Scripture says that your life should be lived in such a way that those around you can see Jesus in you.

“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Now that sounds good in theory, but what does it actually mean?

The only explanation that works for me is the one that talks about service; working in the name of the Lord.

Now we know it is ludicrous to think that anyone can live a perfect spiritual life. But isn’t it reasonable to expect that it shouldn’t take a cross-examination from a district attorney to understand where this is coming from?

The man who professes to love Jesus shouldn’t feel okay about cheating on his wife. The man who claims Christ as his Lord and Savior can’t be content living a life of crime.

The Lord cannot be your confidant and you find ways to rationalize illicit sex, drugs and satanic rock and roll. We all have our fault and flaws, but at some point, in your supposed walk with God, your righteous behavior, your principles and your spiritual integrity must shine through. 

Perfection is an impossibility but serious effort is not only possible, it’s mandatory.

It is indeed necessary to give every day your best shot.

Like everyone else, you will fall short more than any of us would want to admit to. However, as the saying goes, if you try you might fail. But if you don’t try, failure is a guarantee. God, I believe, requires a consistent and serious effort to live up to the Jesus model. He will do the rest. 

Forgive me for a moment as I testify about what I know to be true.

My bible says the closer we come to Jesus’ standards, the more we recognize the blessings of God. And why wouldn’t we?

After all, He has already put His footprints in the snow. The path to righteousness is clear. The goal is simply to be in right relationship with God.

“But seek ye first His kingdom and His righteousness and all things will be given you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

This seeking thing to me has always meant working in some capacity; using your gifts to help others. Jesus said, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who has sent me.” (John 9:4)

I don’t dare put myself anywhere near Jesus’ pedigree, but I am not opposed to working for what I want. I’ve done it all my life. You probably have too.

So, the important question is how hard are you willing to work knowing that your eternal soul is at stake? Just what are you willing to do or say to let the world know you are really trying to be a man or woman of God?

The good news of the gospel makes it clear that this is easy, if not ridiculously easy. Love God. Love your neighbor. In this context, I’m saying love is a verb.

Throughout the bible, God uses people as instruments.  So, to me this work that I’m trying to focus on is recognized by letting go and letting God use me to uplift the soul of another human being. I’m trying to be up to the task.

For those of you who are used to this, you know it is a very humbling experience.  But, “…If a man will not work, he shall not eat…And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-13)

That’s it really.  Get up and get busy and may God bless your effort.

(Photo: James A. Washington)

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