DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT THURSDAY - BE YOURSELF, TELL IT AS IT IS.
Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are. - John Wooden.
Years later, John the Baptist started preaching in the desert of Judea. He said, "Turn back to God! The kingdom of heaven will soon be here." - Matthew 3:1-2. (CEV)
Henry Wingblade used to say that Christian personality is hidden deep inside us. It is unseen, like the soup carried in a tureen high over a waiter's head. No one knows what's inside, unless the waiter is bumped and he trips! Just so, people don't know what's inside us until we've been bumped. But if Christ is living inside, what spills out is the fruit of the Spirit. - Carl Lundquist.
John the Baptist was an absolutely strange character; he lived in the desert, wore a leather jacket, and ate bugs. Not exactly the person that we would want to tell us about God. But therein lies the problem, most Christians today, want to communicate the gospel in sanitized conditions, but we need to learn to be ourselves, exhibit the character that God gave us.
W. Michael Blumenthal, chairman of Unisys, talks about the mistakes he made in hiring: In choosing people for top positions, you have to try to make sure they have a clear sense of what is right and wrong, a willingness to be truthful, the courage to say what they think and to do what they think is right, even if the politics militate against that.
This is the quality that should really be at the top. I was too often impressed by the intelligence and substantive knowledge of an individual and did not always pay enough attention to the question of how honest, courageous and good a person the individual really was. - Jerry Flint.
John the Baptist, wasn’t influenced by dress code, or money, or political correctness, or by what people would say about him, he was simply obedient to his Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, and told people the truth, not what they wanted to hear, but what God was saying to them. And we need to be the same as John, and be ourselves, use our own personalities, be what God made us, and be free to communicate the gospel, in the way God wants us to do...
Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world. - Mat 28:19-20.
THE WORLD NEEDS CHRISTIANS...
who cannot be bought;
whose word is their bond;
who put character above wealth;
who possess opinions and a will;
who are larger than their vocations;
who do not hesitate to take chances;
who will not lose their individuality in a crowd;
who will be as honest in small things as in great things;
who will make no compromise with wrong;
whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires; who will not say they do it " because everybody else does it"; who are true to their friends through good report and evil report, in adversity as well as in prosperity;
who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning, and hardheadedness are the best qualities for winning success; who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth when it is unpopular;
who can say "no" with emphasis, although all the rest of the world says "yes."
- Charles Swindoll.
Our Text sounds strange, in a world that is afraid to tell the truth about sin, wickedness, and evil. Yet every lost person desperately needs to repent, that is, to change his or her heart and life, seek after God, and live for Jesus as Lord.
Yes, salvation is given to us by God's incredible grace. On the other hand, grace that leaves us unchanged is not true grace. Grace not only forgives us through Jesus' sacrificial death on the Cross, but it also liberates us from the empty and destructive life without God and his guidance.
Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be myself, and not influenced by what people thin, that I may communicate your gospel in truth. Also, help me to take advantage of your incredible grace. I want to turn my heart to you, and live my life according to your will, your glory. In Jesus' wonderful Name I pray. Amen.