep rich blessings He bestows. You should reflect a Bible-based world-view when it comes to espousing personal opinions. You should demonstrate strength of family because of deliberate involvement with God in it.
The people of the church need to exhibit a firmer handle on such Christian issues if ever we are to ever prove that Jesus Christ changes lives for the sake that the Lord can change the lives of others. “Giving a person a place to sleep” has its place, but personally living out the difference Christ makes in your life has a better place. In other words, the church must live Christ more clearly—-and distinctly.
Have you considered from where the name “Christian” came? The Scriptures say “the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” Apparently, after a church congregation was started there, the people that attended started being called “Christians.” Why? It was not because they provided the needy places to sleep. It was uniquely because they demonstrated a distinct identification with Jesus Christ.
How clearly do you and I live Christ?
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.
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