Life is full of choices, and one of the biggest decisions we can make is how to pattern our lives. Many people decide to live according to the way they feel, what they want for themselves, or standards set by the world. Those guidelines are unreliable because they’re constantly changing, and relying on them is like walking on soft sand that sinks down when we need firmness and stability. But using the Word of God as a framework for our lives is like walking on solid rock.
When we get born again, our lives become a powerful testimony of God’s power. Whether we know it or not, all eyes are on us. We’re ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), and the example we set is important. As His representatives, the message we communicate to the world is determined by the state of our hearts. “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:2, 3, NKJV).
After Jesus’ resurrection, Paul went to Rome and preached the Gospel of Grace to people outside the Jewish faith. The concepts he taught were unfamiliar to the Romans. Paul spoke boldly, not letting any threats of possible retribution, punishment, or disapproval stop him. Total belief in the Word of God means we openly witness to others wherever they are, with no concerns about what they may think. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16, NKJV).
Changed lives are dramatic testimonies to the outside world, and Paul’s life was a powerful example. Before his personal encounter with Christ, he was an unbeliever who hated Christians (Acts 8:1-3). After being born again, he could truthfully say he had done no wrong (2 Corinthians 7:2). He wasn’t afraid the spread the Good News.
Paul didn’t let his past keep him from speaking out about God’s Grace. Once people recovered from the shock of what happened, they had trouble reconciling his past with his present. One of the risks we face as Christians is the world’s refusal to accept the message of God’s forgiveness, favor, and salvation. Paul’s new life, in the physical as well as the spiritual, was a testimony to God’s transforming power. “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).
The world desperately needs grace and mercy, and God uses us as witnesses to show others how this grace and mercy operate. People are watching and waiting to see how this plays out. When others see us, we want them to see Jesus, not us (Matthew 5:14-16).
As believers, we’re on display. People are looking at us and watching our lives. What are they seeing?