Thursday, November 23, 2017

What story does your life reveal?

It is God’s will that your good lives should silence those who foolishly condemn the Gospel without knowing what it can do for them, having never experienced its power. You are free from the law, but that doesn’t mean you are free to do wrong. Live as those who are free to do only God’s will at all times. (1 Peter 2:15-16 TLB)
Lives that can actually shut down the foolish accusations of the unwise - the truth we portray in our everyday choices is more powerful than we might just imagine!  We are to live in such a manner so as to silence the condemnation of the fool by the way we live, not so much with the words we are able to speak in rebuttal to his accusation. It may seem hard to imagine, but the example we set is oftentimes more important than studying to have "all the right words".
It may not come as a surprise to anyone, but there were years when I was studying to "have the right words" - always ready to give an answer. I studied books on apologetic responses - having the EXACT truth to counteract the untruth someone else was trying to put on me or make me believe. While all of that study was not bad, it didn't accomplish anything as powerful as just allowing the Holy Spirit to change the way I acted!
The fool has no clue what the power of God's Spirit is capable of in the life of a believer. In fact, the fool cannot fathom the greatness of grace, nor the absence of any other performance-based "good works" in order to gain "privilege" or "position". The fool often uses words to attempt to disarm those he sees as "different" or "out there" in a spiritual sense. Why? He has no other weapon in his arsenal!
The availability of grace doesn't mean we have the privilege to sin. We still must bring our will into submission to the will of God. We assume the part of the fool whenever we think it is okay to live the way we want all week and then "make up for it" one hour each weekend while we go to church. We ARE the church. The example we set all the rest of the week is what others see and how it is they will judge just how much grace has impacted our lives!
We aren't "free to sin" just because we have access to grace. We are "free from sin" because we have grace. That means our lives are lived as close to the heart of Jesus as possible, and as far away from the fringes of sin as can be imagined. Just sayin!