TITLE: Christ and Christians
DATE: January 21, 2019
TEXT: Matthew 5:16 - (ESV) - 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[a] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Recently I received a letter from a man criticizing Christians, especially the TV evangelist Christians.
He said he had watched a TV preacher say the Lord would give him whatever he wanted if he FIRST gave his ministry a seed offering. And the man asked, ““Why do I have to bribe God “If God has the power to do something nice, why doesn’t He just do it?”
He sat in irritated astonishment as various preachers hawked their special soap, special oils, special water, special prayer cloths, special incense, special dirt taken from Jerusalem and he thought, “This sounds like an 1800’s snake-oil salesman.”
Folks I’ll tell you what I’ve got here. I’ve got an elixir, healing balm, a balsam which will treat every pain, subdue every problem. Taken regularly it will drive away your ills and make the sun shine. It has been given to the crowned heads of Europe and distributed to the masses by the fakirs of India. It is useful for men, for women, for children and pets. This miraculous distillate will remove corns, warts, bunions and boils. It will amaze, uplift, perfect and purify all which is wrong and prevent much of what might go wrong.”
Yes, I can understand why he felt Jesus and His church have nothing to offer.
In his letter he said, “He’d run into Christians who were as mean, as nasty, as gossipy, as nosy, as foolish, as wrong as any unbeliever he’d ever met.
Now I wish I could argue with him, but I couldn’t.
What I can say is this: “Yes, you may have met some nasty Christians. I’m not surprised: Christians are sinners. As long as we live in this world, we will remain sinners with all the shortcomings and failings sin brings with it. Still, there are many believers who try to witness to the Holy Spirit’s transforming power in their lives.
Yes, Christians can be disappointing. They can be blah, bland and boring, but Jesus is not. It is a great mistake to look at a pastor in a pulpit or the people in the pews and think they are cut from the same bolt of cloth as is the Christ.
The best, the very best, the one-in-ten-million best of us is a fourth-rate, pale, poorly made imitation of the Lord Jesus Who lived His life so you might be forgiven and saved.
On our best days we can be phonies, fakes and frauds, but Jesus is real. So is the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit Who transformed the disciples from cowards to courageous, committed Christians; Who saved their souls from sin and Satan, wishes to do the same for this present world.
The same Holy Spirit Who gave birth to the church in this world, wishes to give birth to faith in every human heart. The same Holy Spirit Who comforts believers in their loss; Who removes the fear of death from their lives; Who gives hope for each day and peace for each night, wishes to do the same for every sinner in the world.
Still unsure? I can understand. But even if you are unsure of everything else in this world, you can be sure of the love of Jesus.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, let the world’s unbelievers look past our flaws, foibles and fallings and see the Savior Who rescues and transforms sinners. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Today’s devotion was inspired by various articles, amongst which is the one written by . Those who wish may check out this link which was, at the time of writing, fully active:
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html