Have you ever wondered how we actually look as Christians to brothers and sisters around the world? A thought came across my mind when I was sitting in class this morning. The question came up, “What would a prophet like Amos be concerned with in our 21st century world?”. I think these conversations rise to the surface quite often when there is a study of God’s Word particularly when you discuss the historical context of the writing. Questions began to fly: “What forms of idolatry do we exhibit today?” “What are some social injustices that we ignore?” “How do we cling to religious rituals?” These were some very interesting questions which led me to think even deeper into the matter. What if we were observed by someone with an outside perspective? Think about it. Imagine that we are all on a gameboard living our lives and some people can look down and observe us. Thinking about this was intriguing, yet something even grander struck me. What if a Christian brother or sister from a different culture around the world could observe Christians in the United States without them knowing they were there? This would be very interesting. I wonder if our Christianity would look similar to theirs. We follow the same Jesus who calls us as His followers into the same obedience and mission. While there will always be cultural or personality differences in us, the differences should be few as we are united in Christ. But what do our lives look like on a daily basis in reality. I want you to think about how your day has gone so far. What have you done so far today? Now, imagine that these brothers and sisters are observing you, but you are unaware. What would their impression be? I wonder how often we seem religiously devoted to work, school, family, and leisure (TV, internet, phone, sports, music, etc.). From examining my own life from time to time, I can assure you that it would appear to an outsider that I am religiously devoted to my phone and laptop. I spend substantially more time on my laptop and phone than I do in the Word of God. If this were observed, I am not sure who these brothers and sisters would say my God is. It would appear that I give appropriate lip service to God and yet my devotion to Him and His Word is lacking. I fear that for the majority of us claiming Christ as Lord, we are blissfully walking through life living out religious rituals while ignoring social injustices (the greatest being the thousands of unreached people groups on earth). All the while, we are committing idolatry by showing that the luxuries we benefit from are of more worth than the God of our salvation.
Consider how a devoted Christ-follower in India, China, or Africa would evaluate our lives. Would they say with confidence that we are fellow brothers or sisters under Christ? Or, would they say that they are not sure who our God is and that they are confused? Because honestly, as 21st century Christians striving to live out the American Dream, that is exactly what we do. We confuse our brothers and sisters around the world as we claim the same Jesus Christ of the Bible that they claim as the Lord of their lives and yet we act as if He does not even exist on a daily basis. From their outside perspective, it would appear that Jesus is not worth our devotion. Brothers and sisters may this be far from us! If they were to observe us, may they shout with confidence, “YES! These are my brothers and sisters as they are devoting every aspect of their lives to King Jesus our Suffering Servant and glorious Redeemer!”
Today, live as a Christ-follower, devoting yourself to your God and King. Is He worth your devotion? If so, prove it! For the sake of the nations and for the glory of God, submit your life to King Jesus and obey His teachings and commands. Take this gospel you are saved by to the ends of the earth as well as next door. May our gatherings as the Church of Jesus Christ be genuine in worship and not just mere lip service. May our lives reflect our devotion to our God. Remember, that time isn’t everything, but more than likely you are most devoted to what you spend most time with. You will spend time with what you love the most. Love God over all and out of your submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, spend your day in His presence. Be devoted to His Word today! Genuinely worship the King!
By His Grace — For His Glory — For our Joy