Weekly Wisdoms for the week of May 25, 2009
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.
1 John 4:12 says, No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. In other words, even though no person has ever actually seen God the Father, we are able to see God's character as we love one another.
Remember that God is love (1 John 4:8); so, when we walk in love, we are like God.
Thus, although we can't actually see God, we can see his character in our love for each other (and in his love for us). Indeed, Romans 5:8 tells us that God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Furthermore, Jesus said that we, his disciples, will be known by our fruit: By their fruit you will recognize them (Matthew 7:16, 20). Galatians 5:22 tells us what that fruit is: The fruit of the Spirit is love ... . Thus, we are known by our love—love for one another and love for God.
It is so important to walk in love, because love is the visible attribute of an invisible God.
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