Your Walk Reflects God To Others
Walk in a way worthy of the God you say you serve. The only God people know is the God relected in your own life. Two points from " Four Spiritual Laws" as an index of Christian credibility.
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? This is your good friend Bob Cook and I’m so glad to be back with you once again. I look forward to these times when we can share together by means of radio. Thank God that He’s made it possible for me to be with you in these precious moments. I’m grateful.
Paul said, you remember, “That I exhorted, comforted, and charged every one of you, and this was the force of my remarks,” (Now we’re looking at 1 Thessalonians, chapter 2) “that you would walk worthy of God, who has called you unto His kingdom and glory. Now, we’ve got a number of concepts there, and we want to stop momentarily on this verse and just see what it says. He said, “The thrust of my teaching of you, the impact, was that I was persuading you and encouraging you and bringing God into the picture as being responsible to Him, leading you to this end: that you would live every day in a manner worthy of the God you say you serve.” Now, as a matter of fact, you can revolutionize your entire lifestyle by simply asking and answering this question before you make a decision, or do something, or say something: “Is what I’m about to do worthy of the God whom I say I worship?”
You know, there are a lot of things that we get by with, that we wouldn’t even touch if we submitted them to that simple test. He is a holy God. Is what I am about to do consistent with His holiness? He is a just God. Is what I am about to say consistent with His justice and fairness? He is a loving God. Is what I am about to do or say or decide consistent with the love of God? He’s a merciful and forgiving God. Is what I’m about to say or do consistent with His mercy and His forgiveness as even I am experienced it? Am I living in a manner that is worthy of the God whom I say I serve? Tremendous concept there.
As a matter of fact, the only God that people know is the God they see reflected in your life. Unsaved people have no concept of who and what God is. They don’t understand what Jesus can mean. The only time they hear His name or use it is in profanity. And so the only Jesus they’ll ever know about is the one they see mirrored in your life, and the only God they’ll know about is the one they see in you. And it’s a mistake, oftentimes, to use human terms to try to describe God.
One of my friends who deals with troubled youngsters from inner-city locations was teaching about God our Father. And one of the boys who came from a very troubled background (he’d been abused as a child by his father and had a very unhappy environment, a boy about eleven or twelve, I suppose) asked my friend “What’s God like?” And my friend, without thinking, said, “He’s like your father.” And the boy turned away bitterly and said, “If He’s like my old man I don’t want to know Him.” And so, it’s a mistake to rely entirely upon human comparisons, isn’t it? But it’s never a mistake to live so close to God that people will see what He’s like when they look at you.
That’s why it’s necessary for you to last awhile in situations before you expect any kind of credibility on the part of others. They’re watching to see if you’re real. They’re watching to see whether your God is real when you’re under pressure, or when your heart is breaking, or when things have gone wrong, and other people might blow up. They’re watching to see how you’ll react if someone lies about you, or conspires against you. They’re watching to see how you’ll react when you’re broke, or sick, or tired to the point of exhaustion. And if in those situations, you and I can mirror the love and the holiness and the justice and the mercy and the kindness of God, because of the indwelling Holy Spirit who does these things (the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance) people will get to know and happily believe what He is and who He is. “He shines,” said Paul, “as lights in the world holding forth the Word of life.”
“That you would walk worthy of God”: What kind of a God do people think they know when they watch your life? That is the question that may well shake us up when we think about it. What kind of a God do people think they know when they watch your life? “Worthy of God.” Now why? Because He has called us to His kingdom and His glory. There are two points that provide the index of credibility for a Christian testimony. What are they?
First of all, they are the kingdom of God. What does that mean? The fact that He is King; He’s on the throne. I read that Dr. Bill Bright has a little formula that he often uses in dealing with people about salvation. I think he has included it in his little “Four Spiritual Laws” booklet, if I’m not mistaken. There you have the idea of a throne: Your life and mine are like a throne, and self and sin are on that throne. But when you come to the Lord Jesus Christ and acknowledge Him as your Lord and trust Him as your Savior, then He (the Lord Jesus) is allowed to sit on that throne and self is deposed. You then become a Christian because you are trusting the Lord Jesus Christ. His kingdom is the quality of His being King.
Is He king of your life? That’s the only question you have to answer in this regard. Is He king of your life? Does He give the orders? As a matter of fact, how long has it been since you asked God for advice on anything that wasn’t religious. If you listen to the prayers people make, invariably they’re couched in religious terms. Using the word “bless” so often: Bless us here and bless us there.
Invariably, our praying is couched in religious and thus, oftentimes, in vague terms. And so I say, how long has it been since you asked God for advice on non-religious matters? A sales contract? A parking place? A surgical operation? A court case? A disciplinary matter? A classroom problem? How long has it been since you asked God to be God in a situation that had no religious connotation in itself, but which could very well become part of His kingdom in your life?
Years ago, we had in our chapel program, a man who had then recently been discharged from the Air Force. He was a high-ranking officer and had been assigned overseas (some place near London.) In the process of that assignment, he was brought to faith in Christ and became a new-born Christian. And the idea came to him that he ought to ask God to guide him in everything in his life. And so, on a given morning, as he walked along his way to his office on the base, he prayed. He said, “Oh God, today, help me to ask you to guide me in everything. I’m going to ask you to guide me in everything.
So when he got to his office, the first thing that greeted him was a stack of courts-martial papers. There were people in the military who’d gotten into trouble and who’d been court-martialed, and he had to sign those papers so that they could go on and serve their time. He bowed his head on the desk and said, “Oh God, guide me now in what to do. And as he finished his prayer, he felt impelled to send for the person whose name was first on that pile of papers.
He said to the young man who was his sergeant, I guess, on duty, “Sergeant, bring in so-and-so.” And in a matter of moments, the prisoner came in. Fear and hostility in his eyes; he didn’t know what was going to happen. The officer sat him down and looked at him and said, “Do you think you had a fair trial?” “Yes, sir,” he said, somewhat sullenly, perhaps. He said, “Were you really guilty?” Did you deserve the punishment you’re getting? “Yes, sir.”
“And then,” this man said, “would it surprise you if I told you that I also was before a judgment seat, and I deserved the punishment of Hell. But somebody gave his life for me,” and he gave him the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as the one who died for our sins. And it wasn’t long, then, after that, before the officer knelt on one side of the desk and the prisoner on the other side, and he gave his heart to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Well, he went on and served his sentence, because becoming a Christian does not relieve you of your duty to society or to the military. You know that. But oh, what a different person he was as he walked out of that office, because somebody prayed and let God be king in the ordinaries of life. Does routine bother you and bore you? I’m sure that it does all of us from time to time. If you dare to pray about routine, God will glorify it with His touch. If you dare to pray about the details of life, which may not at all be religious, God will touch them with His touch and make your daily life an adventure with Him. That’s part of what God has called you to do, to exhibit Him as your king. He gives the orders; you follow them.
The other word that’s there is glory. Jesus said, “You’re the light of the world,” the glory of God. “We beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. We all said then,” said Paul, “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image.” Is there glory in the Lord Jesus? Yes. And can we reflect that glory? Yes, hallelujah! How do we do it? Even as by the Spirit of the Lord. The indwelling Holy Spirit puts the shine of Jesus on your life.
He has called you to let Him give the orders, and he has called you to shine with His beautiful glory. It’s a great truth, isn’t it?
Father God, today, oh may we let Thee give the orders and may we be shining for Jesus with His glory. In His name I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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