I am not the best driver. I tend to drive offensively rather than defensively. I am also easily distracted by animals, birds, farmhouses and clouds. Finally, I also listen to podcasts and sermons on the radio and can really get to thinking about them too much. Together this leaves me driving really poorly – alternating between “attention deficit teen with a learner’s permit” and “Grandpa out for a Sunday drive”.
As you would expect, I was a little nervous when it came to attaching the sticker advertising my church to the back of my truck.
I suppose the sticker might get more people to think about coming to my church, but it might also get some thinking about the kinds of people that already attend. No one has ever said anything, but I am sure that I have gotten a little too close to Jesus’ warning in Matthew.
“Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!” – Matthew 18:7
I feel like being a Christ-follower is a little like this as well – We wear a virtual “I HEART GOD” sticker on our back at all times.
My wife and I love the Lord with all of our hearts. We’ve announced it to our kids, our coworkers, the neighbors and random folks at Starbucks. We open ourselves to the Holy Spirit and He sometimes prompts us to ask a question or make a statement of faith. We try our best to be the type of Christians that are in the world (not of the world) living our commission.
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20
So, what does a bad day for a Christian like us look like to our kids, coworkers or some random person? I could look pretty bad, that’s for sure. How do we ever hope to live a normal stress-filled life and NOT make anyone stumble? Well, of course, God provides the answer for us very directly – “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. – 1 John 2:6”.
We must walk in the Spirit. We must use “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you. (John 14:26)”. The New Testament is full with good instruction and encouragement in how to carry this out personally.
Galatians 5:16-25 NIV
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh [g]sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you [h]please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: [i]immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, [j]factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who [k]belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also [l]walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
Colossians 1:10-11 NIV
10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.