Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Whatever You Do

A traveling preacher out one night and upon entering a town stops at the door of a little home. Coming to the door was a woman with apron on and paring knife in hand. She had been peeling apples for a pie, and greeted the pastor with a smile.

Hat in hand, the man asked her. "Does Jesus live here?"

Puzzled, she thought at first she didn't understand his question. Seeing her face revealed to the preacher her heart, so he asked again, "Does Jesus live here?" This time she heard well, and was considering the thought that the man was not quite well.

She said nothing, not knowing what to say. "Does Jesus live here?" was the question again, and it produced even more unease in the woman. Before she could stammer any answer, the man said, "I am so sorry. I had hoped Jesus lived here."

With that, he put his hat back on and walked on into the night.

The young woman went back to her work, but couldn't help wondering about the man and his question. Soon her husband came in, and she told him of her strange encounter.

The husband told her, "Well, why didn't you tell him that we are members of the church on the hill, that we give regularly to the work of it, and attend Sunday School once in a while?" But the young woman had caught a grasp of the old man's meaning.

"He didn't ask that, John. He asked whether Jesus lived here or not."

It made me think this morning of these verses.

6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today.
7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.
8 Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deut 6:6-9 (NLT)

The Hebrews were very successful in keeping their religion a part of every day life. How did they do it? They integrated what they believed into how they lived. They used their lives, their homes, and their vocations to honor God, and taught their children to do the same. It's one of the reasons why, despite the best efforts of evil people down through the years, the Jews still exist as a people, even in cultures that abhor everything they are.

I'm a student of culture, a history buff. And I would tell you that we live in an America that is very much post-Christian. If we are to bring our faith forward and deliver it to generations to follow, we have to be much more like the Jews in the way we approach our family responsibilities.

But far more important than that, we need to be far more passionate about wanting more of Jesus in our lives. We need to hunger and thirst for more of Jesus.

We have to find ways to intentionally model Jesus no matter where we physically might be - at home, at work, out in the public.

I don't want my faith to be an afterthought, like "David is a teacher and he's a Christian." I want people to put Christian before teacher when they think of who I am. I don't mean dropping a bunch of "God talk" on everyone - I mean God actions - like Jesus did.

We can do this. Through the power of the Holy Spirit - the Jesus in us.

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