Weekly Wisdoms for the week of September 22, 2008
You've probably heard these slogans: "Just do it," "Drivers wanted," and "It's everywhere you want to be." And you've almost certainly heard of Nike, Volkswagen, and Visa; however, you probably have never heard of the advertising agencies that coined those slogans: Wieden & Kennedy; Arnold Communications; and Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn.
In a lot of ways, we're supposed to be like those advertising agencies. We are called to proclaim the name of Jesus to the entire world; we're not called to proclaim the name of our denomination, our ministry, our church, or our pastor.
Compare how often you talk about your church or your pastor versus how often you talk about Jesus.
When unbelievers see Christianity, I can't help but wonder how many of them simply see a bunch of denominations fighting about petty issues: Contemporary vs. traditional worship? Drums and guitar vs. organ and hymns? Powerpoint slides vs. hymn book? Jeans and tee-shirt vs. suit and tie?
Instead, wouldn't our testimony to the world be so much better if, with one voice, we proclaimed "Jesus!"? In Romans 15:9, Paul writes, Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name. Paul's singular focus was on making the name of Jesus known throughout the world.
It's not about your church, your ministry, your Bible study, your small group, or your denomination. Your single focus should be on shouting the name of Jesus to all peoples. Your life should be a walking advertisement for the hope, peace, and joy that's available to all people in Christ.
In John 13:34-35, Jesus instructed us—His followers—to love others: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." As Christians, learning to walk in love should be a very high priority.
Unfortunately, we often love others only superficially—that is, we talk love, but don't live love. James 2:15-16 addresses this problem: "Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, 'Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?"
If you say that you love someone, but don't express it by what you do, then that "love" is worthless. Indeed, it isn't even real love.
Likewise, 1 John 3:17-18 asks, "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." Here again, we are instructed to love with actions—not just with our mouth.
Follow the instructions of Jesus: love one another. However, remember that real love must be accompanied by actions, because love unexpressed is not love at all.
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