Friday, February 10, 2012

A Life Worthy of the Gospel

“He has saved us and called us to a holy life” (2 Tim 1:9a). Here, Paul exhorts us to live lives befitting that of God’s children. We may not be an apostle like Paul but we can emulate the examples of Lois and Eunice (2 Tim 1:5) who not only taught but lived the Christian life in a way that Timothy caught it from them. This is what we should do. Practically, it means being faithful witnesses of Christ in every area of influence where we find ourselves with people who do not know Christ. Faithfulness is not just talking about Christ but walking to show that he is in our lives. Our works must measure up to our words.

How do we do that? One way is to be good examples of Christian witness to one another. Just as Paul was a good testimony and a role model to Timothy, so Timothy must have been a good example to those who came after him. All of us are Christians because of someone else’s effort. Therefore, we too should make the effort to ensure that the people around us know what a Christian looks like. All of us are examples and the only difference is whether we are good examples or bad examples. Therefore, why not chose to be good examples especially so when we have a loving Heavenly father who loves us and imparts his grace to empower us to live for him?

We should live that life now because we never know how our influence can impact the Kingdom of God. Faithfulness is living the Christian life now, not looking to do it in the future. William Carey was born into a Christian home but he never really knew Christ. However, while working as a cobbler, he had a genuine conversion experience through the faithfully witness of a fellow cobbler. From then on, he was on fire for God and, fifteen years later in 1793, he sailed to India as a missionary. Today we call him the father of modern missions and study his life as an example of missions. But William Carey laboured very hard in India. Only after seven years did he have his first Indian convert. Imagine plodding on for seven years before bearing fruit. Today, if we experience the same thing, we will say this is not God’s calling because God is not blessing the work. However, because Carey and others like him persevered, there are many Christians in India today. Carey wrote these words in a letter to his nephew “I can plod and persevere. That is my only genius. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.” Carey calls himself a plodder, one who moves slowly but surely. It was the same with Hudson Taylor who persevered and grew the church in China. When we purpose to live our lives as a blessing to the people around us, we will have eternal implication for the Kingdom of God. Is that not worth doing? Never think you are one person and you won’t make a difference.

We may not be like Paul the apostle or Carey but we can be like Lois or Eunice - Christians who lived the Christian life so that it was caught by those around them. Christians who witness whenever they can to whoever they wherever they can. That is what many Christians have done before us. May God help us to be faithful so that those after us may find us faithful examples.

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