As we watch the Church become increasingly more powerless and less prominent there is a reason. Actually, there are multiple reasons that we do not have time to discuss even in an arena such as this.
Yesterday we took note that Jesus challenged us to be an example to others. I think of this as a picture. It causes me to think of a copy of something that I can look at and copy. Today I want to go a little deeper.
We need to be an ensample. Look at Philippians 3:17, “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.” The word “ensample” means a die, a stamp or scar.
You see, an ensample is different from an example. An example is a pattern to look at and copy; but, an ensample goes deeper. There is an impression made like a scar. In other words we need to be having a deep impact on people.
If someone allows you to have influence on them you are a leader to them. I wonder how many of us are effective leaders that are also ensamples? Well, if you are an effective leader then you are an “ensample”. You are making an impression on those you lead no matter how or why, you are. This to me is a humbling truth and thought.
There have been many people in my life that have been examples; but, there have been too few that have been actual “ensamples”. You and I need to quit trying to be an example like our favorite sports icon or whomever. We need to be “ensamples” of Jesus Christ.
So, how are you doing?
As I began to ponder today’s offering I began to think about how some people are really turned off by Church and Christians in general. It is sad that we have come to the place that our testimony is such. I told those gathered for my Aunt’s funeral that she was “obviously Christian and not obnoxiously Christian”. This is so very true.
It is sad; but, sometimes our “brand of Christianity” turns people off. What we need to do is take an inventory and see why this has come to be. It is one thing for the gospel to offend people. If it is the gospel that is offensive there really is not much you and I can do. We can and must pray for that person. We must pray that the Holy Ghost of the Living God will convict them of sin and of righteousness and of judgement to come.
It is a completely different thing if we are offensive. Sometimes we can let pride and other sins get in the way. When we do this we first become ineffective. A Christian with sin in their lives will not be able to please God like they need to. Sometimes our personality gets in the way. I have seen this before in my life. If this is the case then we need to make corrections to our own lives and move on for God.
If you have a question about how you need to live look at the counsel I found in the Word of God. Look at John 13:15, “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” The word “example” means an exhibit for imitation or warning. Jesus Christ is our Example. We need to wholly follow Him.
So, how are you doing?
Someone has said, “Thank God I am not what I used to be. Thank God I am not what I am going to be.” So many people are just slaves to so many different things. I think it was Martin Luther who said, “Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty I am free at last.”
We come in contact with people every day that are bound by sin. Do I or do you take the time and make the effort to do anything at all about it? Only you and I can answer for ourselves. God knows, so we might as well be honest with ourselves.
The Apostle Paul exhorts us in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” When we do not reach out to others and share the gospel with them it is show us that we are ashamed. Don’t be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I still remember a time I had an opportunity to witness to someone and did not. God forgive me! You see, the thing is that God wants us to spread the news of salvation. This leads me to next thing we need to be.
We need to be an evangelist. In God’s word an evangelist is described as a preacher of the gospel. Not every man, woman, boy or girl is called to be a Pastor. It seems to me that we are all called to be an evangelist. I do not mean that we all book evangelistic meetings in Churches.
What I am talking about is that we take every possible opportunity to share the gospel with others. The gospel is the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Fewer and fewer people will listen and hear the gospel. They don’t what to be told they are sinners and that they (of all people) need a Saviour. Sadly, it is true though. We need to share the truth with others.
We must tell them they are sinners; but, there is a Saviour waiting to forgive their sin and make them His child if they will turn from their sin and receive Him as their Saviour. It is so simple that people cannot “get it”. Too many people want to “do” for their salvation; but, Jesus has “done” what needs to be in order for us all to be saved. Are you?
So, how are you doing?
The other morning a thought came to me. It was a thought about what a Christian should be. So, I hope you endure my thoughts.
First of all we need to be an encourager. To encourage means to fasten upon, to seize, to be strong or to strengthen. Deuteronomy 1:38, “But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.”
We can look around and find so much that is a discouragement. Our nation is imploding before our very eyes. We see our enemies on every hand gaining a foothold and it will knock the wind out of your sails if we are not careful. If we focus on the negative, worldly things then we can lose courage, we can lose heart and it will render us ineffective if we do not deal with it quickly.
I have a Pastor friend who is great at encouraging others. He is one of those guys that you just want to be around because you are always better for being with him. I wonder what other say about me? I wonder if people would call me an encourager. Are people encouraged because they have spent time with me? Now, what about you? Ask yourself the same questions. Would people call you an encourager? Are people encouraged because they have spent time with you? It is a sobering thought, I know.
We need to be putting courage into people around us. I don’t mean blowing smoke in their faces. I don’t mean telling them a bunch of lies. I mean being honest and giving them courage from the Word of God. If you need courage that is where you need to start.
So, how are you doing?