SCRIPTURE: Romans 2:24 "No wonder the Scriptures say, 'The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.'"
OBSERVATION: Hypocrisy, the plague of every Christian's life and the stumbling block that hardens hearts and turns people AWAY from God instead of bringing them closer to Him. This entire chapter Paul rants about the importance of obedience... Why? His point is that once we claim the salvation of Christ and excitedly start spreading the news of what He did for us... whether we realize it or not we become ambassadors for God. Those who don't know Him yet or haven't felt His tug on their heart... before they ever discover His word, they look to us and our example to help them understand and define God's nature. The beautiful words that come from our lips describing the glory and majesty and love of Christ may seem powerful to people at first... but in the long run they mean nothing and look like downright lies if our actions and example are not in harmony with His will and Spirit within us. What is the point of salvation if we don't allow the Spirit of Christ to truly transform us?
But God says to the wicked:
“Why bother reciting my decrees
and pretending to obey my covenant?
For you refuse my discipline
and treat my words like trash.
APPLICATION: It is so easy for me to get prideful, self centered, and caught up and focused on the good news of my own salvation and forget that this free gift isn't just for me alone. The gift Christ gave when he took my sin to the cross with Him is incredible and the joy and excitement it fills me with can be overwhelming at times. I just want to shout it to everyone I meet... But what do other's see when I tell them all about this? Do they see a man after God's own heart living out his faith? Or do they see some crazy fanatic whose words and actions are completely inconsistent; someone who wear's his faith as a facade to futilely hide the corruption within? Are my actions consistent with the faith I share with others? Or has the enemy taken the gift of my salvation and twisted it into something that has become a weapon used AGAINST God? These are questions I should hold on to and remember in everything I do. I must seek to allow God to transform my character from the inside out so that my words and actions are a reflection of His nature in me... not a mask used to hide the corruption of my own flesh.
PRAYER: Father God, thank you for the gift of your own Son; your own flesh. Cut from your own body and cast down to earth as a living sacrifice to pay the price of my failings. Thank you for my salvation and the peace it brings me to know that my debt, past, present, and future has been paid in full. I believe completely in the power of what Christ Jesus accomplished on the cross and I can not fathom how much it cost Him to do this for me... let alone the entire world. I know that every time I ignore or disobey your will... It is like I am there hammering the nails into His hands and feet. Please don't allow me to become stagnant and let my growth stop at salvation. Help me to always remember and be aware that you have called me to be your Ambassador. Please give me the strength and courage to fully commit and sanctify my life to you. Keep my heart soft and broken for you Lord so that I never stop learning and growing closer to you. Transform my character from the inside out and in Christ's name cast the enemy out of my life so that I do not become twisted into a weapon that is used against you. Through the wisdom of your Spirit and my obedience to you... help me to be the best representative of you and your will that I could possibly be. Help me to be consistent to it in both word and action.