In Every Corner

Good morning everyone! What are your plans for the week? Do you have any destinations that you will be visiting? Maybe it is something as exciting as Hawaii or Paris? Or maybe it is just your work cubicle??!! Well, wherever you are headed this week I want you to keep this in mind;no matter where your are or what you do someone is always watching how you act, how you treat others and how you respond to life in general. A little scary isn't it? Well, it shouldn't be, because we know that even though there are other humans watching us most of our lives, God is watching us 24/7. He knows our every move, even before we make it. He knows our every thought, even before we speak it. He knows our every mood, even before we behave it. You might be thinking, So what? I am a good person, I treat others with kindness, isn't that enough? Is it? I know that I am a little monotonous with the questions, but I think that it is good to ask questions, especially about God and what His expectations are from us. They are really rather simple;love others, have a servant heart, speak kindly, be slow to anger, love God with everything you have and do what Jesus would do. Easy, right? Ok, maybe not. I am definitely not a perfect person. I say things I shouldn't. I treat others in ways that I wouldn't want to be treated. I think thoughts that I wouldn't want anyone else to know about. I am not always a "light" in this world and showing the love of Christ so that others will want to know why I am the way that I appear to be. The bad news is-we are all only human and we all make mistakes....every day. The good news is that we have a Savior who loved us despite of all of our short comings, so much so that he gave his life so that we may live! Grace is free. The hard part is once we have accepted His grace we sometimes forget to exemplify that grace in our own lives. It is difficult to be strong in your faith when you are surrounded by faithless, non-believers. Notice, I did not say "christians." To me that is just a label. I have a t-shirt that says, "Label jars, not people." I am not saying that to call yourself a christian is a bad thing, however, to me it is a word of perfection;and I don't know about you, but God isn't finished with me yet, so I am far from being perfect! I would rather call myself a "follower of Christ" or a "believer." The Bible has something to say about letting others see Christ in you. In Matthew 5:14-16 it says, "You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden. And people don't hide a light under a bowl. They put it on a lampstand so the light shines for all the people in the house. In the same way, YOU should be a light for other people. Live so that they will SEE the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven." So I hope you noticed that I emphasized YOU and SEE because it is YOU that Matthew is talking about. If we all kept that grace and kindness to ourselves a lot of people would be stumbling around in the darkness of life unsure where to go next. "SEE the good things-not hear about them as you tell a story of when you gave a little more in the offering plate, or when you stopped to help someone on the side of the road, but let them SEE that each and every day you are living your life to spread love, kindness, mercy and forgiveness to everyone that you possibly can. We warn our young people about peer pressure, but I think that it is sometimes harder for adults to give into peer pressure because we don't necessarily have another adult to answer to. Think about this; how many times have you went along with whatever your group of "friends" or co-workers are doing so that you are not the odd man out? As adults we don't have to worry about answering to our parents when we get home, only ourselves and God, and we can ask Him for forgiveness, whether it is a sincere request or not. As a young person they have a parent(hopefully) that has warned them about peer pressure and so now that young person has their parent(s) AND God to answer too. Shouldn't we as adults not just "talk the talk" but also "walk the walk" so that those who are around us see us for who we really are and not just who we proclaim to be? Transparency is the only way to let that light shine through. This can be overwhelming to some people because it makes them feel like they have to be "perfect" and never make mistakes, that isn't what this is about. In fact, if others see your shortcomings and notice that you are still trying to do the best you can and follow God, that is one of the greatest witnessing tools ever! I am telling you that you are not perfect, you will make mistakes and that is a part of life, whether you are a believer or not. What I can tell you is that because we are all human we have a great and awesome opportunity to show others the love of Christ. We can be the light that they need in order to see that there is something beyond this life, something beyond their struggle, something beyond their sin. That "something" is Heaven and it is for all who believe, not for all who wear the label of "christian", but for all who have accepted Christ as their savior and who strive to be more like him in every nook, cranny, and corner of their life. Reach out to someone; give them a smile, a kind word, a hug. You never know how that will effect not only their day, but maybe the rest of their life. Blessings.

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