From Mark Driscoll's sermon Jesus' True Family:
The secular version is: you’re defined by your appearance, by your job, by your performance, by your status in life. So it’s whatever you do or accomplish that determines your identity.
In Christianity, it’s completely the opposite. Through the grace of God, and the work of Jesus, and the love of the Father, we receive an identity. And out of that identity, there is activity, not so that God would love us, but because he already has, not so that God would accept us, but because in Christ, he already does. So who we are determines what we do. It is not that what we do determines who we are. That’s the miracle of Christianity. And so as God commands us to activity, it is simply the outworking of our identity. He makes us someone so we can do some things.
So the picture is as if the whole world is filled with darkness, and Jesus comes as a torch, as it were, and that each Christian is like a small candle who’s lit by the torch of Jesus. By the grace of God, we are to humbly carry our light into the world, take it to work or school or wherever it is that we happen to be as missionaries in a dark world bringing the light of the gospel and good news, and exposing and illuminating of Jesus Christ.
So my question to you is this: How’s it going? For those of you who are Christian, or claim to be Christian, how’s it going? Because what Jesus exhorts us is not to hide our light, he uses this analogy that if the Holy Spirit has set his light aflame in you, you can either illuminate and expose, or you can conceal and hide that light. And what this looks like, practically, is that with your family, you don’t really talk about Jesus. With your friends, you don’t really talk about Jesus, or at least your non-Christian family and friends. And the whole point of your job is not to annoy people and talk about God all the time while you’re not doing your job, but you want to do well at your job. As part of your light, you want to show up early, stay late, work hard, be honest, tell the truth, deliver results, love others, pray for them, serve them, be gracious and kind. And as opportunity arises through friendship, love, and service, to talk to people about Jesus. Let them know you’ll pray for them, serve them in functional and practical ways.
And Jesus says that not only are we to allow others to see open, authentic, real faith, and hear true, biblical doctrine and exposition, but we want our light to continue to grow brighter. And this is maturing or sanctifying as a Christian, this is growing in Christ-likeness. And so what he tells us to do in light of that is this: consider carefully how you listen.
So let me ask, how’s your listening? How’s your listening? Are you listening carefully as Jesus would instruct and admonish you?
I'm guessing a large part of my problem is that I have not been listening. I have not been spending enough time in prayer, and I have not been listening. At least not well. I've been doing things, but where did that list of to do's come from? Am I doing what God wants me to do, or what I think I'm supposed to do?
Happy Thursday, everybody. Have a great weekend.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Luke 8:22-25