Is your life worth it? Perhaps I should phrase that in a different way, is the life that you are living on a daily basis, your general everyday excursion into the temporal, lived for the eternal. For our daily devotional today, my beautiful wife read Matt. 6:34, where Jesus spoke of not being concerned about tomorrow because there was enough evil today without being anxious with what the future might bring. It made me think about planning, all of the plans many of us make to be sure tomorrow or the next day, or even the weeks and months ahead, are taken care of, that all the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted.
Granted, we are to be wise stewards, to use the common sense that the Lord has blessed us with, to plan as best as we are able, but remember the words He spoke, words about food and clothing. I mean no offense, but unless you have to wear a specific uniform for safety or protection for your employment, you probably spent at least a small part of today planning your wardrobe for tomorrow, and I’m guessing a large part of that for some is based on what others will see you as, an image you want to portray to the world around you, their perspective of you. You have an idea of what Christ meant I am sure, and we all want to blend in, as it were, but have you noticed lately how many try not to.
Bright pink or green hair, torn on purpose jeans, clothes that are either so revealing that they were deemed improper in public just a few short years ago or so baggy that suspenders should be back in style, curse words on tee-shirts and backpacks that would get you a fine or at least a reprimand from the local constable. These individuals desire to stand out, and as far as the hair, jeans and other minor accoutrements, I believe our Lord has no problem at all, for He has seen it all. The point is, these individuals try to stand out from the crowd, while it is getting more and more difficult to spot the true believers in Christ.
Now of course, we are there, but what about the value system you are showing the world, how are you standing out from the crowd, from the worlds system, do those outside of the walls of the church, and I do not mean those that know you personally, but those that you have never met before, and may never meet again, do they know who you serve. When you go out of town for a trip, a vacation, an extended stay at a place that you do not normally visit, is the life you are living worth living, are you always living for the eternal.
Think of all the places the Apostle Paul went for instance. He didn’t e-mail ahead to announce his planned visit, did not generally send messengers ahead of him to announce that a man of God was coming to their town, and I could be wrong, but I doubt he had a tee shirt printed up that he wore that said “Jesus loves you” on it. How do these strangers in this unfamiliar place you are in know that you serve the Most High God. One of our main responsibilities in this life as believers is to “Go and make disciples.” (Matt. 28:19) I read nowhere in the Scriptures that says if you are a pastor or an elder go and…, nothing I can find in the Word of God that says after four years in a theological seminary, or as soon as you have memorized a large part of the Bible, go. These people, the lost who are all around us, will respond to one thing I have found, the truth that they are loved, that they are being spoken to by a complete stranger who for some reason seems to really care about them, who is concerned for them and what they are going through.
What can start with just a simple hello does not always end with this person on their knees asking for the Lord to forgive them of their sins, professing a true faith in Christ, though I have been blessed to see it happen. But, even after just a few minutes, they will, or should know, that because of God’s love for us, we care about them, they should see a hope in us that gives them hope, and in many, many instances what God has allowed to happen in my life or the life of my wife, trials and tribulations we have experienced, these individuals are now going through, and the peace and security of a risen Savior is what they need to hear, not how we ‘pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps’, or platitudes of ‘Don’t worry, I’m sure everything will be alright’.
These individuals will stop looking at your hair, or the lack thereof, your attire, the color of your skin, and they will start to see someone who cares, someone who truly seems to be concerned for them, someone who cares about what they are going through, someone who is not seeking anything in return, someone who is not judging, letting them know that Jesus truly loves them and will accept them just as they are. My friends, if Christ and the love that He has for us is not in the conversation, then all they are going to remember is that they met a nice person, and the words of eternal life that should have been given will not even have had a chance to fall on deaf ears.
Hence the title, perspectives and values, for our perspectives will be changed, we will begin to see them as God sees them, loved, and our value of them will rise to a level that we may never have been at before, a true caring for all we meet. But one thing must be done, for remember, I am speaking of people that you will probably never meet again in this life, a once in a lifetime audience, as it were, so when you leave them, did you leave them with the knowledge that they are loved by Christ, did they not hear perhaps the entire Gospel message, but enough to know that the creator of the universe cares for them. Did you leave them with more than just an impression that you seemed to be a nice, caring person, when you parted ways with them, were they able to go home and say to their family, ‘I met a Christian today.’
I am firmly persuaded that at these times, contrary to the popular saying, our words speak louder than our actions, for these are generally five or ten minute conversations, not hours long, day after day meetings, with someone you have just met and will probably not ever meet again.
Was your life worth it at these times, was the life our Lord gave to you well spent at these moments, did you leave these people with at least the knowledge of the price that He paid for them. Did they see how much He cares for them by showing them that you care about them because of Him. Stand out from the crowd, the crowd the world seeks, for whether they will admit it or not, they are seeking the same thing we have found, they are seeking the one who found us and has called us into His wonderful blessings.