Monday, May 21

The stakes are high!

Scripture: 1 Kings 7, 2 Chronicles 4, Psalm 98, Romans 2

Romans 2:21-24 You then, who teach another,  don’t you teach yourself? You who preach, “You must not steal”—do you steal? 22 You who say, “You must not commit adultery”—do you commit adultery? You who detest idols, do you rob their temples?  23 You who boast in the law,  do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 For, as it is written: The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.

Observation

The apostle Paul is discussing the universal sinfulness of mankind, and in this passage, the Jews in particular.  They have the law but don’t keep it.  They tell others what is right and wrong, but fail to live it.  Consequently, “the name of God is blasphemed among the nations because of you.”

Application

I read an editorial this morning; the author said that the biggest problem in American Christianity is American Christians.  Not all of them.  But those who treat others badly—and he gave an example.  He pointed out that an increasing number of Americans are rejecting religion and many are pointing to the bad behavior of Christians as the reason.

Sadly, “the name of God is blasphemed because of us.” 

In everything we do, we must remember that God’s reputation is at stake.  If we bear His name, if we claim to be His followers, we must live in a way that represents Him truly.  The stakes are high!  God’s reputation and peoples’ salvation are at stake. 

If someone is offended by the gospel, that is on them.  But if someone is offended by my hypocritical behavior that doesn’t match the gospel I preach, that is on me.  

Remember: it’s never just about the situation at hand, or my feelings, or if it’s good or bad for me.  Something much bigger is at stake!

Prayer: God help us!  Help us to represent you well.  Help us to live our faith in ways that make people praise You (Matthew 5:16), not reject You!