DayBreaks for 1/11/18: Everything Counts All the Time
From the DayBreaks archives, January 2008:
Life is chock-full of seemingly innocent little moments of decision. You’ll make so many decisions today and do so many things that really aren’t very important. For example: you’ll decide which shirt or dress to wear today – and all things being equal, it really doesn’t matter what you choose. You’ll decide what to eat (although if you have health problems, that can be important!) You’ll decide which bank teller to go to, which check-out line at the grocery store. While we may agonize over which pair of sunglasses make us look the most cool, it’s really nothing more than a trivial decision. Much of life revolves around trivial things.
But, there are things in life that aren’t trivial at all. Consider this from the California Southern Baptist (3/2/2000):
“Recently, Dieter Zander, the pastor of the first GenX church in America, spoke at an Evangelism Conference about reaching people in the age of relativism. He cited a Barna study that asked people to use single words to describe Jesus. They responded, “wise, accepting, compassionate, gracious, humble.” Then he asked them to use single words to describe Christians, they said, “critical, exclusive, self-righteous, narrow and repressive.”
“There is a difference between knowing the good news and being the good news, Zander said. “We are the evidence! Everything counts—all the time.”
“With previous generations, a strong preacher could give a good message, even if the church was hypocritical and critical and people would still get saved,” Zander continued, “but not anymore. I’m seeing a change in what seekers are looking for. Not something they can relate to. They are looking for a transcendent God. They don’t want to be entertained they want to be transformed.”
I think Zander had it spot on: “There is a difference between knowing the good news and BEING (emphasis mine, GCD) the good news.” I realize that in a very real sense, we cannot be the good news. Jesus came from heaven to give us the good news and be the good news for us! But, how we act, what we say, even how we think – in a way we can be the good news or the bad news. Why does the world think of Jesus in such high terms but Christians in such negative ways? Could it be because we are not being the good news? Because as the world looks at us, they don’t see Jesus in us at all, but our old sinful, carping and complaining natures?
Every encounter we have with another human being is loaded with implications for eternity. Yes – every single one. What you say, how you act, what we do and even how we think about them matters. GenX is still seeking a transcendent God, but for them, the proof of His existence is transformed followers of God, people in whom the love of Jesus is perfected by their treatment of others. It is, after all, what Jesus said would be the one sign of true belief and discipleship.
When you have that casual conversation by the water cooler today – realize it isn’t as casual as it appears. When you greet the clerk at the grocery store, be the good news personified. When you come in the door at home at the end of your long and trying day, remember that God expects you to be the good news at home, too.
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. (Romans 1:16 KJV)
PRAYER: Father, thank You for sending Jesus, the best news the world has ever known. Help us to not only know him, but to live like him so the good news may be alive and strong within us. Help us to realize that as Your children and ambassadors in this world, that everything we do makes a difference all the time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
PRAYER: God, I know my own sin is enough to kill all the fish in the sea, yet you promise me you have washed me clean and that I am your child. Help us all to being to grasp that simple, yet profound, truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.