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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Who Are You?

You’ve probably heard it said, “Actions speak louder than words.” Indeed, as much as we’d like to just tell people who we are and paint ourselves in the best possible light, they see all too well who we really are by the life we live. We all have choices to make in how we spend our time, how we spend our money, who we are around, and what are the things we find important. We can shout it from the rooftops all day long about how much we love Jesus and want Him in our life but He might not be. We’re the only ones stopping Him. He’s ready and willing to free us from our sin, but so many cling to it!

On many occasions, Jesus encountered people that were more interested in letting others see their own glory than they were in bringing glory to God. Jesus warns in Matthew 6:1, ““Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” And again in Matthew 15:7-9, “You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

Jesus wasn’t the only one to confront this attitude either. Paul wrote to Titus in chapter one verse 16: “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works.” John wrote in 1 John 2:4, “Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” And Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:1, “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.”

Therefore, let us be very careful not just how we present ourselves to the world, but how we present ourselves to God. God knows the heart and we when we try to live the lie that we are kind, loving, caring people when really we aren’t – He knows. When we try to put on a good show so others won’t realize what’s really going on, God knows. We might have the right words, but it’s the right heart that God is looking for.

Jesus knew this and lived it well. We have Jesus’s thoughts, His teachings, and His sermons to help us know what is right. But more than what is said, we see what He has done that truly shows us what love is. Jesus had compassion for others and He worked to meet their needs. When He was tired He still served, still prayed, still taught, still loved, still healed, still listened, still led, and still showed how much He cared. More than that, Jesus sacrificed His life: “ . . . you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” (1 Peter 1:18-19).

So do our actions reflect who we truly are? Of course they do! But is that who we ought to be? Or should we be the person Jesus calls us to by the life He lived: “For you have been called for this purpose, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you would follow in His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

In Matthew 7:21–23, Jesus is recorded as saying: “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Are you following in His steps and doing the will of the Father? If not, ask yourself what’s more important than your eternity? 

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