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The Christian Hat

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Written by Ivan Sutton

I am sure you have heard it said, or witnessed it yourself, or even recognize that you may even have lived it, “Christians behave one way when at church, but another way the rest of the week.”  I am sure in some cases, maybe even most cases this may hold some truth.

I was in a discussion a few months ago and the question was asked, “How can we demonstrate our faith in God and show the character of Jesus at work, in the grocery store or hanging out with non-Christian friends?”  There was quite a discussion that followed.  I will sum up the few points that came from that discussion:

1. Remember, we are not independent.  Oftentimes we behave as if we are on our own and must muster the will and the strength to persevere on our own in the Christian mission.  But we are not alone, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5.

2.  The source of power is often underutilized.  We must study God’s word daily.  Evidence shows that reading and watching violence or acts of sexuality can affect the reader or viewer to also be sexual or violent.  Similarly, reading the Bible sets our minds on spiritual things and therefore we are affected spiritually.  2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”   Additionally, remember to seek God in prayer.   Prayer is powerful.   It connects you to God in a special way.  John 14:13-14 “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”  Having a prayer-filled life makes the goodness of God always present in your mind, at work, at home, with friends or at church.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

3. Have a sense of mission.  Our lives are to be a living testimony of the goodness of God.  He has impacted our lives in various ways with the goal of saving us for eternity.  His desire is to save everyone on this planet.  His desire is to save you, your family and friends, the people you walk past on the street, your neighbors and co-workers.  He wants to use you in this mission.  Mark 16:15-16, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”   John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  Having this sense of mission helps us to understand why we need to give God glory and praise for His goodness in your life.

4.  You are chosen.  We are all chosen but not all believe. And how can they believe when noone shows them the truth.  Romans 10:13-16, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”  1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”

5.  What makes you peculiar is that you have turned your eyes upon Jesus.  In seeking first the kingdom of heaven, we realize that what we have is a gift from God, and not of our own doing nor obtained under our own power.  1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”  Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. ”

Therefore, in everything and everywhere share God with others.  Not as a preacher, but as yourself speaking as you normally speak about the things you do and how God has been good to you, or how He has impacted your life for eternity..

I had a meeting with a client one day but he was running late.  It was very hot outside and I felt that as the day progressed, it was becoming more difficult to get everything done that needed to be done.  My client finally arrived for our lunch appointment.  After a few minutes of talking about the weather and traffic, he asked me how I was. I said ” I am good, but I can’t wait for the Sabbath.”  This was a true statement.  It led to an interesting short conversation where he admitted he had not been to church in almost 30 years and he admitted that he should start going again.  I left it at that and we continued our meeting.

God is so important to everyone and is mentioned so little.  Even less is the name of Jesus mentioned in non-Christian circles.  As His disciples, we should practice proclaiming His goodness toward us at every opportunity.  Our Christian hat should never replace the Christian being.  Ephesians 4:22:34, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

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Ivan Sutton

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