Focus 40 Day 39: Extreme Living—Honoring God with Our Relationships with Our Community
Prayer Focus: Pray to be a good steward of the earth – Ps. 24:1
Extreme Living—Honoring God with Our Relationships with Our Community
The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.
—Romans 13:12–14 (NLT)
ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT THINGS about being a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our world today can be overcoming the many ways in which the church and Christians have hurt individuals in our communities. Sometimes, with the greatest of intentions and with the purest of thought we say and do things that hurt people around us. This has resulted in some pretty large divides in some communities and with some people. How will we as Christians and congregations work to overcome these divides?
When I first read the scripture above, I focused in on what I will call the words of condemnation or “the don’ts.” But then I refocused. Let’s look at the dos. Do remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes. Acknowledge that you have made mistakes and take them off like dirty clothes and leave them on the ground behind you. Do learn from them. Do everything you can to not repeat them. Do avoid the temptation to beat yourself up for them. Just remove them. Do put on the shining armor of right living. Do turn from your past and move towards the future God desires for you. Do live a decent life for all to see—not locking yourself in your home or the sanctuary so that you won’t get tarnished by the world, but letting your light shine so that the world has that as an example. And do clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Trust in him. Live for him. Love like him. That will make all the difference in the community around you. Let’s overcome the past by being the church of the future, the church of God.
God, today I want the community to see you in me. Help me to live like Jesus. Help me to love like you. And help me to join with your Spirit to make a difference in the community around me today. Help me to be a part of your transforming power in my community. Amen.
Rev. Trey Oldham
Live Transformation Team Member and Pastor