Wednesday, October 14, 2020

What Is Your Life Saying?

 Wednesday, October 13, 2020  Some material taken from Changes Part 3 by Sam Nobles

And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened.  Acts 16:23-26

What Is Your Life Saying?
This week we have been looking at Paul and Silas’ experience as they were jailed and how they responded to their circumstances. They responded in the midst of suffering and trial with worship. Even more, their response echoed every word they proclaimed they believed.

Whether we like it or not, we are always on display for the rest of the world to see. Especially as Christians, the world is watching to see if we truly “walk the walk” or if we are all talk. There is no more truthful telling of what we are on the inside than when hard times hit. Paul and Silas give us a great example of responding not only with grace, but with praise and adoration. They responded giving God the glory and not cursing Him or complaining. They also did not let their situation stop them from their mission, which was to preach the gospel, no matter what.

They Lived the Gospel – Paul and Silas had already been living the gospel and that is what had gotten them thrown in jail. But being thrown in jail did not stop them. Maybe singing was a way to comfort themselves and to keep their focus where it belonged, but it also sent a message to those around them.

This past Sunday Sam Nobles said that our lives are like a set of speakers and we are constantly blaring something. We may not even realize it, but we are always sending a message. If we are not intentional and careful about our actions and responses to life and others, we will drown out the message of the gospel instead of proclaiming it. Our words and actions have power. Proverbs 18:21 says that the power of life and death are in the tongue - The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. I was listening to a podcast last week and the speaker said that in 2020 the writer of Proverbs might say that the power of life and death are in the thumbs. Lately, people have been throwing words around on social media without considering the weight of them. We have a responsibility to live the gospel out loud with our lives and when we are not speaking face to face, it is easy to not take that responsibility seriously.

They Spoke the Gospel – they used words intentionally and carefully to share the gospel with those around them. At this point in their life it was their calling and purpose.  Live the gospel, but also speak the words to those who need to hear it.

Being in the ministry is hard. It really is like living in a fishbowl. Everyone is watching how you live and how you respond to life. There are those that have little mercy or grace for those in the ministry. Recently Christians in general have been under excessive scrutiny and persecution. It does seem that those who demand the most grace have the least amount of grace for others.

What are you blaring out of your life today? Are you proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, or are you drowning it out with curses, complaints, and criticism? Even if we deserve to complain or despair, in the face of agonizing uncertainty, pain, or adverse circumstances, let us intentionally blare out the love, grace, and good news of the gospel of Christ.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a
noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1

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