Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Under Scrutiny

“You are the only Bible some unbelievers will ever read,
and your life is under scrutiny every day.
What do others learn from you?
Do they see an accurate picture of your God?”
by John MacArthur
Whether we like it or not...realize it or not, people read us and notice how we act and how we react. Are we living our lives according to God's Word? Are we extending to others grace and mercy lavishly bestowed upon us by God? Do others see the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) displayed in our lives? I hope and pray that others will see Christ in me. Of course, I am far from perfect. I often fail and struggle. However, I hope that my words and actions, including my failures, will point to the fact that we all are sinners in need of a Savior and that He is my Hope, Joy, Strength, Lord, and Life. Christians either attract unbelievers to Jesus or turn them away from wanting to know more about Jesus by the way they live their lives. Are you passionate about Jesus and the Gospel? People can tell. Your joy and enthusiasm speak volumes. Do you share the Good News with others? Can people see that you're different from the world...that Christ reigns in your life? How do you react to trials and troubles? People are watching. Your response reflects what you believe. Do you walk the talk? If not, hypocrisy will quickly turn people off.

We are Christ's ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:19-20)! Do we accurately represent Him?
"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16
Do our lives glorify Him? What do others learn from us? Faith in the Almighty God or doubt and fear? Eternal hope in Christ or hopelessness and despair? Unconditional and selfless love for all or conditional and selfish "love" for some and hatred/prejudice for others? Are we being light to this dark world?

My personal experience attests the real-life application of the quote. Our family has been hosting a weekly dinner/Bible study for international students who attend a local university. Most of these students had never read the Bible. However, they become interested in learning about God and the Bible because they like what they see in our fellowship. They are attracted to the love, joy, contentment, caring, kindness, passion, hospitality, smiles, and laughter that they witness. We continue to pray for them that they will choose to surrender their lives to Christ.

The quote above reminds me of several similar quotes:
"I am my neighbor's Bible. He reads me when we meet. He may not even know my name, yet he is reading me." ~Unknown

"We are His word to the world. Are we clearly heard?" ~Unknown

"Of one hundred men, one will read the Bible; the ninety-nine will read the Christian." ~Dwight L. Moody

"You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips." ~Oliver Goldsmith

"So let our lips and lives express
The holy gospel we profess;
So let our works and virtues shine,
To prove the doctrine all divine." ~Watts


~This post is linked up with In 'Other' Words @SunflowerFaith , Faith-Filled Friday @Beholding Glory, Spiritual Sundays, Sharing His Beauty @The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates with God at The Wellspring, and "Hear It, Use It" @Graceful.

8 comments:

Sunflower Faith said...

Amen!!
What a powerful post and yes, you hit it on the nail when you said,Whether we like it or not...realize it or not, people read us and notice how we act and how we react. Are we living our lives according to God's Word? Are we extending to others grace and mercy lavishly bestowed upon us by God? Do others see the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) displayed in our lives?

Are fruits speak volumes of our walk and how we extend grace to others...

It's like having good news! Why hide it? Its not to be hidden,, but to be shared with all and not just by words, but by what we can do for others....

People watch us not only how we speak but what we do and how we interact with others and it can and does speak volumes.

Great post!

Shelley said...

Love this post - and LOVE the quotes that you posted along with it. Contagious Christianity will attract the unsaved ... as we are authentic in our walk ... people will want what we have. Great words today - Shelley

Denise said...

Powerful, and true post.

Joan Davis said...

A great example of our actions speaking louder than our words! I'm doing a study on James right now and we just got through the part about not just hearing the Word...but doing it! That is so important because as you wrote above, people do read us! Blessings!

Lynn said...

Staggering power and truth in this precious post and the quotes....simply beautiful and powerful and true! I want my life to shine for Jesus Christ. Blessings.

Virginia said...

This is an excellent post and so true. Christians for the most part do the best they can. We all fall short,only He is perfect. We are simply striving to be like Him.
Thank you for sharing, In His love, Peace & Blessings!

Karen said...

That is a wonderful ministry you have with the college students. Sounds like you are definitely being the only Bible right now a lot of those students have every read. God bless your work and the seeds you are planting in a garden you care about.

Charlotte said...

It's true. We're judged much more by our actions than by our words. Thank you for this encouraging post.
Blessings,
Charlotte

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