Friday, April 24, 2009

"Live It"

When Cindy and I started Halas & Phos, it was our desire to encourage people to share Christ with others through Christian apparel (witnesswear, message apparel, whatever you want to call it). It became immediately apparent, however, that wearing a Christian t-shirt is NOT enough. You must live the message that is on it. We developed the saying "Don't just wear your Christian apparel, LIVE IT!".
Today's message in Charles Stanley's wonderful devotional stirred me to think more about this concept. It begins with the question: "Did you realize that everyone's life makes a statement?" I had to think about what kind of statement my life is making and I was humbled, and not a little ashamed. I am not always a good witness to others regarding the Lord. Granted, I am better than I used to be, but I am not supposed to compare myself to myself or others. I am to compare myself to Christ to get a really accurate estimation of where I am today and what I should strive for, that being ever increasing Christ-likeness.
We all have a "life message", In Touch states, and the strength of that message is communicated to others in our Character, Action and Words, being directly related to the depth of our relationship with God. "But we can't be PERFECT, just as God is perfect," you might say. True! In Philippians Paul, through the Holy Spirit, states:
Philippians 3:12-14
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (NIV)
Dr. Stanley's devotional goes on to say that "our actions and responses should demonstrate that (God) is dependable, faithful, forgiving and present. We are His ambassadors, representing the Savior to the people we encounter each day."
The above paragraph encapsulates what Halas & Phos is all about. Our Christian apparel may say one message or another, but our lives must line up to it or the message it lost. If our lives don't line up, we might as well wear an apron to cover up the message because unless we are wholly devoted followers of Christ, our actions, attitudes and words will surely mask or contradict any message displayed on or represented by our faith apparel.
How can we do this? I am thinking it has to do with being a living sacrifice, as Paul mentions in his letter to the church in Ephesus:
Ephesians 2:10
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."(NKJV)

I'm reminded of the Keith Green song, "If You Love the Lord", which to me communicates the spirit of the message in Ephesians Chapter 2 and draws elements from the books of Psalms and Proverbs.
Please take time to think about your life, how it reflects Christ and ask yourself "What changes can I make in my life to be more like Christ?" Let me suggest that it's not about "doing" but it's all about "being".
Blessings,
Tim

P.S. If you click on the title of this message you will be taken to Charles Stanley's "In Touch" devotional online archive where you can view other devotionals. To find the particular devotional that inspired this post, just click the link here: Communicating Through Our Life - April 24, 2009

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