|Please read and meditate upon Revelation 1:1-3.|
Have you ever Googled driving directions, but when you tried following them you ended up totally lost because the map was wrong? The streets didn't really intersect like the map showed, or the directions said to turn right when you should have turned left, leaving you confused. A good map accurately represents the streets and makes true claims about the landscape. The same must be true for us as followers of Jesus Christ. The life that we live each day should send a clear message to the culture about the Light, Life, and Love of the Lord Jesus.
On January 9th of 2011, I began a series of messages entitled Cultural Confusion. I just finished preaching the second message on Sunday morning and God has really challenged me through the text in Revelation 1:1-3, particularly two phrases in verse 2... who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ. "Why?" You ask, keep reading...
Saturday our church hosted the Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief training for volunteers from all over the sate that serve Christ in crisis with providing childcare, clean up and recovery, food services, communications, and chaplancy service during a crisis. We had around 150 people attend the training. Yet, the GPS system led people astray and we had calls from people who were lost, wanting to find our church. Yes, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church does have a physical location at 7136 Central Ave in Waycross, GA even though there were some who could not find it because of the confusing directions they were getting from Google, MapQuest, TomTom, Magellan, Garman, and many others.
Yesterday after our worship service, our family came home and gathered around our table (some say it looks like a Lord's Supper table) with our family for lunch. After saying the blessing and getting our food on our plates, I felt led to ask our children what the message was about. Mallory, our 8-year old, answered quickly... "Sending a confusing message!" As soon as I heard her answer, I thought, "She got it!"
I spend hours preparing to preach every week. Sometimes I preach three messages and I do not want to send any confusing message, thankfully someone got the thrust of what the Lord had placed within His Word and upon my heart to preach, for such a time as this.
Our lives must be freshly touched by the Lord Jesuse because if we are not careful the ideas and influences in our culture will invade our lives, families, and churches and impact our thinking and our beliefs, ultimately setting us on a path of woe. Oh, this does not happen quickly, it happens slowly. Over time what we once believed will have eroded and even though we say we are "Christian" how we live our lives sends a confusing message to those where we live, work, or play... ultimately covering the Light, Life, and Love of the Lord Jesus.
How does this happen? When you and I say with our lips that we are a Christian and then fail to live a life that bares witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ we send a confusing message to those in our homes, churces, and community... confusing the culture. And unfortunately, it seems that Christians are more affected by society than society is affected by Christians.
For far too long, we have been guilty of compartmentalizing our lives into the secular and the spiritual. Our lives are to reveal the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to live life in such a way that who Jesus is being unveiled, uncovered, disclosed to those in our culture. In other words, people all around ought to be able to find Jesus because He is being clearly unvieled (revealed) in all that we say and do!
Think with me for a moment... over the last several decades there has been an erosion taking place among the Christian Church and it is devastating... commitment has eroded to carnality, obedience is now an option, truth has been replaced with tolerance, and following Jesus is just a joke. For more research in particular concerning the erosion, visit The Barna Group and learn about the Six Megathemes that emerge from the Barna Research Group in 2010.
More than ever, Jesus must become clearly visible. He must be unveiled and uncovered for all to see. Jesus must be revealed in our personal lives, in our families, in our churches, in our communities. In all that we say and do, people should clearly see His Light, Life, and Love where we live, work, and play.
I would appreciate your thoughts and comments. How can you and I live lives that are crystal clear, ultimately leading others directly to the Lord Jesus? Could it be that the reason the culture is confused is because the church is confused? CS Lewis said, "Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of significant importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important."
Dear Lord Jesus: From time to time I live my life as if Christianity is of no importance or as if Christianity is moderately important and I confuse my wife, my children, my friends, this person and that person. God forgive me! To those I those I have led astray, may they please forgive me. God, help me to live a life that reveals the Light, Life, and Love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Make my life bare witness to the Word of God and to the testimonty of Jesus Christ and may He be crystal clear!
For Such A Time As This,