Live in the Spotlight

All of the talk out of Washington, D.C. seems to be about impeachment hearings. Regardless of the side you are on, it’s a serious time in our country. It must be hard to live under the ever-present eye of the public.

I can think of a lot of things that I would rather go through than to have my every word and action scrutinized in the public venue. Not too many people could survive that kind of examination unscathed. I wonder if any of our congresspeople who are investigating the president could go through such an ordeal and come out untouched at the other end. I somehow doubt it.

I know I couldn’t, and I suspect that there are few, if any, who could.

But as Christians, that’s where we live.

Consider two passages:

1 Peter 2:12

Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Titus 2:7-8

In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.

We are to live in such a way that no one can legitimately say anything evil about us.  Our goodness (godliness) is to be so evident that when people look at our lives, what they see is so overwhelmingly good that even if they want to condemn us it will be difficult for them to find something to say.

Combined with Matthew 5:14 (you are the light of the world), the implication is that rather than shun the spotlight, we are to put ourselves in the spotlight so that people can see Jesus. We are to embrace the spotlight.

Politicians may not come out smelling so good when their lives are examined, but we should.

If the president, or any other public official is held to a high standard, we are to hold ourselves to an even higher one.

Our standard is not a constitution or law or ethical guideline. Our standard is the gospel of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:26) and we are to live in such a way that we adorn the doctrine of God our savior in all things (Titus 2:10).

An interesting question might be: If my spiritual life was examined would I be impeached?

Stay in the Word

Pastor Steve

What’s Your Focus?

As a pastor I have the opportunity to observe people, especially church people. One thing that I’ve noticed is that Christians have different focuses. That is, there are different things in the Christian life that are important to different people – and sometimes that leads to misunderstandings and wrong assessments.

When other Christians don’t attach the same degree of importance to the things that we think are important – well relationships can suffer.

Think about the things that different Christians stress as important in the Christian life:

-Worship

-Prayer

-Bible study

-Prophecy

-Missions

-Witnessing

-Music

-Counseling

-Spiritual Gifts

And the list goes on.

It’s not wrong to place importance on any of these things, in fact they are all important. The problem comes when one of them becomes THE criteria by which we judge our own spiritual life and the spiritual lives of people around us.

There’s something that we need to clarify here and that is that there is a difference between an interest, even an intense interest in some area of the Christian life and what we might call a spiritual obsession (this may not be the best phrase to describe this, but you get the idea).

Many Christians have a strong interest in prophecy but they don’t expect all Christians to have the same degree of interest that they have.

One of the issues with a spiritual obsession is that it quickly becomes the standard for (and a poor substitute for) spirituality. If I can distinguish between the Beast from the Sea and the Beast from the Earth (Rev 13), explain every obscure prophetic reference, and rattle off all of the end time judgments, then I must be spiritual.

And if you can’t, you aren’t.

Not necessarily.

Knowledge and even involvement cannot pass for spirituality. Spiritual Christians are most often (always?) balanced people. They have room in their life for all of the many facets of the Christian life and don’t elevate one over the others.

Is worship more important or less important than exercising your spiritual gift? Is prayer more or less important than involvement in missions? Is witnessing more or less important than Bible study?

When we start building a hierarchy of spiritual activities we enter uncertain waters. What if you are wrong? What if someone else chooses something different? How do you weight the relative importance of each against the rest?

The key is not to focus on one thing but to focus on the whole thing. Each area of the spiritual life adds something to our personal spiritual life.

Don’t make your focus so narrow that you loose sight of what the spiritual life is all about.

Stay in the Word

Pastor Steve