Great Sermons Aren't Preached, They're Lived
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
What if someone followed me around with a video camera all day, documenting my every move? Catching all my words, facial expressions, actions and reactions on camera. And then what if someone packaged it all together and played it on some sort of reality TV show for all the world to see? What would be the glaring message of my life?
I’m convicted thinking about this.
You see, if someone were to ask me, What are you all about? I would have some nice-sounding answers. But what actually happens during the strains of everyday life can sometimes betray my best intentions.
I want to be a loving wife and mom. But my family seems to know the exact buttons to push that send me into a tailspin of emotion and exhaustion.
I want to be a strong witness for Christ. So why is it I can read my Bible first thing in the morning and then find myself honking at the person who cuts me off in traffic just an hour later?
I realize there is a place for God’s tender mercies for me in all this. But I also know that while no TV cameras are following me around, my life is speaking a message about what I really believe, and I want that message to honor Jesus.
I once heard, “Great sermons are not preached, they are lived.” Oh how I long to live a message that speaks loud and clear, “Jesus is true and the principles found in His teachings work!”
Let’s just be honest: It’s tough being a sold-out soul for Christ stuck in a body that’s so tempted to sin. That’s why it’s essential I view my time with God each morning as a preparation and an invitation.
• Preparation: Our key verse reminds us, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work,” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Every verse I read is part of God’s preparation for me that day. So, instead of just rushing to check off my to-do list that I spent a few minutes with God, I must allow His teachings to seep into my heart and mind. Then, I can prayerfully ask God to interrupt my natural flesh response and remind me throughout the day of the truths He taught me that morning.
• Invitation: The next essential view of my quiet time each morning is recognizing I’ve just invited Jesus to do life with me, so I need to look for His activity throughout my day. My minute-by-minute theme becomes, “Not my will God, but Yours be done.”
So if something happens that causes my flesh to want to rear up and act ugly, I can say, “Not my will God, but Yours be done.” This slight pause and acknowledgment of God redirects my frustration and replaces it with grace. And most wonderful of all, it helps me connect my time with Jesus to everyday life choices. Making that connection is one of the ways we personally hear from and experience God.
I know sometimes it’s hard to spend time with Jesus first thing in the morning. And I’m certainly not trying to make this just another demand on our time. But Jesus’ invitation to us to sit with Him is such an incredible gift. He loves us so much He wants to help us. He knows what each day holds, and He longs to prepare us for every single thing He sees coming our way.
Let’s accept His invitation to sit with Him. Let’s listen to Him intently. And let’s ask Him to intervene before our natural reactions to things betray our best intentions. Then we will be able to live lives that speak to the fact that we have spent time with Jesus … and without saying a word, our imperfect lives will be a God-honoring sermon.
Dear Lord, please teach me how to reveal more and more of You through the way I live my life. I want to tell the whole world about You using words only when necessary. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Acts 4:13, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Who might have the propensity to push your buttons today? What are some Bible verses that you could think on and pray throughout today to prepare your heart to respond with grace?
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