If we as Christians think about our daily interactions with non Christians, we very often wonder whether our influence counts for much. How many times are we silenced in our witness by ridicule and hostility? How often are we silent for fear of disturbing the peace? Other times what we say is contradicted by what we do and have done.
Also we must also measure how much of an influence non Christians have on us. Many words slip into our vocabulary and thoughts into our minds that we would not wish to be there. Is our behavior adversely affected by our non believing friends and co-workers?
We all want a quiet life. There is such a thing as “not casting pearls before swine,” in other words, choosing appropriate times to speak of Christ and the right person to speak to. Yet this does not let us off the hook as Christ’s witnesses.
I certainly to not claim to be an authority on these things: The fact is I find it harder than most. I can only say that in “testifying” the best rule is to be prepared, to watch for opportunities and see need in the people around you.
Not only be a Christian but seen to be a Christian.
In guarding ourselves from bad influences and examples, we must be mindful that the non Christian is under sins bondage. As Satan degrades the beautiful things Gods has made, Sinful men and women degrade themselves. Their language, their thoughts and their aims are all tainted by sin and self. We by birth and original nature are just like them, unless we put away the old nature and put on the new. It is by imitating Christ day by day that we may “be in the world, but not of it.”It is the closeness of our walk with Christ that makes us “the salt of the earth”.
The Valley of dry bones.
The most preached upon and well known portion of the book of Ezekiel is the vision of the valley of dry bones, chapter 37. The immediate application is to the future restoration of Israel, despite the seeming hopelessness of the situation, by the power of the Spirit of God.
That the prophet himself is called upon to play a role in the drama by “prophesying” to the skeletal remains is integral. God speaks the word of life himself and in his condescending mercy, raises up people to speak His word as well.
Here is shown also, that no amount of death and decay can hinder God’s life restoring power. Even at this low ebb, the children of Israel were not beyond God’s love and care. It only took the “breath” of God to restore them to life.
It seems to me that the great work of God in and through our Lord Jesus Christ is to restore life. Life from death and hope from hopelessness are themes common in scripture. This is typified in the gospel story when the disciples whose hope had died on the cross, had life restored new and eternal in the resurrection.
It is not just restoration to life as it was but to life eternal, to abundant life.
This resounds in the experience of the believer. When we were dead in trespasses and sins Christ dies for the ungodly and raises them to “newness of life” by their believing on Him.
In our daily experience, while our outer body is perishing, we are “renewed in the inner man.”
When our body dies and is laid in the grave it will on the last Day be raise up to life. “Corruption will put on the incorruptible.”
The Church languishes and is at the point of extinction when the Spirit visits it with Revival.
In this world we are surrounded by death and dying. We need the Spirit’s breath to bring life to the people of the world. We also need people like Ezekiel to be God’s instruments of proclaiming His word to bring the message of life, eternal life.
These plants are at the Geelong botanic gardens they just spring out of the ground seemingly from nowhere. They have no visible means of support. The Christian to has no visible means of support but it is none the less real. Thanks be to God.