Men of sincerity.

January 18, 2014.

“For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”
(II Cor. 2:17)

Stop. Before you go on reading, read that statement again and dwell on it for three minutes. I will give you some time.

Last night, a friend and I were out on the beach until a quarter after three in the morning discussing theology and Christianity because we are here at the Family Vacation Retreat (see yesterday’s post) in Panama City, Florida. We talked mostly about what the church is becoming today and how much we would love to see the church back in it original form, at least in the aspect of the closeness and true sense of family that they had in the first century. We talked about faith and life and why we are focused more on ourselves than spreading the gospel, and I can honestly say that I have never felt so excited and motivated after a conversation at three AM before. We have this incredible news and the chance to share it with anyone and everyone we meet, proclaiming that we are all sinners, but there is a way, a True Way, that can cleanse us of those sins, however heinous they are, and dramatically change people’s life for the better.

But we don’t.

Read the opening verse again and then come back here. Today, I attended three sessions, the power of speech, false doctrines and teaching truth, and leading from the inside out. Though I particularly enjoyed the second session, in the last we went over a passage in II Corinthians that was just above this verse. I continued to read and this verse stood out as something I had never read before- and I’ve read II Corinthians many times….

I just kept reading the verse as it tied into the lesson very, very well. To be effective leaders, we must first portray the action or teaching we are wanting others to follow. You can be a great Bible teacher all day, know over half of the cannon by heart and be prepared to answer any question that is ever thrown your way. If you don’t live what you are teaching, you will accomplish very little.

“For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”
(II Cor. 2:17)

We are called to live the Christian life in sincerity. That doesn’t mean just on Sundays and Mondays. That doesn’t mean just when your husband or wife or children are around. That doesn’t mean just when it is convenient to be a Christian. If you choose to follow Christ, he wants your whole being, all the time. And that is hard. Many self-proclaimed Christians today in America, I fear, do not believe this. We are to be a people of sincerity.

As I said yesterday, the theme of this conference is Paul’s letters to Timothy. I have a great love and respect for these letters, and if you are following the Suggested Daily Readings, you will finish the second letter today. Paul calls Timothy to just about everything but a comfortable, easy life. Timothy, a young guy, is charged by Paul to basically whip the church where he is at into shape. Yet, Paul says first to be an example to the believers. He knew that Timothy would get nowhere if he did not live out what he preached. The same applies to us today. The world has no respect for a Christian who shouts Christ loudly with his lips but denies him through his actions. They will, however, see a difference in the Christian that is described in the Bible, whether or not they choose to follow the faith. This is our calling. Let us live it out completely.

Suggested Daily Reading: II Timothy 1-4

May The Lord increase your courage and faith.


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