We just finished a devotional series about following God. It seems simple but how often do we find ourselves asking God to follow us rather than being all-in to His plan? The past couple weeks have been a great reminder of what it means to really follow God. Now, for the next several days, we are going to be looking at practical characteristics of a believer’s life.
As of 2016 (according to Barna Research), 73% of Americans affiliate as Christians with 20% claiming to have no faith. As the years pass, we are living in a more progressively secular society. Of the number of Christians, 41% are non-practicing. These are people who claim to believe in Christ but don’t have the fruit to back it up. In the grand scheme of things, what image is this portraying to the world? If 41% of “Christians” are telling/showing people that you can be a Christian and not fully act like one, you can see why this number is continuing to climb.
There are many roots to this problem but one major one is this: who we as Christians claim to be and who we truly are don’t line up. We are claiming to be loving, forgiving, welcoming and caring people but outside of Sunday mornings but many of us are acting the opposite. There was a time in my life where this was the case for me, too. How do we address this epidemic of hostility and confusion towards Christianity?
We are the solution.
Ephesians 4 gives us a great example of having our walk and talk line up. Paul says many things but one seems to stick out, “…walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called…” This is Paul telling the Ephesians believers to live up to the name that they claim.
Today’s reading in Ephesians 4 highlights many ways that we should characterize our life. As you read through the assigned reading, what discrepancies are there in your life? What are some ways that you can fill the gap?
The world is counting on us. The world needs us. The world needs hope and the world needs Jesus. Our world is a very dark place with many people living lives very much apart from Jesus. Let’s both speak the truth in love and live a life of love. Let’s live according to the truth we proclaim. How can we tell people to be something we are not?
May we be a people who follow hard after Christ and influence others to do the same!