Thursday, June 9, 2011

"For man looks on the outward appearance..."

Countless times, we have heard and/or quoted the part of I Samuel 16:7 that says "...For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." (Amplified Bible) 

We often focus on the end of that scripture, taking comfort in the fact that God judges us by what's in our hearts and not by what we look like. It is indeed a comforting thought, for some more so than others ;-) However, I feel that we sometimes use this concept as an excuse to justify ourselves in our desire and attempt to simply blend in with the rest of the world even though we claim to be Christians. Brothers and sisters-God does look on our hearts, but, sometimes, I think we forget that mankind looks on the outward appearance. 

It's our purpose, as Christians, to bring glory to God in everything that we do. I Corinthians 10:31 says "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." (KJV) 

To bring glory to Him is to bring Him fame and honor and to make Him known in splendor, majesty and greatness. This very definition alone leads me to understand that it is not enough to simply believe in God's greatness in your own mind or even to just speak about it occasionally. But we must outwardly express it! Oswald Chambers said it well when he said "Not only must our relationship to God be right, but the external expression of that relationship must be right." Everything in our lives-from the places we go, the way we dress and conduct ourselves in public to our relationships and attitudes and the things we say-should be in attempt to bring glory to God. I Corinthians 6:20 says "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God's" (KJV) 

When people see your outward appearance, do they see someone who brings glory to God? Or do they see someone who looks just like everyone else-sad and burdened down with the cares of life? Do they see a life that has been changed by the power of God's Spirit or a life that looks no different than any other life that has been ruled and ravaged by sin? What about your Facebook posts, your tweets, your pictures. Do they portray the life of a truly born again Christian?

Christianity is not a "religion." It's not just a label or title. It's a lifestyle. In calling yourself a Christian, you claim the name of Christ over your life. You represent Him to the world. It's our responsibility as Christians to bring glory to the name of Christ so that we can reach others with this wonderful gospel. 

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven." -Matthew 5:16 (KJV) 

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