We have entered into the last quarter of the year. Soon, we will be celebrating Fall Festival, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and then the New Year. Each of these holidays or Holy Days, if we choose to appropriate them for God from the world, gives us an opportunity to show who we are and whose we are.
With that in mind, it might be wise to consider who we are and whose we are.
We are supposed to be God's children, adopted into His family by our belief in Jesus the Christ, our Lord and Savior, sealed with the promise of life everlasting by the presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling and working inside of us.
We can sing, "I know I've been changed. The angels in heaven done signed my name."; but, do others recognize the change in you such that they may not ask are you a Christian but they will notice that there is something different about you?
That something different is the fact that you are a Christian and what is on the inside will come out.
It should come out regardless of how you dress. You do not have to wear a cross to be a Christian.
It should come out regardless of what you carry with you. You do not have to carry a Bible everywhere to be a Christian.
It should come out regardless of what you say. You do not have to quote scripture all the time to be a Christian.
We are in the midst of studying about the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit in HOPE Wednesday. Not a single one says something about the way you dress, what you carry or what you say. Now, it does address why you might dress the way you do, what you may choose to represent, and how you may say your words as well as to who you might say them.
All gives evidence of what is going on inside of you, who you are and whose you are.
You see, beloved, when people encounter you, as a Christian, they also encounter God and you may be all the Bible some will see.
The Apostle Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3, "You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all; and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts."
Did you ever think about yourself like that?
When you invite someone, assuming you invite someone, to church, have you ever realized that your interaction with them has already been an invitation?
They may respond to you and your invitation on the basis of what is inside of you that is coming out of you such that your invitation is either confirmation or confusion about who you are and whose you are.
It is a command of God for the believers to assemble together. So, coming to be with the church family should not be arbitrary and certainly not voluntary. Although no one can make you come, you should be compelled to come because you are the church and to not come would be denying who you are and whose you are. And, after you have come, hopefully and prayerfully, something has been done and said that will cause the light inside of you to shine that much brighter to encourage others to want some of what you have.
Your spiritual, emotional, mental and physical illumination should be a part of your invitation because you may be all the Bible some will see.
Beloved, I pray you will receive this message in the spirit of love that it is sent; but, also with the sense of urgency that it is sent. The world needs to learn about Jesus Christ. God has sent you, yes you, into the midst of some who none of the rest of us may ever meet or see.
What will happen when you meet with them?
Will they feel your love, love from God to you and through you to them? Will they see something in you that shows that while you are in the world, there is something about you that is not of this world? Will they feel a sense of hope and optimism about life that expresses a peace and joy that the world cannot give and the world cannot take away?
Child of God, they should. And, they need to because you may be all the Bible some will see.
Again, tonight, we will journey through another of the fruits of the Spirit, Peace. Who does not need Peace? If you need it, come be with us tonight as we learn more about it. And, as you learn more, you can share more with those in your life who also need Peace. And, maybe, just maybe, the Peace that you have might be just what it takes for them to respond to your invitation and come be with you when you meet with your church family. So come. Somebody who will not come or has not come needs for you to come because you may be all the Bible some will see.
Look forward to seeing you at 6:30 in the sanctuary.
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!