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18
Mar

Who Are They Seeing?

Posted by on in Weekly Encouragement Notes
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We serve a mighty God! This sounds like a blanket statement and somewhat generic, but if we stop to consider how awesome our God really is, it can indeed be overwhelming. May we consider grace and forgiveness for a moment. We are living in a time to where it seems that there is an obsession on the mistakes that everyone has made over their life. We are seeing people publicly smeared and torn apart for political gain or in some cases just for so.

 

We are seeing humanity at its worst right now. Jesus proclaimed that we are known as His by the way we love one another. In other words: we are like the billboard that is seen alongside the roadside. Those signs represent a company or a product. Those signs give a literal picture of what is being sold and what it looks like. We are able to see what is being offered. Much like commercials on television. We see people eating at a certain restaurant or using a certain item and we say to ourselves “I’d like to try that or go to that place.” 

 

In business such is called marketing. Now some would possibly be offended at the idea of marketing church, however, by the words of Jesus, we do exactly that by the way we live out our faith before others and indeed in how we treat each other. I find myself talking about this and thinking about this a lot. Why? I am honestly not sure beyond the fact that it is what fills my heart these days. Society has become increasingly cruel and very unconcerned about the effects of that on others. We are right now seeing elected officials publicly speak ill of the state of Israel and the Jewish people, but rather than condemn such things, the peers of the ones making the comments clamor to find ways to defend them so that the party is unified. However, do we consider what it means to be unified around something that is wrong? It appears that such is not a concern. The daily and nightly news is filled with one sided storied and propaganda, it is rarely ever news anymore. These stories are meant to cause one to lean one way or another based on agenda and political views. Again, this is a form of marketing. These brands become known for this or that and people begin to view them as such. Basically saying that if you watch this particular show this is what you will see or if you go to this particular place, this is what you will find. 

 

Church absolutely falls into this category and this is why Jesus made it clear that what is visible, what others see, this is what they will make their judgments by. Most of us will agree that what we see is most often what we use to consider our next action or perception. Take kids, for example, in fact, many adults too, but in particular with food. If it looks strange or unfamiliar, generally a kid will not eat it. They look for an alternative or simply do without. I see the faces of the kids on Wednesday night when they come through the AWANA meal line. If there is anything in front of them that is remotely questionable to them, they look for what else is there or just grab a cookie or chips. It is not that there is anything wrong with the food that has been provided, but to them it did not please the eye. As adults we may often do the same thing with food or other products, but absolutely do it with other people. 

 

The issue should not our differences. The fact is we all have them. I feel that is what makes us stronger and in most cases better. Our differences set us apart, but should not keep us apart. A team is often made up of a variation of talents. Many times the drummer is not a good guitar player, but when the two work together, a beautiful song is created. The quarterback may not be a great runner, but when he has a strong and fast running back or wide receiver in front of him they very well can win the big game. My point: God has blessed each of us with all types of things that when used and in most cases, used together, can not only make this world a better place, but indeed grow the kingdom. It is when others see the people of Christ in harmony, unity, growing in love for one another, this is when real change takes place. 

 

The word church is most often identified as a brick and mortar or wooden structure. However, the real definition of the word actually deals with the people, the group that comes together to worship. It is the gathering of like minded people for the purpose of worship and adoration toward Christ and the gratefulness for all that His sacrifice has afforded us. When a board is loose or a window is broken we attend to those rather quickly because such is visible. When the fan does not work, the air conditioner is down or the heater is no longer warm, we tend to that quickly because we see those as must have items. In other words we become concerned when the “church” needs repair. Can we stop for a moment though and consider this: the building may need things from time to time, but when we see or learn that the actual church, the contents, the bodies that fill the seats of the building, the ones who are out in the community like walking billboards, when we see that they are broken, they are in need, they are not showing signs of health and joy, when we see or learn that they are at odds with one another, when differences have not been set aside and the ability to come together in one accord for the purpose of worship, when we see that this is in need of repair, let us never ignore that and think it will mend itself. 

 

Jesus made it clear: how others see us is how they see Him. Ponder this during your week and be mindful if others are SEEING Christ in you and what you offer.

 

Pastor Andy

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