Monday, June 1, 2009
Current Study: First Peter
Today’s Topic: Actions Speak Loudly
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 2:11-12 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
Hello again! It’s good to be back. What a great week Denise and I had last week with some time off with family and friends. We got to attend our oldest grandson’s graduation from pre-school. He’ll be in Kindergarten in the fall. We spent two days in Duluth with our best friends and relaxed along the waterfront. I didn’t answer any phone calls, but I must admit I did do some business by email. I really need to ditch this Blackberry completely when I’m on vacation.
While we were gone, I did some real hard thinking about actions and attitudes, and their affect on others. Peter addresses that issue in today’s Scripture, and over the next couple of days I want to share some practical applications of the truths presented. Let me start today with some quotes from famous people that will stimulate your thinking.
Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. Mark Twain
Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. John Wooden, former UCLA basketball coach,
Faith and works should travel side by side, step answering to step, like the legs of men walking. First faith, and then works; and then faith again, and then works again—until you can scarcely distinguish which is one and which is the other. William Booth, Founder of the Salvation Army
Love talked about can be easily turned aside, but love demonstrated is irresistible. W. Stanley Mooneyham
Oh brethren, what abundance of good works are before us, and how few of them do we undertake to do. I know the world expects more of us than we do ourselves, but if we cannot answer the expectations of the unreasonable, let us do what we can to answer the expectations of God, of our own consciences, and of all just men. For it is the will of God that with well-doing we should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. Richard Baxter
In Conspiracy of Kindness, Steve Sjogren tells the true story of Joe Delaney and his eight-year-old son, Jared, who were playing catch in their backyard.
Jared asked, “Dad, is there a God?” Joe replied that he went to church only a few times when he was a kid; he really had no idea. Jared ran into the house. “I’ll be right back!” he yelled.
Moments later he returned with a helium balloon from the circus, a pen, and an index card. “I’m going to send God an airmail message,” Jared explained.
“Dear God,” wrote Jared, “if you are real, and you are there, send people who know you to Dad and me.” God, I hope you’re watching, Joe thought, as they watched the balloon and message sail away.
Two days later, Joe and Jared pulled into a car wash sponsored by Sjogren’s church. When Joe asked, “How much?” Sjogren answered, “It’s free. No strings attached. We just want to show God’s love in a practical way.”
“Are you guys Christians, the kind of Christians who believe in God?” Joe asked. Sjogren said, “Yes, we’re that kind of Christians.”
From that encounter, Steve led Joe to faith in Christ. Many people may be only one act of kindness from meeting a true Christian.
Several weeks ago I had 1,000 cards printed that give our church people an opportunity to show the love of God to others by paying for their drive-through purchases at fast food restaurants. Some of us have started using the cards already. I’ve had the opportunity to meet three people who were thankful for the gift of love they received. I pray that God will use the gift they received to open their hearts to the greatest Gift they could ever receive – Jesus Christ.
Let your actions speak loudly for Jesus.