Ephesians 4:1 – “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling…”(NLT)
I live in a small but fast-growing suburb of Chicago. New-home subdivisions and retail developments are popping up nearly every time you turn around. Go away for a week or two and when you come home—voila!—something new on a once-vacant corner.
In some of the new subdivisions one of the first things you’ll see is a model home. Often there’s a row of houses, showcasing the various styles available from the developer. The idea is to create a desire, a picture of what could be for you and your family. You may see a flag or banner shouting the invitation, “Model Open!” Once inside, you’ll see the builder and decorator have pulled out all the stops to entice you to buy the lifestyle they are selling.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are the models the world will view. Like the lifestyle a new home offers, life in Christ offers a beauty and a peace we cannot enjoy living the old way.
Do our lives reflect God’s grace, His forgiveness and His mercy? Do our lives model Christ-like values and attitudes that create a desire in others to have what we have; or do we demonstrate the aggressive behavior that has become part of our culture?
Road rage is a term we’re familiar with these days. But how about check-out-lane-rage?
You’re in a hurry at the grocery store. You get in the Express Lane with your limit of 12 items. There is someone in front of you who obviously cannot read the sign or count – she has 15 items. You know because you counted them. What do you do?
You could: a) Shift your weight impatiently from one foot to the other; b) Sigh loudly; c) Look at the people behind you and roll your eyes; or d) Mumble, “Come on,” under your breath, but loud enough for those behind you to hear, and agree with you!
Some of us might think, “These people don’t know me.” But how can we be sure?
What are the chances one of these shoppers visited your church and you didn’t see them but they saw you? I know as a former member of a worship team, I could not possibly see all the faces in the congregation…but they certainly could see me. More than likely, they would recognize me outside the context of the church.
There are many non-believers who think Christians are a bunch of hypocrites. Without the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us, we easily fall prey to the pressures of our busy lives and become impatient with those around us. We can forget that we are called to BE Christ to a dying world and to model His love and grace to people don’t know Him.
I want my life to be worthy of the calling of Christ Jesus. I want my life to shout the irresistible invitation, “This model is open. See Jesus inside.”