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Focused?

Can the people you see every day tell that you’re a Christian? Or do you have to tell them that you are? I don’t mean that you wear cross t-shirts, go to church when the doors are open, or faithfully write your check for 10% (none of which is a bad thing, btw). What I mean is, can people see the peace and love of our Savior in your day-to-day behavior and attitude? And I mean EVERYONE. Can your wives, kids, cousins, friends, employees, bosses, customers, the chick at the grocery store (or liquor store if that’s your thing), the person checking out in front of you at either of those places that’s being way too slow, a gay person, a drug addict, or a homeless person SEE that you are son of the one and only true God? Or do you have to tell people that you are a christian (notice the little “c”)?

I guess what I’m asking, is are you being obedient to the cause? I know that some days, this is where I put all my focus. Days when I’m in a bad mood, or have a fight (disagreement I mean) with my wife are a lot tougher. Our responsibility as Christians and leaders of families and this community is to always put our faith first. We should strive to go out of our way to show people what a relationship with Jesus Christ has done in our lives. Living this way will show them what He can do in theirs. You probably won’t even have to talk much (which I know from our meetings that y’all don’t really like to do anyway). Basically, our focus should always be on Him and our obedience to His call.

I learned at an early age how proud my dad was when somebody came up and told him I had good manners or that my behavior was good. I’m learning now, as a father, how awesome it is when someone says something along those lines about my boys, and how my heart swells up. What I’m learning is the SOURCE of that pride. My dad was proud and I am proud because of the obedience of our children. We worked long and hard to teach and instill things in our children, and through the compliments of other people, we get to see our work pay off (or at least I do, my dad had a pretty tough case with me).

That being said, how proud do we make our Father in Heaven when he sees the fruit of His Holy Spirit being poured out through our obedience to His Holy Word? I am truly blessed by being able to serve a God that loves me more than I can imagine.

1 Peter 1:13-25 (MSG)

“So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. Be obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living. Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead–end, empty–headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God. Now that you’ve cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it. Your new life is not like your old life. Your old birth came from mortal sperm; your new birth comes from God’s living Word. Just think: a life conceived by God himself! That’s why the prophet said,

‘The old life is a grass life, its beauty as short–lived as wildflowers; Grass dries up, flowers droop, God’s Word goes on and on forever.’

This is the Word that conceived the new life in you.”

STAND FIRM,

Heath