Monday, 28 May 2012

Is your flame on a stand or hidden under a basket?

Listening to friends argue about Scientology, I picked up something which distressed me...
Scientology was being commended and advocated for its self-less, self giving, charitable attributes - while many may disagree, this opinion does exist, and it makes me wonder why we don't hear this about Christianity!

Christianity is built upon love - loving others as ourselves, treating others the way we would want to be...but why isn't 'loving' or 'charitable' or 'self-less', the first things that come to the minds of unbelievers? Instead we hear, 'hypocrisy', 'selfishness' and so on!

We preach forgiveness, but do we forgive?
We preach love, but do we love?
We preach kindness, but do we show kindness?
Where is the evidence for the changed life? Of God transforming and working in us?

We, as believers, first and foremost, are called to evangelize and spread the good news of the Gospel and the love of Jesus. However, mere words or sermons aren't going to convince this generation, we need to live it out and educate them about God's love, by example. All of us may constantly SAY the right things, but do we DO them? Message and manner go together; people may undermine our message but they can never undermine our testimony. When we live the Gospel out, expressing brotherly love, obedience to God, discipline, care and kindness, others become witnesses and will be challenged to follow - they will SEE the DIFFERENCE!

In 1 Thessalonians 2:1-15, Paul exhibits how to set a good example. Three key points pointed out by our Church Pastor, Pastor Derek Sewell are:

  1. Lead the way in pleasing God and not man
  2. Lead the way in giving our all
  3. Lead the way in living a life worthy of God
May I take this opportunity to encourage you to explore this truly eye-opening scripture, with these points in mind.

We ought to live a life of self-giving - demonstrating an honest love, gentleness and intimacy. Preaching alone is no use, if we do not share our lives with others by building relationships and spending time to care and love them. Love that we exhibit needs to be 'from the heart' - an earnest love.

Moreover, we are called to be 'salt and light' - salt makes food taste better, do we make others' lives feel better? Light leads the way, comforts the hurting and provides security; do we do that? Are we reflecting the light of the Savior, who is the Light of the world?

Matthew 5:14-16 ~ You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

We have a flame burning within us, a flame set alight by God when we accepted Him into our hearts. You are called to make it shine brightly, for all the world to see...but it is your choice! 
Are you going to keep your flame hidden under a basket? Or are you going to dare to be different and place it  on a stand?
Remember, a candle soon burns out when it is covered due to the lack of oxygen! Don't let that happen to your flame!

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