The Sermon Of Your Life

Read I Thessalonians 4

Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business
and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.
Then people who are not Christians will respect the way you
live, and you will not need to depend on others.”
(I Thessalonians 4:11-12)

Thoughts… In Paul’s day, some of the believers were so convinced that Jesus was going to come back at any moment that they simply quit life and waited. They quit showing up to work, they quit earning a living, they quit taking care of stuff around the house. Why bother? Jesus was coming back. So they just waited. And they became a burden for everybody else. Others had to do their work. Others had to provide food for them. Others had to take care of the things they were supposed to do.

We have words for people like that: Irresponsible, irritating, lazy. And they are terrible witnesses for Christ. I haven’t seen too many people in our day who have quit life and are just sitting around waiting for Jesus to return to rescue them from the daily chores of life. But I have seen a fair number of people who are terrible witnesses for Jesus. Not so much because they don’t give an adequate verbal witness—they talk a good game. They just don’t play it.

Their lives don’t match their language. Seekers can’t see Jesus because their lifestyle gets in the way of their language, their work ethic clouds their witness, their nosiness and noisiness is incongruent with their beliefs. They cut corners, do sloppy work, show up late, gossip—working as unto the Lord is not something that describes them. Sinners can’t see the purity, reverence, industriousness and excellence of their Christian faith simply because those Christ-like values are consistently missing from their actions.

Your life is a sermon. The question is, what is it preaching? Paul is saying that your life—your behavior, attitudes, words and world-view—at all times must generate respect for your Lord. People are watching you, and whatever they see in your life day in and day out paints a picture of your Jesus.

Hope you are painting a masterpiece!

Prayer… Lord, help me today to so live that when people look at me, they will see you, and be attracted.

One More Thing…
“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” —St. Francis of Assisi

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “The Sermon Of Your Life

  1. Hi Ray!

    I like this message (as I do most of them). I have a quibble about the “One More Thing” quote from St. Francis of Assisi.

    I’ve heard this quote used in modern days as an excuse for a Christian to keep from communicating with those around us. I’ve done this myself (I’m speaking from experience).

    The thinking goes: “Our actions should speak louder than words, and our words are unnecessary if our actions are good.”

    But I harken back to your post of 6/25/2008 ( where we seem to have had a similar discussion! :o)

    Actions are absolutely important. “Faith without works is dead.” “You tell me your faith, I’ll show you my faith by what I do.” But just the doing of our faith will not necessarily clinch the deal with the “why” of our faith, or even the “object” (or should I say “subject”) of our faith.

    If I go around helping my neighbors because I believe in Christ, my neighbors will love me and I’ll be very popular. But this alone doesn’t lead them to Christ. Without my spoken word (aka Testimony), the connection to God Almighty, Savior of the Universe, and His Only Begotten Son, the Author and Finisher of our faith, never gets made.

    It’s likely no coincidence that Jesus is “THE WORD”. Wherever Jesus went, he demonstrated his faith, and he also preached to explain it. The two went hand in hand.

    So, I guess part of the faith I need to live out (as a less to myself) is to let people know I’m Christian. I don’t need to always be preaching, but if people know I’m Christian, then when they see me do my stuff, they can get a glimpse of my whys and wherefores.

  2. Bob~ I think preaching the good news by your life should lead to sharing the good news with your verbal witness…that is when evangelism is at its most effective. I am convinced they are two sides of the same coin. Witness by life validates witness by word.