Thursday, July 30, 2015

Just Speak Normally. Daily Living Our Faith

 (by Kerry Patton)

 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.  Acts 2:42-47

What a wonder it must have been to be a part of that early church fellowship.  Think about it…They weren’t merely followers of what they believed.  Many of those early Christians had actually KNOWN and spoken with Jesus.  Perhaps they had been touched by his ministry and been healed, delivered, or saved in no small fashion.  They had been through the trauma of his crucifixion, but then were set on fire by his resurrection!  

Now, post-Pentecost, and filled with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, they were taking their world by storm! The passage above from Acts gives us a window into their day-to-day activities.  They weren’t thinking about faith because it was Sunday…or in the study of the Word because they were teaching this week…nor giving what they had because there were bills to be paid and a ministry to support… No, they were different!  Nothing else mattered.  Their entire lives revolved around what had happened, and what had become their reasons for living.  Jesus had touched their hearts, and because of his love, they were compelled to love others in like fashion.  Sharing their faith certainly involved Whispering and Shouting, but it also formed the framework of their Normal Conversation…spiritually speaking.  Their normal lives…were a conversation of faith with all they encountered.  They lived the love of Jesus.

This is the lion’s share of where we are also.  Just as our conversational lives involve only periodic whispering and shouting, so also do we spend most of our time talking with others, doing so in a normal tone of voice.  What would that percentage be...85…90…95 percent?  MOST of our communication is spent just speaking normally with others around us.  So also is most of our faith life and Christian example spent just living and being a person of faith around those in our world.  It is here that the validity…the proof of Christ-in-us is evident.  It is who we are when no one is looking; or who we are when we are at home alone with only our spouse and/or children, and we are out of the context of weekly worship that our true relationship with Christ Jesus is displayed.  

I am pleased to represent Christ and testify of his wonderful love when I stand before the congregation Shouting in sermon or teaching.  I am likewise privileged and thankful for those opportunities and times when I am aside with an individual or small group whispering the matters of the kingdom in intimate discipleship.  But the measuring stick of my discipleship is not merely who I am in the pulpit, nor the classroom as a Christian, but who I am when I am away from those contexts; who I am when I am relaxed at home, or shopping at the store, or alone with my computer, or anonymous in my car or other public place…in the normal contexts of life and daily living.  

It is here in our normal conversations of living that our faith is proven authentic to the spiritually lost of our world.  If we fail the litmus test of daily walking and living as Christ outside of our Whispering and Shouting of faith, then we will have no credibility, no authenticity, no authority, and no effectivity in the Whispering and Shouting either.  Normal conversation…our daily walk with Jesus.  Speak it.


Father God, this is the whole of my existence…unless I am genuinely yours and pursue the life of Christ in my every step, then I have no real meaning, no real purpose, and no real future.  Continue to shape me, correct me, purify me, and make me into the image of my Lord Jesus.  Crucify me daily that Jesus might live resurrected in me.  Make me a living conversation of faith I pray, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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