What do they see by our actions? Is it love?

Today I was driving around, running some errands, — went to the orthodontist, to donate some stuff at Good Will, to drop off a sweatshirt at a friend’s house. I was doing normal things on a normal day.

I took the freeway to get from place to place because it was more convenient. At the first exit, I saw a woman holding a cardboard sign. I don’t remember what it said, but I know I did the usual “look around in the car to see if you can find any food to give them.. no food.. oh her dog looks so tired and thirsty too.. don’t even think about opening up your wallet.. it’s a scam.. I don’t have any cash anyway.. hey the light is green.. forget.”

I thought I could forget. I wanted to forget. I felt no guilt. The next exit there was a man standing there with a sign. I looked around again. No food. Next two exits also had people at them, begging for money, for help, and “God bless”-ing people.

Sometimes I complain to God about not having opportunities to serve people. I wish that I could help people more or make a little difference in someone’s life, show them who Christ is. I passed 4 people today who were obviously in need and whom I could have helped. I could have easily gone to the store to buy them some food or offered them prayer. So why didn’t I stop? We, as Christians, are called to act like Christ. I found myself thinking, “What would Jesus do?” Would he have stopped? Would he have fed or prayed?

I think in the past few years, the slogan WWJD has become just that, a slogan. It’s not taken seriously as it should. I have a bracelet. I have the book (did you know there was a book?). But WWJD is not just a saying, it’s not a fad, it’s not just a bracelet. It’s not something to be mocked. I think we need to be taking that more seriously.

How often do we truly act like Christ, do we go out of our way to show his love? For me, it needs to be more often! Most days I just go about doing my normal day-to-day things. I forget what it means to be Christ-like. I forget to ask what Jesus would do.

I encourage you to seek ways in which you can be Christ-like, and when you find them, act on them! Do what Jesus would do.

Master(s).

I was reading in Galatians this morning and I read this:

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

And then I reread it. And read it again.

If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Every day, the first thing I do is try to impress people. I get dressed to look cute. I have the right clothes to wear. I put on makeup to look prettier. I do my hair to make it look cute. I try to please everyone by my appearance. I try to impress.

If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Throughout my day I blog, twit, facebook, etc. And for what? So that the world can know me? So that the world can know my every move? I try to get attention. I try to impress.

If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

When I’m with my friends I try to be funny. I try to be interesting. I make jokes, I make fun. I do what I can to be accepted. I try to impress.

If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Matthew writes, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

I have always thought, “I put God above money. I’m good.” But I don’t think this verse is as simple as that. You could easily replace money with parents, friends, wardrobe, school, food, possessions, cell phone, house, appearance.

I cannot serve two masters. The other master doesn’t have to be money. Anything that I put above God is serving something/someone other than God.

So when Paul writes to the Galatians, “If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ,” it is clear to me that if I am trying to impress men, I am a servant to man, a servant of dust.

I long to be a true servant of Christ.

Redeemed.

Something that God has put on my heart lately is unity within the church. I begin this blog entry and I don’t even know what to write about unity except that unity has been on my heart.

Last Wednesday, I was in my guitar class and practicing Give Us Clean Hands by Chris Tomlin. A woman was looking over my shoulder and asked if I was a Christian. Yes! We started talking, and now we have a friendship. I don’t really like that class. I didn’t want to talk with anyone in that class. But now I am and I like it because we have a connection. Not just a similar interest, but we have a connection through the blood of Christ. We have both been redeemed by the blood of Christ.

Friday, I was at work and talking with this girl that I didn’t really like. (There was no basis for my dislike, I just hadn’t grown to liking her.) She’s tall, really pretty, kind of flirtatious. But Friday we talked about Africa. She wants to go to Africa. She wants to be a nurse and a missionary in Africa. What? She’s a Christian? Yeah..that’s what I thought. But she is, and she told me very confidently that she wasn’t ashamed of it. Thinking back, I’ve never seen any “offensive way” in her that would lead me to think she wasn’t a Christian. I just assumed she wasn’t. Now, we’re friends, and I feel like I was slapped in the face. I felt like God told me, “Hey now! Don’t you be judging my family!” Yikes. We’re friends, we might not have been friends otherwise, but we are because we have both been redeemed by the blood of Christ.

Today, I met with a girl who I knew of through mutual connections. The main connection is through my friend Caleb who I met in South Africa last summer and who lives in Connecticut. Yet I met this girl in Washington. We became friends right away. Sure she’s cool, but we are connected on a deeper level, more than common interests, connected by our redemption in Christ.

If not for Christ, I know I would not be friends with these people. And there are countless others that I could include with them.

So what’s my point in this? Keep your eyes open. Keep your hearts open. The kingdom of God is much bigger and stretches much farther than we can fathom. Be encouraging to one another and build each other up in Christ. Even if you don’t know if someone is a Christian, reach out to them. Love them. Love them like Christ. It’s what we are called to do. And, I think it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced to create a friendship in a matter of minutes based on Jesus Christ.

I leave you with this…

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” — Philippians 2:1-3